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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
100,000 Iraqi civilians estimated killed
Experts dispute method employed to arrive at tally
By ROB STEIN
Washington Post

RESOURCES

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Current time in Baghdad: 4:23 p.m. Sunday

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WASHINGTON - One of the first attempts to independently estimate the loss of civilian life from the Iraqi war has concluded that at least 100,000 Iraqi civilians may have died because of the U.S. invasion.

The analysis, an extrapolation based on a relatively small number of actual documented deaths, indicated that many of the excess deaths have occurred due to aerial attacks by coalition forces, with women and children being frequent victims, wrote the international team of public health researchers who made the calculations.

Pentagon officials say they do not keep tallies of civilian casualties, and a spokesman said Thursday there is no way to validate estimates by others. Previous independent estimates of civilian deaths in Iraq have been far lower, never exceeding 16,000, and other experts immediately challenged the new estimate, saying the small number of actual documented deaths upon which it was based made the conclusions suspect.

"The methods that they used are certainly prone to inflation due to over-counting," said Marc Garlasco, senior military analyst for Human Rights Watch. "These numbers seem to be inflated."

The estimate is based on a door-to-door survey conducted in September of 988 Iraqi households containing 7,868 people in 33 neighborhoods. Two survey teams gathered detailed information about the date, cause and circumstances of any deaths in the 14.6 months before the invasion and the 17.8 months after it, documenting the fatalities with death certificates in most cases.

The project was designed by Les Roberts and Gilbert Burnham of the Center for International Emergency, Disaster and Refugee Studies at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore; Richard Garfield of Columbia University in New York; and Riyadh Lafta and Jamal Kudhairi of the Al-Mustansiriya University College of Medicine in Baghdad.

Based on the number of Iraqi fatalities recorded by the survey teams, the researchers calculated that the death rate had increased from 5 percent annually to 7.9 percent since the invasion. That works out to an excess of about 100,000 deaths since the war, the researchers reported in a paper released early by the Lancet, a British medical journal.

"We are quite confident that there's been somewhere in the neighborhood of 100,000 deaths, but it could be much higher," Roberts said.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I dont what they are calling Bushs' clusterfuck anymore but wasnt it called operation, "Iraqi freedom"?. What is he freeing them from? Their oil? Their life on earth?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ive read that 100,000 is just sort of an average. Some think it could go as high 200,000. What makes it worse is that most are civilians..women and children. Ive also read that they estimate that Saddam killed as many as 300,000 people in his 24 years in power. Theres no doubt this guy was a very evil human being, but if the estimates are right and bush has killed 100,000, hes on track to blow saddam out of the water.
 

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I am really surprised no one has reacted to this post, what is it? surely you guys must have an opinion on the mass slaughter of innocent people, I see opinions and healthy debates going on in all other threads, political or otherwise.

Would you rather ignore the reality of what is going on over there? don't you like to think about it? do you not care? what is it? Does it not agree you?

Keeping Janines little post about not attacking groups on this website in mind, I'll hold back as much as possible. Bush people especially, what do these atrocities mean to you?, interested in if you care,how you feel if at all. The ballot paper you slipped into the big cardboard box is far away from the slaughter in Iraq and Fallujah, its not as if you have blood on your hands...............is it???? Do you think its unavoidable? Do you feel any guilt? Do you feel/think there would of been no difference in Iraq regardless which candidate won? Or are you happy about it because it boosts your economy? How do you feel about aquiring two new states...Iraq & Afghanistan.

I would really love to have someone justify this disgusting shameless killing to me. I DONT UNDERSTAND.

I hope this post doesnt get wiped, if it doesnt feel free to ignore it.
 

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*Alex said:
Would you rather ignore the reality of what is going on over there? don't you like to think about it? do you not care? what is it? Does it not agree you?
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Enough of the preaching. I for one hate Bush, predicted this outcome while they were still debating going to war, and have had more arguments with Bush advocates than i could count on a centipedes' finger (if they had fingers, that is). It's futile. It really is. Bush supporters come in three categories:

1. The ignorant. They fall for all the propoganda that Karl Rove can muster, hook, line, and sinker. They're small people in small worlds who live in backwater towns where "cross fires" and turkey shooting are still in vogue. This represents Bush's base.

