Friday, May 27, 2011

1500, growing, and no end in sight

We don't even notice any more, but the toll of dead U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan keeps creeping up. The counter over there on the right sidebar has been stuck for several days at a total of 1499 deaths, 575 under Bush, 924 under Obama.

But that's about to climb again with this report of nine more NATO deaths yesterday in the south and east of that occupied country.

Thursday’s attack was the deadliest involving improvised explosive devices this year, according to statistics compiled by icasualties.org, an independent reporting organization. On May 16, four American servicemen were killed in an improvised explosive device attack in Zabul Province, where Afghan forces recently have taken greater responsibility for security.

Thursday’s deaths also represented the worst loss of life for NATO since April 27 ...

You probably didn't notice this either, but the U.S. House of Representatives voted yet more funds for the war to go on and on and on yesterday.

house vote.jpg

As this graphic illustrates, many Democrats are beginning to listen to their constituents (the blue part of the line) and want to be on record against the endless bloodletting. And a growing number of Republicans have the same idea. Losing by only six votes on a motion to begin drawing down is a start. How long, we have to ask?

Congressional muttering isn't going to end this war -- but without Congressional opposition that gives some voice to popular disillusionment, the permanent wars won't end at all. So this is progress. Kudos to all the peace outfits, some in DC and many at the grassroots, that worked on raising the Congressional tally to encourage withdrawal, including Peace Action, Win Without War, Rethinking Afghanistan, and United for Peace and Justice.

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