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Candlelight vigil to mark 4,000 U.S. war dead

Original post made on Mar 24, 2008

A candlelight vigil will be held at 7 p.m. tonight, March 24, to mark the 4,000th American soldier killed in Iraq since the war began five years ago.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, March 24, 2008, 10:18 AM

Comments (28)

Posted by Former GI, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 24, 2008 at 11:08 am

The following data lists the US Military Casualties over the past three decades:
----
US Military Casualties:
Web Link
----
As tragic as the loss of any member of the US Armed Forces is, consider the following statistics: The annual fatalities of military members while actively serving in the armed forces from 1980 through 2006:

>> 1980 ......... 2,392
>> 1981 ......... 2,380
>> 1984 ......... 1,999
>> 1988 ......... 1,819
>> 1989 ......... 1,636
>> 1990 ......... 1,508
>> 1991 ......... 1,787
>> 1992 ......... 1,293 ---------------------------
>> 1993 ......... 1,213
>> 1994 ......... 1,075
>> 1995 ......... 2,465
>> 1996 ......... 2,318 Clinton years @13,417 deaths
>> 1997 ......... 817
>> 1998 ......... 2,252
>> 1999 ......... 1,984 ---------------------------
>> 2000 ......... 1,983
>> 2001 ......... 890
>> 2002 ......... 1,007 7 BUSH years @9,016 deaths
>> 2003 ......... 1,410
>> 2004 ......... 1,887
>> 2005 ......... 919
>> 2006 ......... 920 ---------------------------
=======

There were over 3,000 GIs killed at Perl Harbor, and over 10,000 killed on D-day alone. Wars are not very nice things.

Looking at the numbers of military casualties shows that training accidents and other reasons generally claim 1-2,000 GIs a year when the nation is a peace.

The casualties have been very, very modest in Iraq and Afghanistan. Rather than trying to malign the US Military, the Weekly should be passing along this sort of information--helping its readers to keep these matters in context.


Posted by "No" to PPJC, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Mar 24, 2008 at 11:18 am

Former GI--you need to consider the writer of the original article and where his sympathies lie and you will understand the lack of context (of course, the writer will say he is just reporting an event)


Posted by Don Kazak, Palo Alto Weekly columnist
on Mar 24, 2008 at 11:28 am

Don Kazak is a registered user.

Just to correct a fact: There were 1,465 Americans killed on D-Day, not 10,000. The latter figure is for all Allied (American, British and Canadian) killed, wounded and missing.


Posted by Jim H, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 24, 2008 at 11:53 am

Freedom hurts - and it has a price. But the brave men and women who risk their lives away from their families and friends deserve our total and complete support.

While the "candlelight vigil" purports to support the troops lost in the current conflict, I can't help but think it's another tactic by the "anti-war" activists to drum up interest in their own, selfish, ignorant cause.

This country is great because we have the courage and the strength to say "NO" to the Hitlers, the Husseins, the Bin Ladens -- and we're willing to stand up to them.

Would we be better off if we'd given in to Hitler (after all, that battle cost hundreds of thousands of U.S. lives)? Japan?

"Peace" is a relative term. In World War II, "peace" would have meant the acceptance of concentration camps and gas chambers. Today, "peace" means acceptance of airplanes crashing into the World Trade Center.

Personally, I'm not willing to accept that definition. We are strong; we are willing to be strong --- and we continue to need to show the rest of the world how strong we are.

It's the men and women of the U.S. Military who prove that to the world. Let's thank them for what they're doing, and mourn the deaths of those who sacrifice all for our freedom. Let's not use that to add support to an ill-informed minority that doesn't really cherish it's freedom.

A "candlelight vigil" should celebrate the lives and accomplishments of those who selflessly gurantee our freedoms.


Posted by No to PPJC, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Mar 24, 2008 at 12:02 pm

All one has to do is go to the websites of the organizations who are sponsoring this "vigil" and I think that it will become clear where their sympathies lie.
This is just another self-serving rally from people who are sorry that Saddam Hussein was defeated and support acts of terrorism by Hamas and Hezbollah.
There are better and more honorable ways to support those that have made the ultimate sacrifice


Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 24, 2008 at 1:09 pm

The liberation of Iraq has come at a relatively low cost, in blood and treasure. As "Former GI" demonstrates, the KIA is indistinguishable from a peacetime military.

