Safe As Houses IIa

The massive bomb that killed 14 Marine Reserve troops from Ohio earlier this month has made August 2005 — not even half over — the deadliest month so far for National Guard and Reserve troops in Iraq.

Only a month ago,, the Pentagon officer in charge of National Guard forces — Lt. Gen. Steven Blum — held a breakfast meeting with defense reporters to tell them that media exaggeration of the dangers faced by Guardsmen was the reason recruiting goals weren’t being met. He asserted that Iraq duty isn’t that dangerous, saying “I lose, unfortunately, more people through private automobile accidents and motorcycle accidents over the same period of time.”

As our comparison showed at the time, that statement could only be possible if the vehicular fatality rate for Guardsmen was at least three times higher than for the general population of the US, or 250% higher than that of a multi-year study of regular Army vehicle fatalities.