Iraqi civilian death toll possibly as high as 100,000

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Iraqi civilian death toll possibly as high as 100,000

Postby lukpac » Fri Oct 29, 2004 1:34 pm

The actual numbers could very well be lower, but even half that would still be astounding. Heck, I thought 15,000 was a lot when I did some checking this morning. And even the Washington Times ran a story.

Wasn't getting Saddam out supposed to *help* innocent civilians?

Iraq death toll 'soared post-war'

Poor planning, air strikes by coalition forces and a "climate of violence" have led to more than 100,000 extra deaths in Iraq, scientists claim.

A study published by the Lancet says the risk of death by violence for civilians in Iraq is now 58 times higher than before the US-led invasion.

Unofficial estimates of civilian deaths had varied from 10,000 to over 37,000.

The Lancet admits the research is based on a small sample - under 1,000 homes - but says the findings are "convincing".

Responding to the Lancet article, a Pentagon spokesman defended coalition action in Iraq.

'Precise fashion'

"This conflict has been prosecuted in the most precise fashion of any conflict in the history of modern warfare", he said.

UK foreign secretary Jack Straw said his government would examine the findings "with very great care".

But he told BBC's Today that another independent estimate of civilian deaths was around 15,000.

The Iraq Body Count, a respected database run by a group of academics and peace activists, has put the number of reported civilian deaths at between 14,000-16,000.

The Lancet published research by scientists from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the US city of Baltimore.

They gathered data on births and deaths since January 2002 from 33 clusters of 30 households each across Iraq.

They found the relative risk, the risk of deaths from any cause, was two-and-a-half times higher for Iraqi civilians after the 2003 invasion than in the preceding 15 months.

'Conservative assumptions'

That figure drops to one-and-a-half times higher if data from Falluja - the scene of repeated heavy fighting - is excluded.

Before the invasion, most people died as a result of heart attack, stroke and chronic illness, the report says, whereas after the invasion, "violence was the primary cause of death".

Violent deaths were mainly attributed to coalition forces - and most individuals reportedly killed were women and children.

Dr Les Roberts, who led the study, said: "Making conservative assumptions we think that about 100,000 excess deaths, or more, have happened since the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

"Violence accounted for most of the excess deaths and air strikes from coalition forces accounted for most of the violent deaths."

He said his team's work proved it was possible to compile data on public health "even during periods of extreme violence".

The sample included randomly selected households in Baghdad, Basra, Arbil, Najaf and Karbala, as well as Falluja.

Lancet editor Richard Horton said: "With the admitted benefit of hindsight and from a purely public health perspective, it is clear that whatever planning did take place was grievously in error."

Mr Horton concluded: "For the sake of a country in crisis and for a people under daily threat of violence, the evidence we publish today must change heads as well as pierce hearts."

No official estimate

There is no official estimate of the number of Iraqi civilians who have died since the outbreak of the war in Iraq.

Human rights groups say the occupying powers have failed in their duty to catalogue the deaths, giving the impression that ordinary Iraqis' lives are worth less than those of their soldiers for whom detailed statistics are available.

However, the Pentagon spokesman said "there is no accurate way to validate the estimates of civilian casualties by this or any other organisation".

He added: The loss of any innocent lives is a tragedy, something Iraqi security forces and the Multi-National Force painstakingly work to avoid.

"Former regime elements and insurgents have made it a practice of using civilians as human shields, operating and conducting attacks against coalition forces from within areas inhabited by civilians."
Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/w ... 962969.stm

Published: 2004/10/29 16:09:11 GMT

© BBC MMIV

Civilian toll estimates at 10/04
Iraq Body Count: 14-16,000
Brookings Inst: 10-27,000
UK foreign secretary: >10,000
People's Kifah >37,000
Lancet: >100,000
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Postby krabapple » Fri Oct 29, 2004 2:05 pm

Horrible as these results are, I think it would be important to judge the 'precision' of US actions by comparing the number of civilian deaths here to deaths in comparable wartime situations.

Basically there's stilla war on, after all. So comparing cause of death before a war to cause of death *during* one is rather specious. Should anyone be surprised that more civilians die from violence during a war taking place on their land, than they did during peacetime?

These results seem to me only to speak to the Bush admin stance that the people of Iraq are 'better off' now than they were under Saddam. A key word there , though, is *now*.