As a percentage of national wealth, the treasure spent on Iraq is miniscule, compared to WWII or Korea or Vietnam.

The USA, and Bush, has much to be proud of for eliminating Saddam, instead of listening to the appeasement crowd (as was done in the 30's).

Having been a cheerleader for the failed petition, at Stanford, to ban Rumsfeld, Don Kazak is now pushing another far-left cause. Folks, this is NOT journalism. It is propaganda.


Posted by Paul, a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 24, 2008 at 1:26 pm

Can somebody tell me why our government chose to liberate Iraq and not Cuba, a Communist country 90 miles from our shores?


Posted by dollar hegemony, a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Mar 24, 2008 at 1:36 pm

Paul, the war in Iraq was so countries would not switch to the Euro as they saw the dollar collapsing. All the oil is in the Middle East, this is why the U.S. is there.

In November 2000 Saddam Hussein demanded Euros for his oil. His arrogance was a threat to the dollar; his lack of any military might was never a threat. At the first cabinet meeting with the new administration in 2001, as reported by Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, the major topic was how we would get rid of Saddam Hussein-- though there was no evidence whatsoever he posed a threat to us. This deep concern for Saddam Hussein surprised and shocked O'Neill.

It now is common knowledge that the immediate reaction of the administration after 9/11 revolved around how they could connect Saddam Hussein to the attacks, to justify an invasion and overthrow of his government. Even with no evidence of any connection to 9/11, or evidence of weapons of mass destruction, public and congressional support was generated through distortions and flat out misrepresentation of the facts to justify overthrowing Saddam Hussein.

There was no public talk of removing Saddam Hussein because of his attack on the integrity of the dollar as a reserve currency by selling oil in Euros. Many believe this was the real reason for our obsession with Iraq. I doubt it was the only reason, but it may well have played a significant role in our motivation to wage war. Within a very short period after the military victory, all Iraqi oil sales were carried out in dollars. The Euro was abandoned.

In 2001, Venezuela's ambassador to Russia spoke of Venezuela switching to the Euro for all their oil sales. Within a year there was a coup attempt against Chavez, reportedly with assistance from our CIA.

After these attempts to nudge the Euro toward replacing the dollar as the world's reserve currency were met with resistance, the sharp fall of the dollar against the Euro was reversed. These events may well have played a significant role in maintaining dollar dominance.

It's become clear the U.S. administration was sympathetic to those who plotted the overthrow of Chavez, and was embarrassed by its failure. The fact that Chavez was democratically elected had little influence on which side we supported.

Now, a new attempt is being made against the petrodollar system. Iran, another member of the "axis of evil," has announced her plans to initiate an oil bourse in March of this year. Guess what, the oil sales will be priced Euros, not dollars.

Most Americans forget how our policies have systematically and needlessly antagonized the Iranians over the years. In 1953 the CIA helped overthrow a democratically elected president, Mohammed Mossadeqh, and install the authoritarian Shah, who was friendly to the U.S. The Iranians were still fuming over this when the hostages were seized in 1979. Our alliance with Saddam Hussein in his invasion of Iran in the early 1980s did not help matters, and obviously did not do much for our relationship with Saddam Hussein. The administration announcement in 2001 that Iran was part of the axis of evil didn't do much to improve the diplomatic relationship between our two countries. Recent threats over nuclear power, while ignoring the fact that they are surrounded by countries with nuclear weapons, doesn't seem to register with those who continue to provoke Iran. With what most Muslims perceive as our war against Islam, and this recent history, there's little wonder why Iran might choose to harm America by undermining the dollar. Iran, like Iraq, has zero capability to attack us. But that didn't stop us from turning Saddam Hussein into a modern day Hitler ready to take over the world. Now Iran, especially since she's made plans for pricing oil in Euros, has been on the receiving end of a propaganda war not unlike that waged against Iraq before our invasion.


Posted by dollar hegemony, a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Mar 24, 2008 at 1:38 pm

Gary, what is a life worth to you? Is a life measured in terms of dollars? Is a life measured in terms of how much oil you can consume to drive your car? Is this why you support the war in Iraq?


