Iraq War Deaths Exceed 9/11 Toll By James Joyner

by John Hawkins | December 27, 2006 8:59 am

The AP reports that, “at least 2,978? American soldiers have now been killed in Iraq, which is “five more than the number killed in the Sept. 11 attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.”

Some other bits of historical trivia:

* More American soldiers died during World War II than at Pearl Harbor.
* More people died during WWI than archdukes killed precipitating that war.
* More people died in the fighting that followed the Confederate shelling of Fort Sumpter than during that attack. Indeed, far more died during that war than the total of African slaves killed by their owners.
* More people died during the Spanish-American War than during the sinking of the Maine.

Offhand, it’s hard to think of a significant war where the number of casualties did not exceed those who died in the event that was its proximate cause. So what?

Now, it’s certainly arguable that ousting Saddam Hussein and trying to create a democratic regime in Iraq was a poor response to being attacked by al Qaeda. Or that the war was a bad idea, period. But silly anecdotes about the number of casualties trivializes those debates.

If the war was just and worth fighting, the number of American dead has been a worthwhile if sad sacrifice. If not, then every casualty was one too many.

This content was used with the permission of Outside The Beltway[1].

  1. Outside The Beltway:

Source URL: