Purple fingers: the most precise matrix analyzing the cost

Whether you’re cheering the new pictures of voters in the new wire-guided Iraqi democracy, or think they’ll soon be replaced by something far grislier and none of this was worth it, you can all stop arguing about the precise cost. www.icasualties.org tells Fishbowl that as of today, 1,606 soldiers have died there in 684 days, breaking that news down in as fragmented a piece as you can bear to read.

Incidentally, when will major NY papers and wire services stop waiting for official Pentagon excuses about why those helicopters keep crashing over there? You think a Sea Stallion plummets and kills over 30 people because the sand filters on the rotors break down? No, a shoulder-launched missile will do that. icasualties is the only open-source outlet that also cross-references all up-to-the-minute news about what network pundits present weeks later as “shocking new numbers.” Memo to Chris Matthews: They won’t be new by then.