Posted by a, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Mar 24, 2008 at 1:41 pm

Republicans are quick to say abortion should be outlawed to protect and unborn child's life, yet are so quick to send young men and women to death in illegal and immoral wars fought over greed and power.


Posted by Former GI, a resident of another community
on Mar 24, 2008 at 2:10 pm

> Republicans are quick to say abortion should be outlawed
> to protect and unborn child's life, yet are so quick to
> send young men and women to death in illegal and immoral
> wars fought over greed and power.

WWI was not a war that really threatened America or Americans. Woodrow Wilson was a democrat intellectual. Any idea why Wilson (the Democrat) got involved in this conflict?

And then there was WWII. Roosevelt--A Democrat.

And then there was Korea. Truman--A Democrat.

And then there was Vietnam. Kennedy and Johnson--Democrats.

The only "Republican Wars" have been GWI and GWII--with very few casualties in both cases.

History doesn't seem to support the claim of "blood thirsty Republicans".


Posted by Garibaldi, a resident of another community
on Mar 24, 2008 at 2:16 pm

Sounds to me that Former GI is refuting the long held republican claim that the Democrats were soft when it came to national defence.
Actually if you look at WWII, Korea and Vietnam--the party that held the White House is irrelevant--we were attacked to get us into WWII, Korea and Vietnam were fought in response to the "threat" of communism. I do not think it really would have mattered who was in the White House.


Posted by E PLURIBUS UNUM, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 24, 2008 at 2:33 pm




the veterans nor their families want this false vigil.

It is planned under false flag by people who are traitors to the USA



Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 24, 2008 at 2:40 pm

The liberation of a nation from a Stalinist dictator, when it is in our own, and the Western world's interests, should be celebrated, not castigated. Appeasement, in the face of a Hitler or Stalin or Mao or Pol Pot or Castro...only brings on heartache and immorality and slavery, later on.

Paul, therefore, I agree with you, to a degree. JFK should have offered support during the Bay of Pigs invasion, by the forces of freedom. You are right. However, JFK was a young and inexperienced and an arrogant rich guy, and he got it wrong. He brought on the Cuban missle crisis and almost got a lot of us slaughtered. He escaped by the skin of his teeth, by promising a non-invasion agrreeement, along with a pullout of missles from Turkey. Shame on him. BTW, he lost, and Kruschev won, despite the fairy tales that are told about the affair.

The Iraq invasion was not about the Euro vs. the dollar or blood for oil (except in the most general sense that the U.S. has a vital national interest in the Middle East, becasue of oil). It was about holding Saddam to his promises, after he was defeated in the Gulf War. He had no intention of doing so, and he tried to assasinate GHWB. He violated numerous UN resolutions. He had, and used WMD. GWB would have been derelict of his duty to ignore the possibility of Saddam slipping some WMD to Al Qaeda, following 9/11.

More impoartantly, a victory for a democratic Iraq would be a HUGE defeat for Al Qaeda and other jihadists. In the opposite sense, a defeat of a democratic Iraq, by a premature pullout of U.S. troops, including time tables not approved by commanders on the ground, would be a HUGE victory for Al Qaeda.

Make a choice.... Feel lucky?


Posted by Paul, a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 24, 2008 at 3:29 pm

Gary, Gary, Gary. Always living in the way far past. We all know how Kennedy humiliated Khrushchev, and the Soviet Union never directly challenged the US again as it lurched and stumbled to its ultimate collapse under Bush 41. The Bay of Pigs was a feint, a gambit that Comrade K. fell for hook line and sinker, and he lost big time.

So why didn't the Bush administration, totally gung ho on taking out dictators and making the world safe for democracy like Wilson, finish the job and clean out Castro, 90 miles away? Was inexperienced and arrogant rich guy Bush not up to this task either?

Iraq is a HUGE victory for Al Qaeda right here and now. It's firmly established where Saddam would never let it get started. Right there in Bush's Iraq.

And I haven't even asked about North Korea and the nucular WMDs it keeps waving right under George's and Condi's noses (real WMDs, not the imaginary Iraqi WMDs some people would like us to forget about). I know, Bush is now trying to buy (appease) Kim out.


Posted by Former GI, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 24, 2008 at 3:32 pm

> Sounds to me that Former GI is refuting the long held
> republican claim that the Democrats were soft when
> it came to national defence.

