Sept. 10, 2004 – Amid innumerable Iraqi casualties, the Pentagon announced this week that the 1,000th American soldier had been killed in the 18-month-long war of invasion and occupation in Iraq.
Although the milestone was a lead story in North American media, American soldiers on the ground in Iraq tended to downplay the figure. Captain Gregory Wingard, of the 1st Infantry Division in Baqouba, went so far as to contrast it to Iraqi deaths. He told Agence France-Presse, "Sad as it is for those 1,000 families and their friends, they're nothing to the number of Iraqis that get killed trying to defend their own families."
There is no such will on the part of the Pentagon to quantify the mounting Iraqi casualty rate, but a conservative estimate culled from worldwide media reports by the organization Iraq Body Count indicates that the Iraqi noncombatant death toll is nearly 12,000. Even less specific figures based on US estimates suggest the deaths of Iraqi soldiers during the invasion, and resistance fighters since, have far surpassed 40,000.