It may be that the Lancet authors covered all this; I'd need to see the original.
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Postby Gee Oh Are Tea » Fri Oct 29, 2004 2:09 pm

Some of these numbers have been thrown around for awhile (meaning the 15,000 to 40,000 counts). I'm guessing that because it's seen as being anti-troop or anti-American, the Democrats and the Kerry Campaign haven't seized upon the civilian deaths in Iraq to slam Bush (and possibly appeal to the humanatarian side of undecided voters). We already know that in Republican Math, 30,000 Iraqi deaths are somewhat less than the 3000 that died on 9-11.

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Postby krabapple » Fri Oct 29, 2004 2:17 pm

That may be true, but the math isn't complete without also factoring in the number of people Saddam killed and the number of people the insurgents have killed.

The thing is, Bush did *not* make the humanitarian argument his main cause for going to war, even though it was moved more an dmore to the forefront as his other jsutificaitons collapsed. Fact is, he almost certainly could NOT have gotten the american public to go along with him if, 'we have to stop Saddam from killing his own people' was used as the selling point.
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Postby Gee Oh Are Tea » Fri Oct 29, 2004 2:19 pm

krabapple wrote:Horrible as these results are, I think it would be improtant to judge the 'precision' of US actions by comparing the number of civilian deaths here to deaths in comparable wartime situations.

Basically there's stilla war on, after all. So comparing cause of death before a war to cause of death *during* one is rather specious. Should anyone be surprised that more civilians die from violence during a war taking place on their land, than they did during peacetime?


I'm sure you'll take me to task for this yet again, but this is not a war (in the traditional sense). There was only one army fighting in it. If you can compare it to previous "invasions" and "occupations", I'd be more convinced.

Sorry to play semantics, I know it's being officially called a "war".

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Postby Gee Oh Are Tea » Fri Oct 29, 2004 2:28 pm

krabapple wrote:That may be true, but the math isn't complete without also factoring in the number of people Saddam killed and the number of people the insurgents have killed.



Since there were no insurgents (and never would be) under Saddam, it would be flattering to the US if their kills weren't also added to the US number (since they've only occurred due to the occupation). The insurgents have also mainly targeted parties they see as helpful to the Americans - US army-trained Iraqi police and soldiers (with an additional number of citizens).

I have always been stunned (regardless of the numbers) that the mainstream US public is unemotional or unaware when it comes to the civilian deaths in Iraq (just as they believe that the moon is made out of swiss cheese, they likely believe that the American military has suffered the heaviest casualties in Iraq).

Cliff

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Postby lukpac » Fri Oct 29, 2004 2:37 pm

What Cliff said.

The whole line about "Saddam was bad, he killed his own people, Iraq is better off without him" falls apart as soon as you realize just how many people are dying. I don't have any numbers (if somebody does, please post them), but let's say Saddam killed 1,000 people a year. Hell, even 10,000. Even considering that, weren't the Iraqi people *still* better off than with the number of people that have died in this war?

Any way you slice it this war was a sham. Most of the world knows this. That so many people in the US can't grasp this is really, really scary.
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Postby Rspaight » Fri Oct 29, 2004 3:06 pm

I don't have any numbers (if somebody does, please post them), but let's say Saddam killed 1,000 people a year. Hell, even 10,000.


Actually, it's figured that Saddam killed around 300,000 in his 24 years in power, not including the million-plus casualties from the Iran-Iraq war (in which we of course tacitly supported him).

So, more like 12,500 a year. So we're at least keeping pace.

Iraq, Saddam Hussein (1979-2003): 300,000

Human Rights Watch: "twenty-five years of Ba`th Party rule ... murdered or 'disappeared' some quarter of a million Iraqis" [http://www.hrw.org/wr2k4/3.htm]

8/9 Dec. 2003 AP: Total murders
New survey estimates 61,000 residents of Baghdad executed by Saddam.
US Government estimates a total of 300,000 murders
- 180,000 Kurds k. in Anfal
- 60,000 Shiites in 1991
- 50,000 misc. others executed
"Human rights officials" est.: 500,000
Iraqi politicians: over a million

[These don't include the million or so dead in the Iran-Iraq War.]



