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 USATODAY USA TODAY Top News by AGreenRoad

BREAKING: 'Mass casualty situation' in plane crash at air show in Reno


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Posted: Sep 16, 2011 6:22pm
Mar 26, 2011
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Posted: Mar 26, 2011 9:22am
Sep 6, 2007

I'm John Bruhns and I served in Baghdad as an army sergeant for the first year of the war. Within my first days there, I realized that so much of what I had been told—about weapons of mass destruction, connections to 9/11—was just White House spin to sell the war.

I'm seeing the same thing all over again now. Even with this being the bloodiest summer for US troops in Iraq, even with Iraqi casualties running at twice the pace of last year, and even with 15 of 18 of President Bush's own benchmarks unmet, the White House is at it again. They're telling us that black is white, up is down, and things in Iraq are going just great thanks to the troop "surge."

This month Congress is going to vote on war policy for the next year—and Bush is hoping all this "progress" talk will scare Congress away from voting for withdrawal. We can't let that happen. Almost 4,000 US troops have died. We've spent half a trillion dollars in Iraq. Every day you turn on the news and more people are killed. We need Congress to stand up and fight to bring our troops home this fall.

I need your help to make sure that happens. Can you sign this petition demanding that Congress begin a fully funded redeployment and start bringing our troops home from Iraq immediately? I'll deliver your comments to Congress myself next week. Clicking below will add your name:

I left Iraq on February 27, 2004 and from what I hear from my friends who are still there—many on their third or fourth deployments—it's worse now than ever before. The "surge" was a failure and it's time to draw down our troops.

This president can't be trusted, his policy is reckless and it's more and more dangerous every day.

Here's what's happened in Iraq since the escalation went into effect.

  • Violence has gone up in Iraq. This summer is on track to be one of the bloodiest summers for Iraqis and U.S. troops, with nearly twice as many U.S. troops killed this July than the previous July. 1
  • The surge has not created political stability. The central premise of the surge was that it would increase political stability. Two years after Sunnis were brought into the political transition, a Sunni bloc withdrew from the government. 2 This week's original Government Accountability Office report showed that 15 out of 18 of Bush's own political benchmarks remain unmet. 3
  • We've poured weapons into Iraq's civil war. Another Government Accountability Office report earlier this summer showed that the Pentagon lost track of nearly 200,000 weapons given to Iraqis. We distribute weapons and then they disappear and we don't know what happens to them. What we do know is that violence increases—both among Iraqi sectarian groups and against American troops. 4
  • Ethnic cleansing is happening in Baghdad. The once Sunni dominated city is now dominated by Shiites. Here is a quote from the most recent Newsweek: "When Gen. David Petraeus goes before Congress next week to report on the progress of the surge, he may cite a decline in insurgent attacks in Baghdad as one marker of success. In fact, part of the reason behind the decline is how far the Shiite militias' cleansing of Baghdad has progressed: they've essentially won." 5

As an Iraq war veteran I felt so much relief after the November of 2006 election—I felt like we would finally end this mess and start bringing our troops home from Iraq. I've been let down a lot over this last year and I want to do everything I can to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Congress has the power to force redeployment and they have to use that power this fall. Nothing is more important to me than making sure we start bringing all our troops home—and I need your help to make sure that's what happens.

Please sign the petition today.

Thanks for all you do.

–John Bruhns, former US Army Infantry Sergeant.
  Wednesday, September 5th, 2007


1. "Diplomatic Surge for Iraq, But New Steps Require Credible Redeployment Plan for U.S. Forces," Center for American Progress, August 9, 2007

2. Ibid

3. "Report Finds Little Progress On Iraq Goals," Washington Post, August 30, 2007

4. "Stabilizing Iraq," United States Goverment Accountability Office, July 2007

5. "Baghdad's New Owners," Newsweek, September 10, 2007

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Posted: Sep 6, 2007 8:54am
Jun 12, 2006
In previous wars, US casualties were counted as both dead and injured, mentally ill due to war, physically ill due to war causes and those missing in action.  This was true counting of casualties of war. Casualty figures included all those that left the field of battle other than those rotating out.

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a casualty as "a military person lost through death, wounds, injury, sickness, internment or capture or through being missing in action." This is the official definition of casualties, but these casualties are not included in the Pentagon's casualty reports. That's odd.  Why are casualties no longer being counted, except for a small slice of the total number of US dead, which is just those killed in direct hostile action? Those killed in accidents are not counted as injuries or dead. Why not?



In Iraq,  casualties of war according to the Pentagon are only the US soldiers killed in hostile fire and officially dead, according to the Pentagon. Could it be that they are covering up this figure as well? The 5,000 very smart Pentagon think tankers have reframed the war to make it look MUCH better, by taking out the number of injured and trying to avoid mentioning anything else. Even then, they do not count certain injured soldiers, much less journalists or others killed or injured while in Iraq.



"119,247 service members who fought in Iraq or Afghanistan -- and are now off duty -- are receiving health care from the V.A. Presumably, some of those health problems are unrelated to the war." How many of these are related to wars? Probably almost all of them in my view…so the military is lying about the true number of casualties and/or only counting a VERY SMALL FRACTION of the true number of casualties.



In previous wars, as well as this one, the Pentagon has consistently tried to cover up and deny those killed or injured, by minimizing or trying to not count anyone, by firing those who tried to count the casualties. Here is one example of many, explaining how an expert was fired in response to trying to give an accurate count of civilian casualties.



Iraqi hospitals stopped counting civilian casualties, due to the overwhelming numbers of dead coming in. Also, if you are counting insurgents compared to civilians, how do you know the difference between a killed insurgent and an innocent civilian killed as “collateral damage”? In the eyes of the Pentagon, all civilians killed are insurgents, because they are “suspects”.



In my view, the US has suffered over 100,000 US soldier casualties in Iraq, not 2,500. The media should count both the injured, mentally disabled, ousted out of the military for whatever reason, the missing as well as the dead. Tell them not to lie.




The military also does not count the dead or injured private security firms hired to be mercenaries, contractors or consultants in Iraq. When these private mercenaries and contractors for hire are killed or injured, no one counts them, as they are not part of the US government forces. They should be counted as casualties too. The 100,000 casualty figure above could probably be doubled, so the real number is actually closer to 200,000 US dead.


Other allies suffer casualties. Their dead and injured are not counted. The Iraqi army is now starting to suffer huge casualties, and they are fighting alongside or in front of US troops.  These troops are also not counted among US dead, also making the war look much better. They are our allies, and should be counted right in there with US troops. Now we can probably double this figure again, to make it 400,000. Who knows, as no one is counting casualties this way. Why not?

Journalists not counted as casualties even though they are killed just like US soldiers, and they are US citizens. Why not?




The atrocity is that the Iraq war looks like a piece of cake, when actually, it is worse than Vietnam, if one looks at the total casualty counts with truth and honor, not lies and deception.

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Posted: Jun 12, 2006 11:06pm


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