News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: Who You Gonna Believe? 500,000 Dead in Iraq

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Who You Gonna Believe? 500,000 Dead in Iraq

A new Lancet Report is out. Its stark figures not only give the lie to the Bush admin's own "30,00 or so" Iraqi deaths but provides surely one of the darkest and increasingly obscene lies and deception ever perpetrated by an American administration. ...

According to the NYTimes (h/t Daily Kos):

A team of American and Iraqi public health researchers has estimated that 600,000 civilians have died in violence across Iraq since the 2003 American invasion, the highest estimate ever for the toll of the war here.

The figure breaks down to about 15,000 violent deaths a month, a number that is quadruple the one for July given by Iraqi government hospitals and the morgue in Baghdad and published last month in a United Nations report in Iraq. That month was the highest for Iraqi civilian deaths since the American invasion.

But it is an estimate and not a precise count, and researchers acknowledged a margin of error that ranged from 426,369 to 793,663 deaths.

It is the second study by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. It uses samples of casualties from Iraqi households to extrapolate an overall figure of 601,027 Iraqis dead from violence between March 2003 and July 2006.
Juan Cole has a posting on why there are no "mass graves"? Muslims bury their dead wuickly and cheaply out of religious piety. There will be no mass graves to be found; instead there are hundreds of thousands of freshly and not so freshly dug graves--many times with entire families interred.

Comments attacking this study remind me of the soldier with whom I argued concerning the reasons for this "war." I maintained then and do now that the war is about oil, plain and simple. This soldier said that couldn't be the cause. It just can't be--because if it were, the immorality of the war would overwhlem him with despair.

These comments came alive again in another context where I suggested that oil is indeed the motivating factor behind this effort. The notion that innocent civilians and US soldiers have been maimed, injured, and killed for oil shrieks to the heavens with spiritual and ethical desolation.

The same is true, I believe, with the figures of how many people potentially died in this war for "democracy" (aka oil). It just can't be true, because if it is the brutal facticity of the undertaking will overwhelm people with its spiritual depravity.

I might mention that the only way to debunk this report is for the US government to perform its own study. My question is why they haven't kept track of these things from the beginning. Beyond what I take to be an ethically bankrupt notion that civilains are just collateral damage, I believe the other reason for why they don't is because they, first, don't want the US public to ever get a gauge by which to measure the toll of this war and, second, don't wish to have their soldiers experience the horror of the desolation that they have brought upon a once living and viable society.

With over 600,000 people killed, aren't we entering the territory of mass murder on the scale of the 20th century's worst crimes against humanity? Of course, for the President, for "those people," "you know, that there’s a level of violence that they tolerate." Why tolerate? Because they're those people, you know the ones who are animals anyway?

1 comment:

Patriarchy™ said...

Or, It's one of Lancet's. But I doubt it.

ball park: >350,000, no?