So What's the Number of Iraqi War Dead?
I thought it would be useful to step outside the U.S. media and get some perspective on how many civilians have been killed in Iraq by the invasion and occupation. Here's a little of the first paragraph from a piece in the Guardian linked below:
"This week the BBC reported that the government's own scientists advised ministers that the Johns Hopkins study on Iraq civilian mortality was accurate and reliable, following a freedom of information request by the reporter Owen Bennett-Jones. This paper was published in the Lancet last October. It estimated that 650,000 Iraqi civilians had died since the American and British led invasion in March 2003."
Pretty rough, huh? It's heartbreaking thinking of our country causing a death toll of these proportions. I should point out that these numbers will continue to grow as the thousands of tons of depleted uranium that we've spread there, continue to kill. You don't even want to know the half life of that stuff but it's over a billion years.
Now in case you try and say this is a "Hate America" column, I am just as upset by the United States soldiers who have died since the Gulf War because of depleted uranium and who will die from it in the future. It is standard for Republicans to seize on siding with the troops as a defense against studies and reports like this, when the reality is that the health and safety of the troops have been put in terrible danger from our depleted uranium, too.
It's also irritating hearing the right wing talk about the rights of the unborn when their twisted war has already sentenced untold thousands of unborn Iraqi kids to death. What about their rights?
We made so much about Saddam's weapons of mass destruction and yet we have been the ones killing people with nuclear radiation through tons of depleted uranium. Actually, outrageous hypocrisy is par for the course with the Bush White House, and I am proud that I can still feel even the slightest twinge of surprise. It shows this group hasn't robbed me of my last bit of idealism - at least not yet. However, I have adopted a rule to expect the opposite of whatever they are saying and so far it's worked out great.
It is also interesting to hear Bush supporters downplay the civilian death numbers here. The John Hopkins study that found the death toll of 650,000 Iraqis has been revisited in England and their thoughts are that the numbers are low. If the Bush supporters want to try and downplay what we have done in Iraq, they should challenge the article linked below. It's not enough to pull a convenient number like 50,000 civilian deaths out of their asses. As far as I know, John Hopkins is a respected institution, and the Guardian is a respected part of the British media. This is not the Sun or any of the other tabloids.
So read this link if you dare. It is not for the faint of heart. If the strategy of Bush supporters is to downplay the horror of what happened in Iraq, that's going to work about as well as McCain's recent remarks about Baghdad security. He has since retracted them. The time for unchallenged spin draws to a close. If Bush supporters want to challenge this number, then I wonder why they'd stop there?
If you want to spin in true Bush fashion you have to commit to the lies. Just deny we ever invaded Iraq in the first place.
A monstrous war crime | Iraq | Guardian Unlimited