Happy Birthday

Published July 8, 2004 4:17PM (EDT)

The blog Patridiot Watch notes this morning that Tuesday, while being, yes, George W. Bush's birthday, also marked a more somber milestone -- one overlooked in the media focus on John Edwards joining the Democratic ticket that same day. Tuesday brought the death toll for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, since November 2001, to 1,000 U.S. troops. Since Tuesday, six more have died.

If Michael Moore were filming an epilogue for Fahrenheit 9/11, you can imagine video of the Oval Office on Tuesday, when a rendition of "Happy Birthday to you" broke out after a press photo-op, juxtaposed with the statistic that four soldiers died in Al Anbar Province that day, putting the death toll over the 1,000 mark.

The Iraq Coalition Casualty Count is here, showing that in the first seven days of July, 19 American soldiers died. Fifteen of these deaths have been the result of hostile fire. Three hundred and ninety five American soldiers have died in Iraq in 2004. Eight hundred and seventy seven American soldiers have died in Iraq since the war began. One hundred and twenty nine American soldiers have died in Afghanistan since November of 2001.

By Geraldine Sealey

Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at Salon.com.

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