In addition, the post-Gulf War UN embargo is estimated to have killed in the neighborhood of 350,000, maybe as many as 1,000,000, which can reasonably be blamed on Saddam:

Iraq International Embargo (1990-): 350 000

According to the 21 March 1998 Times Union (Albany), the UN Food and Agriculture Organization estimated that 1,000,000 Iraqis, incl. 560,000 children, died as a result of malnutrition and disease caused by the international embargo imposed following the invasion of Kuwait. The article mentions the use of these numbers by an official of the United Church of Christ, and also labels the figures "commonly used -- but also disputed".

9 Oct. 2001 Slate "Explainer" acknowledges the possibility of 350,000-500,000 excess deaths among children since 1991, but points out that Saddam blames the UN and the US blames Saddam [http://slate.msn.com/code/explainer/explainer.asp?Show=10/9/2001&idMessage=8414 or http://www.casi.org.uk/discuss/2001/msg00902.html; it's a moving target.]

Ramsey Clark: 1,500,000 including 750,000 children [http://www.twf.org/News/Y1997/Ramsey.html]

UNICEF: 500,000 excess child deaths (under-five) 1991 to 1998 [http://www.unicef.org.uk/index_s.asp?sct=news&filen=../news/iraq1.htm]

6 Aug. 1999 CNN [http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/meast/9908/06/iraq.sanctions/]
- UN: 1M excess deaths
- Al-Thawra newspaper: 1.5M

Project on Defense Alternatives, 20 Oct. 2003: "[T]he sanction regime probably cost the lives of 170,000 children. (Much higher estimates for 1992-1998 sanction deaths ... are based on faulty baseline statistics for prewar childhood mortality in Iraq)." [http://www.comw.org/pda/0310rm8.html#N_93_]


http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat3.htm

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Postby krabapple » Fri Oct 29, 2004 5:14 pm

What Ryan said.

Sorry folks, but one-sided analysis doesn't cut it for me. And I've alrady cast my ballot forr Kerry, btw, so this is no Bush-droid talking.

Let's imagine *if* Bush had done the smart (and very difficult) thing and rallied the world behind an invasion of Iraq, based on humanitarian concerns and (more likely) Hussein's continued attempts to weasel out of the inspections/sanctions. Let's imagine it all went off better than it has, and Iraq was more or less at peace now. We'd all be supporting the now-finished war, grudgingly or not, right?

Now what *if*, as is certainly possible, even with interantional support, there has been an insurgency forming as a result, and two years of excalating violence -- would you still say it was all a mistake?

To me, overthrowing Saddam was a noble goal, and in a way, something it was the US' responsibility to do, having propped up the bastard for years, then fucked over the Kurds when they tried to break him -- -- and as such it was really the only reason I was ever for the war. Even with that , I thgouht it woudl still be a distraction from Afghanistan, and not the right thing to do *at this time* without support.

Then, as the war in Iraq (and it is still a war, GORT, semantic bullshit aside) unfolded, the beef is how we went about it, which made handling the aftermath the utter clusterfuck it's become.


Since there were no insurgents (and never would be) under Saddam, it would be flattering to the US if their kills weren't also added to the US number (since they've only occurred due to the occupation). The insurgents have also mainly targeted parties they see as helpful to the Americans - US army-trained Iraqi police and soldiers (with an additional number of citizens).


It would sicken me if anyone would excuse the murder of Iraqi police and soldier trainees,who are part of en affort to attain a societal norm of security that most western nations take for granted but which was lacking in Iraq for decades, merely because it represents, in the minds of the killers, a tactical blow against the US. I really hope you aren't so far gone into reflexive hatred of the war, or of the USA, to go down that path, GORT.
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Postby Gee Oh Are Tea » Fri Oct 29, 2004 6:18 pm

Krabapple,
As usual, you speak complete sense - sincerely!! I'm not justifying the deaths of the police and the trainees. I was just working with the numbers, and trying to show that these "insurgents" have arisen as a result of the U.S. occupation.

I fully agree with the analysis about the three scenarios of war. If it was a concerted effort and succeeded, we'd all be happy (by "we", I mean the world). If it had failed as a concerted effort, we'd all be concerned. As it happened, with the scumbag Bush Administration leading the way (there is absolutely NOTHING noble about these fuckfaces and their fascist supporters) and his bitch Blair, neo-Nazi Berlosconi, and a bunch of second-rate minor league pay-per-war countries, then we, the world, are ANGRY!!

