The hot button issue, other than Mark Foley's appropriately poor grammar and spelling on IM, is the results of a John Hopkins study of the number of deaths directly attributable to the US-led war in Iraq. Their figure:
The precision of this figure is a bit misleading since the margin of error in the study (at the 95% confidence level) is plus or minus 250,000 people! But I'll be damned if 645,965 doesn't lend itself to a much more convincing argument. If these guys are right on the money, we've wiped out 2.5% of the population, which is not no mention those injured, maimed, blinded, sterilized, and otherwise damaged but living.
As for American troops - 2753 have lost their lives while an additional 20,687 were wounded. That's more than 7 wounded for each fatality. Let's use this to estimate the wounded Iraqis...7 times 650,000 is...4.5 million. Not exactly sound science here, but that means 1 in 5 Iraqis walks with a limp.
In any case, the number presented by the study has not been accepted by the Bush administration, the Blair administration, the CIA World Factbook (who refuses to update its population figures), Iraqbodycount.org, or anyone living south of Socorro. Why not embrace these numbers? If these guys are right, then we're kicking a lot more ass over there than previously thought. So much ass, in fact, that for every dead American soldier there are 236 dead Iraqis.
Conclusion: Every Marine and Army grunt over there is a freakin' superhero. Let's give these guys some credit! At this rate even if Rumsfeld gets rehired by Jeb in 2008, we could still be out of Iraq by 2016 when 15% of Iraq's population is gone and there are no able bodied men left to serve in the Insurgency because every last one of them has already been injured.