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There were so many casualties during the last decade they can’t all be listed – but here are some of the most important in a heavily U.S.-centric list, in no particular order:

R.I.P.: DEMOCRACY passed away in Florida, taking big chunks of the Constitution with it. As the debacle of the Bush/Gore election dragged on for weeks, the very foundations of the Republic seemed at risk. Our political system was exposed as a crass, corrupt, greedy, and incompetent morass of conflicting agendas and cutthroat strategy and tactics. It has yet to recover, if it ever can. Repression of democracy continues in places like Pakistan with the Benezir Bhutto assassination, in Burma where opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi remains under perpetual arrest, in Iran where anti-government protesters have been killed in the streets, arrested and executed, or simply “disappeared”, and in dozens of other authoritarian countries around the world.

R.I.P.: THE DOT-COM ERA at one time the most spoken phrase in the world, “dot-com” is a depressing chant of failure and disillusionment today. The fantasy that you could make a fortune by essentially providing nothing in the way of product or service died hard, and took a number of companies big and small with it. The only survivors of the “Dot-Com Bubble” were companies like Amazom.com, that actually offered something to consumers.

R.I.P.: VICTIMS OF TERRORISM in New York, At the Pentagon, and in the skies over Pennsylvania, and around the world. A relative handful of fanatic individuals, armed with nothing more than box cutters, showed us just how vulnerable we are. That revelation continues to unfold today as we bluster and blunder our way through Afghanistan, Iraq, and a continuing nightmare of foreign policy disasters.

R.I.P.: NEW ORLEANS’ POOR when hurricane Katrina destroyed the levees that protected the city from the sea. After three hellish days with no help from the outside world, survivors were dispersed to nearby states, camps, and impromptu government trailer parks (where some still languish today). While the rebuilding of New Orleans’ historic and lucrative commercial districts is complete, and the city’s upper-and-middle-income residential districts are once again thriving, the poorer neighborhoods still face challenges. Around the world tsunami, earthquakes, floods, famine, and drought continue to take their toll. The crisis of global climate change grows worse by the day as political factions continue to argue over its existence.

R.I.P.: SADAAM HUSSEIN proving it wasn’t all bad.

R.I.P.: AMERICAN GLOBAL STANDING as a victim of the arrogant, incompetent, and just plain insulting foreign policy of the Bush administration. From “Freedom Fries” to the Merkel back-rub, it was just one boot-marked cow pie after another.

R.I.P.: THE WORLD ECONOMY driven into the ground by corporate greed, political indifference and collusion, and just plain stupidity. We will be wearing bandages and band-aids for years  to come. It seems the developing nations of the world were hurt the least, mainly because they already had so much less to lose.

R.I.P.: CIVILIAN AND MILITARY CASUALTIES OF WAR never have so many given so much to gain so little.

R.I.P.: ???? leave a comment to add your own casualties to the list.