Where the fuck was the U.S. when the Bosnian Serbs were marching Bosnian Muslims to their graves?? Where the fuck was the U.S. when the Rwandans were hacking each other to death?? (I should add where was ANYBODY in those two cases but since you're hinting at possible humanitarian nobility by the U.S. ...... ).

This war (and I still don't think a war is about bombing a defenseless nation and shooting all of Saddam's lameduck soldiers on the road to Baghdad Airport, but if that makes Americans feel big and strong, then so be it) was all about some folks in the Bush Administration wanting to get rid of Saddam for whatever reason (I really don't know). With 9-11 and knowing how stupid Americans are when it comes to "that part of the world" (I'm sure the inbreds in the Deep South think Iraq and Iran are the same country), they had their chance and took it. No matter what you try to justify, under international law this war was/is illegal.

Personally, I think overthrowing Bush is a noble idea. And while many people are surprised that some Americans still believe Saddam was linked to 9-11, many more would not be surprised that more people in the world think Bush is more evil than Saddam. You see, Saddam killed his own people (as many evil dictators have done - I'm not justifying it). Bush kills foreign people. So what "seems" worse??

By the way, I really do love Americans (like most Canadians and the rest of the world). I also happen to detest your government (like most Canadians and the rest of the rest). Make of it what you will. But unlike Americans, we don't view a life lost on 9-11 as more valuable than a life lost in a bombing run over Fallujah by one of your "heroic troops".

Cliff

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Postby Rspaight » Fri Oct 29, 2004 7:03 pm

Let's imagine *if* Bush had done the smart (and very difficult) thing and rallied the world behind an invasion of Iraq, based on humanitarian concerns and (more likely) Hussein's continued attempts to weasel out of the inspections/sanctions.

Now what *if*, as is certainly possible, even with interantional support, there has been an insurgency forming as a result, and two years of excalating violence -- would you still say it was all a mistake?


Saddam had to go one way or the other. The sanctions were killing people left and right, and (mostly as a result of his own hubris and paranoia) he never would have met the conditions for ending them.

Call me naive, but I think we could have got more countries on board for an invasion if we'd let Blix do his job and waited until fall to move. Instead of deciding to go to war and then trying to sell a justification, the process would have been more natural and logical. And if that involved buying out the French and Russian oil interests, so be it. It would have cost us less in the long run. And, with more allies (including Arab allies as with the Gulf War), we *might* have got him into exile. Not likely, but not impossible.

Plus, we pulled out of Afghanistan way too early. We needed to finish the job there. As it was, it was nakedly obvious that Bush was using 9/11 as an excuse to invade Iraq, not invading Iraq as part of a well-conceived anti-terror strategy.

Overthrowing Saddam was not automatically the wrong thing to do. The way we did it, though -- rushing in, pissing off our allies, not planning, pulling resources away from al Qaeda when we had them on the ropes, and (most important) not being straight about the reasons we were doing it (instead of just screaming FEARFEARFEARTERRATERRATERRA and questioning the motives of anyone who didn't fall in line) -- was inexcusable.

To me, overthrowing Saddam was a noble goal, and in a way, something it was the US' responsibility to do, having propped up the bastard for years, then fucked over the Kurds when they tried to break him -- -- and as such it was really the only reason I was ever for the war.


Don't forget fucking over the Shiites after the Gulf War.

I agree that we bore a responsibility for putting Saddam in the position he was in, but so did many European countries with their lucrative contracts with the regime.

(I'm sure the inbreds in the Deep South think Iraq and Iran are the same country)


Careful, maple-breath.

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Postby Dob » Fri Oct 29, 2004 8:50 pm

krabapple wrote:Let's imagine it all went off better than it has, and Iraq was more or less at peace now. We'd all be supporting the now-finished war, grudgingly or not, right?...To me, overthrowing Saddam was a noble goal, and in a way, something it was the US' responsibility to do, having propped up the bastard for years, then fucked over the Kurds when they tried to break him -- -- and as such it was really the only reason I was ever for the war.

To me, "supporting" a war means agreeing with the objectives so strongly that you are willing to kill to accomplish those objectives.

Consider this...suppose, at the very beginning of the war, you are a civilian VIP onboard a US destroyer. As a courtesy, you are asked if you would like to push the button that would launch the first missile into Iraq.

