The toll of peace

I guess it depends on what your definition of “peace” is:

When the 100th U.S. soldier died in combat since President Bush declared victory in Iraq nearly six months ago, the grim statistic laid bare how deadly Iraq has become even after the war.

It also marked the biggest U.S. combat loss in a peacekeeping operation since an ill-fated intervention in the Lebanon conflict 20 years ago. That involvement ended in 1983 after an explosive-laden truck rammed into a U.S. Marines Corps barracks in Beirut, killing 241 servicemen.

Somalia, Kosovo, Panama, Grenada, Afghanistan and the first Gulf war, in which 147 Americans died, have not taken the overall toll on American lives that the present Iraq conflict has exacted.

As well as the 101 soldiers who have died in combat since the war was formally declared over by Bush on May 1, another 97 have died in so-called non-hostile action — accidents, friendly fire, illness and suicides.

In the war itself, 115 U.S. troops died in combat and 23 in non-hostile actions, making a total of 336 dead for U.S. forces since they invaded March 20.

“It’s just frustrating. It’s not traditional warfare, You’ve got no known enemy. No military target,” said Specialist Joshuah Thompson, 23, with the 720th Military Police Battalion in Saddam Hussein’s home town of Tikrit.

“I think the people are ungrateful. They still attack us. We bring them freedom and they’re still trying to kill us.”



Yeah. Like I would tell you....