100 British troops dead in Iraq since the beginning of the war. Round numbers are always used as a benchmark by the press these days, such as the 2000th American death a month or so ago. But surely the significant feature about his figure is that it should be so bloody low. There are currently 8,500 British troops in Iraq, mostly in Basra. This is a lower figure than initially when, I believe, some 15-20,000 troops' boots were on the ground. So, 100 deaths in a force that has averaged 10,000 over a three-year period. Can you see where this is going? A mortality rate of 1% during first a war and then a prolonged counter-insurgency operation is not a high attrition rate. Sometimes you get the impression that Benn, Galloway, Milne and the other waxwork bastards from the SWC are desperately disappointed that the figures aren't sufficiently eye-catching.