Friday, December 29, 2006

A Dark December

Modern western society operates at such a frenetic pace that we as individuals often remark at "how time flies." Yet it is not time per se that moves at different speeds but our ability (or dis-ability) to absorb the plethora of events that flood our sensory organs and cascade like a huge waterfall into our mental faculties.

December, with 31 days, has been a "long month" -- and two days remain. There have been the holidays and the holy days. There has been joy and sorrow. There has been life -- and death.

Much death.

I did not believe -- or rather I could not believe -- going into December that the fatality rate for U.S. forces in Iraq would be the worst of any month in 2006 and the third deadliest month of the war. With 3 day's reporting still due -- that is, through December 28 -- 107 U.S. troops have died in Iraq in December. This total equals one other month -- which will be surpassed. Only November 2004 with 137 deaths and April 2004 with 135 will be bloodier.

Four more U.S. fatalities will mark the 3,000 U.S. military death in Iraq.

Deaths among the Iraqi security forces and Iraqi civilians for December are down by 200 -- to "only" just over 1600.

Meantime, the Transitional government of Somalia, which at the start of December appeared to be on its knees, swept into Mogadishu on the tanks of the Ethiopian army. How mnay died is unknown.

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