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Saturday, April 09, 2005

Page A14

Wednesday, 16 people died in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan. Thirteen of them were US soldiers -- and two additional service members are still missing.

In total, 175 American military personnel have died in Afghanistan since war began in October 2001.

The news business is strange. More US troops died Wednesday from the weather-related accident than died during the heavy fighting when the war first began in the last three months of 2001 (12).

Thursday, the Boston Globe covered the accident on page A14.

In Iraq, by the way, US war deaths are nearly 1550 now. Since the Iraqi election, about 1.68 soldiers have died per day. This is a bit more than half the number killed per day in the six months prior to the election (2.93), roughly from the time Iraq regained its sovereignty, and about the same as the number who died (1.89) from the time President Bush declared an end to "major combat operations" through the handover of sovereignty.

By one estimate, more than 17,000 civilians have been killed in Iraq as well.

3000 civilians may have died in Afghanistan.

I'm not sure how to weigh these human costs against "Iraqi freedom" and "Afghan freedom," but it does seem odd that the latest tragedy was made known on page A14.

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