File Under: Won't Be Mentioned On 09/11/06
Here's a not-so-fun fact: The number of U.S. troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan has already surpassed the death toll of 9/11.
On Sunday -- while Americans (and this site) enjoyed a long weekend of drinking booze and grilling meats -- the "War on Terror" military toll reached 2,974 and then kept right on going. In three separate attacks across Iraq, six U.S. soldiers were shot dead or blown up. A seventh soldier suffered a "non hostile" death.
The official death toll of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks was 2,973.
More strange and terrible factoids after the jump.
Only two weeks ago, there was nervous speculation that America's losses in Iraq and Afghanistan would surpass the iconic 9/11 death toll on September 11.
This would've been one of those "Lincoln had a secretary named Kennedy, and Kennedy had a secretary named Lincoln" ironies, but in this case nearly 6,000 people died horrible, violent deaths -- not to mention the 50,000 or so Iraqis and Afghans who had the misfortune of living in democracy's path.
But U.S. troops were killed at a faster pace than expected, which spared the White House and Congress from an uncomfortable irony spoiling next week's patriotic Death Day celebrations.
There are 145,000 U.S. troops in Iraq today. 145,000! And this month, the Iraq War has officially lasted longer than America's war against the Nazis.
The war in Afghanistan has now dragged on longer than the American Civil War, the Korean War, the War of 1812, the Spanish-American war and America's involvement in World War I and World War II.
Domestically, the death toll from 9/11 and Katrina surpasses that of any attack in American history and any natural disaster except for the Galveston hurricane of 1900!
American deaths in Iraq, Afghan wars approach 9/11 toll [Hearst Newspapers]