The Democrats have tilted very left since 1970--so the "long held" belief is only about 40 years in the making.


Posted by dollar hegemony, a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Mar 24, 2008 at 3:42 pm

You wrote: "in the most general sense that the U.S. has a vital national interest in the Middle East, becasue of oil"

Key word - vital, i.e. our economy, our way of life, our profligate existance all based on oil. The middle east poses the biggest threat to our "vital national interest", i.e. the American profligate way of life, because if those countries decide to abandon the dollar and switch to much stronger currency like the Euro, that spells end game for the U.S. because then we'd finally actually have to pay for all that we've borrowed.

This is why we are in Iraq, not in North Korea where they really do have weapons of mass destruction.


Posted by Paul, a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 24, 2008 at 3:48 pm

That leftie lean included George McGovern, veteran of 35 B-24 combat missions in WWII. What's wrong with that?


Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 24, 2008 at 3:51 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Paul, a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 24, 2008 at 3:53 pm

dollar hegemony may be on to something. But shouldn't we be invading the King of OPEC, Saudi Arabia, about that. They also supply 9/11 hijackers.


Posted by Paul, a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 24, 2008 at 3:55 pm

I went to Catholic school, Gary.

JFK fooled you too, huh? All these years.


Posted by dollar hegemony, a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Mar 24, 2008 at 3:58 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Former GI, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 24, 2008 at 4:02 pm

> That leftie lean included George McGovern, veteran of
> 35 B-24 combat missions in WWII.

A young person's participation in WWII is not necessarily indicative of his politics, or his future politics. Almost everyone was in the Military, or working for the Military, during WWII. While McGovern's participation as a bomber pilot was notable, there were tens of thousands of bomber pilots who returned to civilian life and did not turn "left" as did McGovern.

Did McGovern oppose Vietnam because of his 35 missions in WWII, so that we find that McGovern also opposed our involvement in that war? Did McGovern support the Vietnamese communists' vision of a Marxist "paradise" over that of a Western-style democracy? Did McGovern believe that the US Constitutional-style government was not as effective as, say, one of the many Marxist-style governments which were operating the time. What did McGovern have to say about Pol Pot? Did he condemn Pol Pot and his people?



Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 24, 2008 at 4:08 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 24, 2008 at 4:20 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by dollar hegemony, a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Mar 24, 2008 at 4:28 pm

Well then, Gary, war for oil is justified. Blood for dollars is righteous.


Posted by E PLURIBUS UNUM, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 24, 2008 at 4:32 pm




400,000+ people in USA died last year from tobacco smoking related illnesses.

That is 2 MILLION lives lost in USA from smoking in the last 5 years compared with 4 THOUSAND USA lives in Iraq



Why dont these people have a continuous vigil about SMOKING if they are REALLY concerned about saving American lives?


But they are not concerned with American lives, they want to promote their anti-American propoganda








Posted by Jim H, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 24, 2008 at 4:42 pm

Former GI -

You said, "A young person's participation in WWII is not necessarily indicative of his politics, or his future politics."

Yet another reason to respect our Military men and women. Who cares what they'll think in 30 years? They're heroes right now.

My Dad flew bombers in WWII over the South Pacific. He turned out to be a life-long Democrat. Somehow, after 4 years at U.C. Berkeley, I turned into a life-long Republican. Yet, we agreed about some things. One - and maybe the most important - was that we continue a national defense to protect us against those (and there are many), who would destroy us and our way of life.

I've read in these posts about "Comrade K". I was in elementary school at the time - diving under plywood desks in drills to "protect" us in case of Russian nuclear attack (like 1/2 inch of plywood was going to help). But a whole bunch of guys flying B52s convinced him to back down.

A couple of years ago, in Moscow, I visited "Comrade K"'s grave. It was an emotional moment - standing at the grave of the man who had terrorized me, and most of America, years ago. It wasn't like being near the Nikita who banged his shoe, and said that he'd bury us. I felt that I was near the Khrushchev who had lost big time - to the guys flying the B52's and the government that had the resolve to put them in the air.

Just like the "cold war", we can't afford to lose this one. And, it's the people in uniform who will ensure that we don't.

I don't like seeing our men and women in uniform being used as pawns in a political struggle. We're where we are today because of them, and we'll be successful because of them. They deserve our respect, and our thanks.


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