The missile has already been targeted by the crew...so there's no need to question anything, and no risk to (your) life or limb. If you support the war, and its "noble" objectives, you should be willing -- even feel honored -- to push the button.

For all of you that would agree to push that button, I hope that you would also have the guts to visit the site that the missile hit to see the results...along with the "acceptable collateral damage."

And for those of you that would decline to push the button (as I would), I don't see how you can have any support for the war whatsoever.
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Postby krabapple » Fri Oct 29, 2004 11:33 pm

Where the fuck was the U.S. when the Bosnian Serbs were marching Bosnian Muslims to their graves??



It was, of course, *US intervention* that ended that particular war, after it became obvious that Europe was either unwilling or unable to do it themselves.


Where the fuck was the U.S. when the Rwandans were hacking each other to death?? (I should add where was ANYBODY in those two cases but since you're hinting at possible humanitarian nobility by the U.S. ...... ).



Even assuming I was doing that...which I pretty much thought I *wasn't*, since I'd said humanitarian reasons were NOT the initial rationale for IRaq...
is it *impossible* for humanitariann nobility to exist if it is not demonstrated in every instance? Can France NEVER do anything credibly 'humanitarian' because it
allowed Rwanda to happen?

It's like you're reading what I write, but not *getting it*.

As for what seems worse -- is someone who kills his own family 'better' than someone who kills strangers? How fucked up is *that* moral calculus? I'm sorry, but appeals from the irrational beliefs of 'the world' (or 'Americans" or 'teh Arab street) hold no water with me either.
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Postby krabapple » Fri Oct 29, 2004 11:37 pm

Call me naive, but I think we could have got more countries on board for an invasion if we'd let Blix do his job and waited until fall to move. Instead of deciding to go to war and then trying to sell a justification, the process would have been more natural and logical. And if that involved buying out the French and Russian oil interests, so be it. It would have cost us less in the long run. And, with more allies (including Arab allies as with the Gulf War), we *might* have got him into exile. Not likely, but not impossible.



Possible. Difficult, but possible. Note that Darfur and Rwanda and Bosnia and Tienanmin do not paint an encouraging picture of an outraged world rushing to right wrongs. If the leadership had to come from the US, it would take a leader with more balls and more powers of persuasion than either Bush or Clinton.


Overthrowing Saddam was not automatically the wrong thing to do. The way we did it, though -- rushing in, pissing off our allies, not planning, pulling resources away from al Qaeda when we had them on the ropes, and (most important) not being straight about the reasons we were doing it (instead of just screaming FEARFEARFEARTERRATERRATERRA and questioning the motives of anyone who didn't fall in line) -- was inexcusable.


It was only even arguably excusable if most of what Bush, Powell, etc claimed, was true, and there was imminent danger to the US or its allies. Which there wasn't.

wehen I'm in the mood for dreaming of what might have been, I wonder again, what the world would be like if we had focused the bulk of our energies and MONEY on rebuilding Afghanistan, where we overthrew those who *were* harboring our enemies.
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Postby Gee Oh Are Tea » Sat Oct 30, 2004 7:08 am

krabapple wrote:It's like you're reading what I write, but not *getting it*.

As for what seems worse -- is someone who kills his own family 'better' than someone who kills strangers? How fucked up is *that* moral calculus?


I think you're right ... I don't often "get" what you're saying.

Your analogy aside, under "international relations", (I believe) it is generally been more frowned upon when you unjustifiably kill another country's people than your own (i.e people have turned a blind eye toward domestic attrocities but have noticed when a country invades another sovereign nation). To wit, the world did dick all when Milosevic helped the Bosnian Serbs massacre the Bosnian Muslims (it was all contained within Bosnia & Herzogovina, which was still virtually unrecognized). Had Milosevic invaded Bulgaria, the reaction would have been different.

I agree with you that the Europeans are willing to do nothing. But what is worse: doing nothing or making things worse? (your own "moral calculus" aside that Bush's approach is more acceptable since he kills less Iraqis than Saddam - you gotta love that one!!).

I have to conclude that, even though you voted against Bush, you don't view him (and his Administration) as the same band of thugs that I do. And would I be correct in saying that you're more likely to try and buy in to the ever-changing bullshit about reasons to be in Iraq and all "our great troops" crap, than have an ounce of compassion for Iraqis that have died (the original topic of this thread)? It sounds that way to me - unless you're trying to argue for the sake of arguing.

Cliff