Iraq Civilian Deaths Reaching 10,000
Civilian deaths ‘reaching 10,000’ (London Telegraph)
The number of Iraqi civilians killed during the occupation of Iraq has reached 10,000, peace activists tracking the casualties say. More civilians have died since the end of Saddam Hussein’s regime than during the invasion to topple him, according to Iraq Body Count. Month-by-month figures computed by the group show that by yesterday morning between 9,999 and 10,586 civilians have been killed since May 1, 2003 – when President George W Bush declared the end of “major combat operations”. This is higher than the estimated 7,350 civilians killed during the war itself.
“Sometimes you need a specific round number to bring home to people the enormity of what is happening,” said John Sloboda, co-founder of Iraq Body Count. “More people have died in the so-called post-conflict phase than during the conflict. It shows that the war has never ended.”
While there are no official statistics kept and all calculations are suspect, since various sides have an agenda, the methodology here seems reasonable enough: “Iraq Body Count collates casualty figures based on reports from two media sources or government and NGO reports.”
The obvious rejoiner, of course, is that almost all of the deaths are murders committed by terrorists and insurgents. IBC doesn’t care:
“Very few of those deaths would have occurred had the US and UK not decided to invade,” said Mr Sloboda, “In a very real sense we are responsible for them.”
While probably true–although, given the mass graves, many others would likely have been killed by Saddam’s regime–this strikes me as rather specious moral reasoning. Was Abraham Lincoln personally responsible for the 850,000 plus who died in the Civil War? For that matter, had the Brits not decided to intervene after the Nazis invaded Poland, they might have been spared the Blitz. Does that make all those who died from German bombs Churchill’s responsibility?