the Disillusioned kid: Hundreds and Thousands
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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Hundreds and Thousands

It must be disheartening for the families of the 61st or 72nd British soldiers to die in Iraq since the invasion in 2003 to compare the coverage afforded to their loved ones against that lavished on the 100th. The commentariat and our political leaders are already competing to outdo each other with their appropriately solemn cliches, while the Dickhead in Chief has chimed in with the requisite chest-beating.

Turns out the poor sod hadn't wanted to go back to Iraq after spending Christmas at home in Aberdeen. The anti-war movement will no doubt pick this up and run with it, but to do so avoids a troubling question: Why inspite of his concerns did Pritchard return to the conflict which would barely a month later claim his life? I don't pretend to have the answer, but if we're serious about ending the occupation of Iraq it behoves us to ask the question.

Those of you wondering just how serious you are about ending the aforementioned occupation would do well to consider the "conservative" estimate of 98,000 excess Iraqi deaths following the invasion in March 2003. An estimate which could be a massive understament of the reality, and which in any case is based on data collected over fifteen months ago.

The Stop the War Coalition have called for protests across the country tomorrow evening as a response to the 100th death. I doubt much'll go down here, but if you're fortunate enough to live somewhere stuff actually happens you might consider showing your face. Alternatively, of course there's the biannual Stop the War national ramble on March 18. Doubtless the war machine is trembling at the very prospect.

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