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The War Nerd / July 24, 2008

Here’s another great war graphic, courtesy of Yasha Levine at eXile. This one shows every coalition casualty as a red drop, so like Yasha wrote me, you see this blood rain falling on a map of Iraq as the days click by from the invasion in the spring of 2003 right through 2007. And it really is like rain: first the storm front comes through, up from the Gulf dripping through Basra and up the river valleys all the way to Mosul. But once the occupation settles in—you may remember that was when we were getting out our suntan lotion and expecting fine weather—the rain started falling hard. And like the map shows, the “rain” in Iraq falls mainly on the plain. It’s nothing but red drops, big ones, over Baghdad from start to finish. You’ll notice some other interesting precipitation patterns, like how blood-free Kurdistan is. That’s got to be a first in history, a blood-free Kurdish region. And the Shia towns down toward Basra only get a light pink drizzle too, just because those Sunni suicide bombers figured why waste your last day behind the wheel on a long boring trip down south? Much easier to put the DVD on AC/DC, gun it to a nearby Shia town and ask directions to the nearest religious procession. Since 2003, people don’t really get that holiday feeling in Karbala or Najaf unless there’s the tang of BBQ in the air and the jolly kabooms of Plymouths going up in 500 pounds of ammonium nitrate.

There are cool sound fx with each little drop that splatters too, sort of a click, like a detonator. If you watch the dates zoom by and you know your Iraq timeline, you’ll be ready for a big castanet-solo of clicks when April 2004 rolls around. That was the month we lost 141 troops, and even the yay-sayers almost admitted, for the first time, that OK, maybe it wasn’t just a few of Saddam’s cousins being sore losers.

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