Democrats are appalled --- appalled, I say! --- by that number.
Now, I personally think that one unnecessary death is one unnecessary death too many. As one who obtained official status as a conscientious objector when I was called by my draft board in 1974 (shortly before the draft was abolished), no one with any brains would accuse me of being a warmongering ultraconservative.
However, I'd like to point out some inconvenient truths (to borrow Al Gore's phrase) which Democrats would prefer to gloss over or ignore.
- The total number of Americans killed during the Iraq war is roughly equivalent to the average number of unborn children killed in abortion clinics every single day of the year. (In an excellent article about how African Americans have been sold down the river by the Democratic party, Rev. Clinard Childress writes, "Each day, 1452 African Americans are murdered by abortion. 4,000 children over all.") Hey, Democrats, how about a sense of proportion? Is that asking too much?
- Unlike the aforementioned unborn children, most of the Americans killed in Iraq had a choice about whether or not to put themselves in harm's way, and most of them were well equipped to defend themselves.
- Unlike the aforementioned unborn children (many of whom have been killed for reasons which could only be described as frivolous), the Iraqi war was initiated at least partially for the purpose of deposing an incontestably evil dictator who was oppressing his own people. One may legitimately question whether the circumstances met the criteria of St. Augustine's "just war," but regardless, there is a world of difference between killing people in order to depose a leader who is guilty of gassing his own people to death and killing an unborn child because having a child would interfere with one's career plans.
- Very few Democrats are the pacifists they'd like you to think they are. With the notable exception of Mr. Obama, most Democratic leaders (including Hillary) voted to go to war. They now claim that they were deceived into doing so. Hey, since when are congressmen and senators incapable of conducting their own independent investigations? If they conducted such investigations and found nothing to persuade them to vote against the war, then how can they claim that they were deceived? If they found evidence that there were no actual weapons of mass destruction, and if they went ahead and voted to go to war anyway, then doesn't that make them even worse than President Bush and Colin Powell? If they didn't even bother to conduct their own research into the matter, then doesn't that just make them lazy and irresponsible? Any way that you look at it, it's utterly specious to claim that the Iraq war is solely a Republican war. The Democratic party bears a fair amount of the blame for the 4,000 deaths cited by RedEye. Therefore, it is irrational to base one's political affiliation on one's perception that this is somehow "Bush's war".
That's particularly true of Barack Obama (notwithstanding his mild-mannered public demeanor). Not only is he extremely pro-choice when it comes to abortion, but he has even refused to endorse Illinois legislation which had the sole purpose of prohibiting infanticide, and which was written in such a way as to specifically limit the scope of that legislation to the killing of babies after they had been born.
What's particularly ironic is that many of the people now backing Obama are the same people whose denunciations of American soldiers during the Vietnam war included claims that our troops were "baby killers". Back then, they seemed to believe that killing babies was morally wrong and repugnant. Sadly, they seem to have changed their minds about that idea. Either that, or they're ignorant about what Obama really stands for.
John McCain might not be my first choice as President of the United States, since I would have preferred Alan Keyes or Mike Huckabee. But McCain is still a far better choice than anyone the Democrats currently offer to the American public.
UPDATE: McCain's choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate speaks very well for him indeed.