Matthew Yglesias, the blogger from the Atlantic Monthly, had referred to Iraq last month as being “less-spectacularly violent”. But by annual estimates, in fact, Iraq has seen more US casualties in 2007 than any other year. 2006, which is typically thought of as “the bloodiest year” for Americans, had about 800 US deaths. According to this interactive casualty graph from NPR, 2007 had around 900 US deaths, making 2007 the bloodiest year for American soldiers in Iraq.
Now, in his entry Yglesias pointed out that while “less” violent, Iraq still has an enormous refugee problem which has been washed over by many analysts. Yet that he had succumbed to the media’s impression that Iraq had been “less spectacularly violent” seems to have been a wrong or at least a misled impression. Though US deaths in October, November and December were back down to 2003 levels, the year as a whole has been more spectacularly violent. The fact that 2007 has now surpassed 2006 as “the bloodiest year”, alas, has gotten very little coverage.