Last week the number was five â€” years of the Iraq war. This week the number is 4,000 â€” U.S. deaths so far in that war. As a military spokesman said, each death is â€œequally tragic,â€ lessening the significance of the tally. And, of course, the cost in U.S. lives does not compare with that of Iraqis, 82,000 to 89,000 according to one creditable count. There also are reasons to believe in the surge strategy, which has shown fragile progress in securing Iraq. But as we observed in October 2005, when the 2,000th U.S. death occurred, such milestones raise the question: â€œIs the sacrifice worth it?â€
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