Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Numbing Numbers

Last week three climers in Oregon perished from exposure. The thnree were experienced mountaineers, but they were caught in an unexpectedly severe blizzard. Moreover, one cliber seemed to have suffered a serious shoulder injury, which might well explain why the other two men left the injured climber in a snow cave and set out to find help -- a search that cost them their lives and ultimately the third climber's life.

Half a world away, an icyness is descending on Iraq. Iraqi's highest court affirmed Saddam Hussein's death sentence handed down in his first trial. Under Iraqi law, the sentence must be implemented not later than 30 days after being affirmed.

One Life.

Two thousand Nine Hundred Eighty Four U.S. dead in Iraq, with December 2006 already the sixth deadliest month since March 2003 and four more days left in the month.

One Hundred Twenty Six UK soldiers and One Hundred Twenty Five other coalition soldeirs dead in Iraq.

Three Hundred Fifty Seven U.S. dead in Afghanistan.

Forty Four UK and One Hundred Fourteen other coalition soliders dead in Afghanistan.

And now some in Congress and in the White House are clamouring for an additional 20,000-30,000 U.S. troops in Iraq for 12 to 18 months.

The flags are already at half-staff to mark the passing of former President Gerald Ford. What will the administration do when the 3,000th U.S. soldier dies in Iraq?

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