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1,000 Dead: Milestone or Just a Number?

September 09, 2004

Re "U.S. Toll in Iraq Reaches 1,000," Sept. 8: There is nothing magic about the number 1,000. It is not a milestone. It is just a number. It rolls off the tongue smoothly. It's easily remembered. It is a convenience for the press and the television media. The 1,000th death in Iraq is no more significant than the 999th or 1,001st -- or the first. The death of any American serviceman is tragic. Will the media arbitrarily choose 2,000 as the next "milestone"? Why not 1,776?

Bill Gourlay

Westlake Village

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One thousand dead can be viewed as too many, and to their families, it is understandable. But if the terrorists succeed in meeting their goals and a global conflict is the result, then we will see hundreds of thousands of dead Americans and countless hundreds of thousands more worldwide. The war on terrorism must be continued vigorously to avoid a world conflict, even if that means 2,000 dead. Which scenario do you really prefer?

Vince Antonino

Los Angeles

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Of the estimated 11,000 Iraqi fatalities, quite a lot are civilian deaths. Why is it that Americans get so wound up on numbers, but only numbers of "ours"? Imagine if our body count included children and innocents? Americans need to open their minds to the really unpleasant task of compassion.

Rose Keppler

Santa Barbara

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Re "Many Faces, One Heartache," Sept. 7: We lost far too many warriors when we lost just one warrior in a war that can't be won. In a war that is depriving us of our freedoms here in our own land and making the whole world less safe and free -- all for President Bush's personal agenda. Iraq needed liberating but Iraqis never asked for our help. As T.S. Eliot noted, it is treason to do the right thing for all the wrong reasons. Bring our warriors home.

Barbara Robinson

Irvine

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