Wednesday, March 26, 2008

make it stop

I was unable to make it downtown tuesday evening for a gathering commemorating the 4000 soldier killed in the war in iraq. instead I offer the following as my small contribution to the stream of energy going up today calling for peace and praying for all the those who have died.....

the artist who created this mosaic is nico pitney. he is the national editor of the huffington post. he was previously at the center for american progress and was managing editor of ThinkProgress. nico can be reached at

nico's post which accompanies the image:
In remembrance of the 4,000 brave men and women who sacrificed everything for us -- and the two men who would continue this great tragedy, despite the cost to our soldiers, our military, and our nation. Since some photos of fallen U.S. soldiers are unavailable, there are duplicates.
Click here to see the full (very large) image.

on npr's morning edition tuesday was a moving piece by thomas phillips. phillips is a veterans affairs chaplain who receives computer notification whenever a member of the american armed forces is killed. to listen to this 2.5 minute story click here and then click on 'listen now' icon.

The following was prepared by the Peace & Social Concerns Committee of Princeton Friends Meeting 3/24/08
5 Years of U.S. War In Iraq
No End in Sight
The Costs Are Many

4,000 US Military Killed(1a)

29,320 US Military wounded – direct hostilities(1b)
62,650 US Military wounded – indirect, accident, disease(1b)
81,174 to 88,585(2a) to 1,185,800(2b) Iraqis killed
2.3 million Iraqi internally displaced persons(3)
2,012,000 to 2,467,000 Iraqi refugees(3)
1,810 Iraqi refugees admitted to US (fiscal year 06-07)(3)

1 trillion dollars for the first 4 years of the war(4)
3 trillion dollars estimated for the long term costs including taking care
of wounded veterans and interest on debt incurred to borrow money
to pay for the war(4)
$720 million per day = $500,000 per minute(4)
More than $4 billion spent in 2007 for recruiting into the military(5)

Other ways to spend $720 million (a day’s cost of the war) (4) :
16,525 people could get health insurance for one year
423,529 children could get health insurance for one year
95,364 kids could have a year in a Head Start program
1,153,846 kids could get free lunches for a year
34,904 people could go to a state college for 4 years
12,478 teachers could be paid for one year
84 new elementary schools could be built
6,482 new homes could be built
1,274,336 homes could have renewable energy for one year

(1a) Department of Defense has officially confirmed 3,992; 8 more remain to be confirmed.
(1b) Department of Defense, 3/1/08 (Note that the DoD has an unusual way of distinguishing between “hostile” and other types of injuries.)
(1a and b from on 3/24/08)
(2a) estimate (1/1/08) given at
(2b) estimate (1/1/08) given at
(3) UN High Commission on Refugees, 11/21/07 (in Quaker Action Winter 2008, published by the American Friends Service Committee)
(4) For basis of estimates and calculations, see:
See also 2 minute video “One Day in the Iraq War” at
(5) includes advertising, maintaining recruiting stations, pay & benefits for more than 22,000 recruiters, and enlistment bonuses.

thanks to dlp for calling my attention to nico's mosiac and asw for sending me the factsheet prepared by psccpfm.


Unknown said...

Maybe send George W. a note of congratulations on hitting 4000. Maybe he will hit an even 5000 by the time he leaves office. He must be so proud.

R.L. Bourges said...

I find this even more poignant juxtaposed with the photograph from your previous post. Thank you for the links. Will follow them all.

lettuce said...

it is a powerful artwork. and especially because of the smiles on their faces....

Steve Reed said...

Wow. That's a stunning artwork.

So much injustice -- it makes me crazy.

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

Your post title says it all. Thank you for sharing this, even though it hurts to look.

Anonymous said...

Make a statement for world peace.
Our goal is to reach 20,000,000 views world wide.
Please send our link to your friends and acquaintances.

Bobby D. said...

wow, those facts make me feel so upset.

and I agree with Michael's comment.

LadrĂ³n de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

We have the hill in super-white suburban Lafayette on Route 24 with 4000 crosses. Important as City Hall and Union Square protests are in SF, it's good to know that such a public act is taking place in buttoned down suburbia, albeit Bay Area suburbia.

marxsny said...

I fear it is only going to get worse before it gets better, especially when the level of sympathy or compassion that comes from the White House amounts to Dick Cheney saying "well they all volunteered".

Barbara said...

What a continuing waste of lives and money. The concept of cutting our losses seems to be a foreign one to the current administration.

Unknown said...

It's a travesty and most of us always knew it would be.

The image is remarkable and very powerful.