The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Now They’re Gone!

Feb 5, 2007

The Pentagon performed a magic trick on their website at the end of January: They made tens of thousands of casualties seem to disappear.

The Pentagon made the move after a Harvard professor, Linda Bilmes, published an article in the Los Angeles Times including the total of all non-mortal casualties in both wars–over 50,000.

ONE person reporting that high number was too much for the Pentagon–so they just got rid of that number on their website. In its place, they left a lower number, totaling just over 31,000.

The new total does not include wounded soldiers whose injuries the Pentagon considers “minor”–because they were not evacuated out by air.

Poof! They just made over 16,000 casualties disappear–because all of a sudden they decided those casualties weren’t “serious”.

And that doesn’t even count the big under-reporting that’s already going on. The Pentagon has accorded disability status to over 100,000 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans whose illnesses or injuries were diagnosed after they returned stateside; another 50,000 are still waiting. NONE of these soldiers are listed in any of the Pentagon’s casualty lists.

The Pentagon can play all they want with figures–but for all the soldiers injured and made sick in these wars, their suffering is very, very real.