Military: 2,000 Dead an Artificial Mark

Team Infidel

Forum Spin Doctor
BAGHDAD, Iraq - (AP) As U.S. military deaths in Iraq approached
2,000 on Tuesday, the chief spokesman for the American-led multinational
force called on reporters covering the conflict not to look at the event as
a milestone.
U.S. Army Lt. Col. Steve Boylan, director of the force's combined
press center, described the number as an "artificial mark on the wall."
"I ask that when you report on the events, take a moment to think
about the effects on the families and those serving in Iraq," Boylan said in
an e-mail. "The 2,000 service members killed in Iraq supporting Operation
Iraqi Freedom is not a milestone. It is an artificial mark on the wall set
by individuals or groups with specific agendas and ulterior motives."
The U.S. military on Tuesday announced the deaths of two Marines
killed in fighting with insurgents last week in Baghdad. Their deaths raised
to 1,999 the number of members of the U.S. military killed since the war
started in March 2003, according to an AP count.
"The 2,000th Soldier, Sailor, Airman, or Marine that is killed in
action is just as important as the first that died and will be just as
important as the last to die in this war against terrorism and to ensure
freedom for a people who have not known freedom in over two generations,"
Boylan wrote.
He complained that the true milestones of the war were "rarely
covered or discussed," and said they included the troops who had volunteered
to serve, the families of those that have been deployed for a year or more,
and the Iraqis who have sought at great risk to restore normalcy to their
Boylan said they included Iraqis who sought to join the security
forces and had became daily targets for insurgent attacks at recruiting
centers, those who turned out to vote in the constitutional referendum, and
those who chose to risk their lives by joining the government.
"Celebrate the daily milestones, the accomplishments they have
secured and look to the future of a free and democratic Iraq and to the day
that all of our troops return home to the heroes welcome they deserve,"
Boylan wrote.