Being a history buff I don't see how anyone can say that a conflict that has gone on for 1 1/2 years, had only 1000 killed, liberated a nation from a dictatorial regime and allowed millions to have a shot at a better life without oppression, could be called a catastrophic failure.
Some of the most classic battles throughout history have had significantly more killed in a single day. For instance let's take Hannibal's famous crossing of the alps and incredible victory at Cannae that effectively scared the Romans so bad that they just tried to keep him contained in the Italian peninsula rather than confront him directly again. This battle was between approximately 60,000 Romans and about 40,000 of Hannibals troops.
According to Wikipedia:
The trapped Romans were hemmed in and almost completely slaughtered. Polybius claims that 50,000-60,000 Romans died - including the consul acting as their general and the two men who had served as consuls in the preceding year - 20,000 were captured, and 16,000 escaped (among them the future Scipio Africanus Major). For their part the Carthaginians lost 6,000 men, the Celts and Iberians accounting for about 5,000 of these.
So, depending on your sources probably about 60,000 dead, in one day
Anyone who tells you that 1000 lost in a year and a half in such conditions as our troops are in today is an asshat with no knowledge of history. Sure, I can see their point in looking at these soldiers as individuals and the future contributions they could have made, their families grief and loss. You have to take into consideration the global situation we are facing now.
We are not just facing a cunning Hannibal on a battlefield that is pre-determined, we are attempting to control a whole massive country. The scale of our actions in Iraq alone is incredible.
Those decrying the deaths at the hands of insurgents and others from out of country as a meaningless sacrifice need to think on this a little more. If those willing to die fighting Americans were not doing it in Iraq where would they be doing it? Maybe another country in the area? Maybe in your backyard here in the states? Or maybe they'd have just forgiven America and went home to their families?
James at Outside The Beltway has some historical data on deaths throughout American history in wars. It's sad to see some using the 1000 deaths as a political tool. This is a war against threats to our way of life. Numerous reporters jumped on it immediately and questioned the administration over and over as if the 1000th death was some sort of magical threshold that had been set for completion of the war.
Blog Of War has more at his entry "The Left Celebrates 1000 Dead" (ouch!). Wizbang also puts in two cents.