80,000 and 1.2 million, depending on which study you believe) and the number of wounded Americans (approximately 29, 500) go largely unmentioned.
Junior Bush, now the lamest of lame ducks, has abdicated his responsibility to try and mend the situation, offering nothing new politically or tactically to change the dynamic. Instead, he doggedly insists on maintaining the US military presence through the end of his term, leaving the mess for whoever comes next.
White House mouthpiece Dana Perino marked the occasion of the casualty milestone with this reassurance: "The president feels each and every one of the deaths very strongly and he grieves for their families. He obviously is grieved by the moment but he mourns the loss of every single life." Oh, yeah, Dana, obviously. But, he's also envious, right? Because confronting danger is romantic, remember?
Well, after all, this is a man that has never, never lived up to any of his responsibilities. We'd be fools to expect anything more from him now.
More troubling is the stance taken by madman John McCain. He's on record as saying that he would not be against another 100 years of American military presence in Iraq. He insists that the surge is working, despite the failure of the Iraqi and coalition authorities to establish any kind of political structure, despite the hemorrhaging of US prestige throughout the world.
It is difficult to understand McCain's way of thinking, when you consider that polls show that nearly two-thirds of all Americans think that Junior is mishandling the war, and nearly as many think it was a mistake to ever have invaded.
There's little point in trying to understand McCain's line of thought as regards the war and his presidential ambitions. It's irrelevant. McCain, with his every angry pronouncement and growled oath, indicates that he will continue on as Junior has done.
It all comes back to the neo-conservative movement and their Project for a New American Century. By their way of thinking, the 4000 dead Americans, and the countless dead Iraqis are a necessary expenditure. If the war effort were to collapse in failure, as I believe it inevitably will, the neo-conservative movement, the dream of corporate dominance and unfettered oligarchy would die an ignominious death. It is more important to them to expend human lives to keep that dream alive, at least until they can find someone else to blame for their failure. After all, in that neo-conservative dream, humans are just resources anyway.