2. The ignorant who think they know a lot because they read an article once in some right wing smear rag which mentioned a lot of buzz words like "freedom", "liberty", and "constitution" enough times in connection with words like "Bush", "Cheney", and "Republican", that it triggered a Plavovian response which caused them to vote Bush.

3. The obstinately intelligent. These people are shockingly intelligent people in almost every other aspect of their lives, but for some reason they insist on voting Bush. It defies logic, i know...but these people do exist. Some of them even put forth convincing arguments (i would classify most of the Bush supporters on this board in this category), but if one were to go the distance with them in a debate on this, their arguments would either collapse like a deck of cards, or they would contradict themselves in specific arguments they made (ie. "I believe in equal rights for everybody, but i don't think gays should be able to do this, that, and the other thing." or "I believe in international justice, as long as we americans can't be held accountable...and meanwhile let's pick and choose which laws we will agree to at any given time.")

(I know this sounds like i'm grouping people together, but i'm really not...i mean, i could say humanity comes in two groups...Men and Women...that's a sweeping generalization as well, isn't it...but it's also true...(hermaphrodites and bi-sexual siamese twins (bi-sexual in the true sense that is) excepted)). Besides, how can this post be censored if this is all done tongue-in-cheek...see, look...who can resist this little fella... :wink:

Anyway, my point is...the election is over. Bush won. Us anti-Bushites really have to start dealing with this fact. I'm just happy he's coming up to canada in two weeks so i can stand outside in the cold like an idiot with a protest sign that he'll never even see.

I hate posting political on this board because it's such a touchy subject and i don't want to offend people who i genuinely respect as intelligent and thoughtful people. There are better places to go for a subject matter such as this...where you'll get more soldiers on both sides.

s.
 
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Oh, I think debate (as this thread is) is fine. Totally fine.

Interesting idea I heard on PBS recently (cannot remember who said it, unfortunately) but....re the "ProLife" Right Wing who are convinced that every single loss of a fetus is an unforgiveable sin: surely there were some pregnant Iraqui women who were slaughtered over the past year. What would your God have to say?

Just for the record, I am NOT anti-war (as a general position). I'm just anti-hypocrite.

Now I'm going to take Sebastian's very shrewd advice and toss in the talisman for "highly charged posts" :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Theres alot of talk recently about the US marine that just blew the brains out of a dying, defenseless Iraqi soldier. The pictures made me sick. I hope they nail his ass to the wall. Ive had several discussions with people about this incident. One person said it was justified because its "war". What people forget is that its "war" because the US made it that way. They inflicted it and now they want to use this sickening excuse to murder human beings and think they are justified in doing so? Im ashamed of what my country is doing.
 
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I sometimes get ashamed of it too Joe. But it's a lose lose. If we don't go in there then Saddam continues to slaughter a countless number of civilians. We go in there and there is some benefit, but the chaos continues. You just cannot win with the middle east.
 

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This is something that is difficult for the most educated politically savvy person to discuss. If you read many newspapers, listen to many points of view, you still can't keep abreast of all international activity. Few people have time to do that. They are working, raising their families, putting bread on the table. They are hopefully focusing on thier own careers -- what they do for a living.

Who of any of us can claim to be an expert in foreign relations? Life is reduced down to sound-bites, and ridiculous headlines.

Why has everyone forgotten the international politics is as complicated as the brain? That no, you can't make sweeping generalizations without finding exceptions to the rule -- ANYWHERE.

Why has everyone forgotten that Hollywood, and yes the media, is full of some of the wealthiest people in the world, and yet they are Democrats? It's a fact. I've worked in the entertainment industry in Hollywood. Extremely wealthy democrats. Why? The explanation would take 17 posts.

Los Angeles and New York are the largest most diverse cities and they are both democratic... that's just how it is -- for many historical/cultural/sociological reasons, besides being so "hip" to how stupid George Bush is.

For example:
Many immigrants live in California. EDIT: A BLUE STATE/DEMOCRATIC Hispanics make up a huge percentage of the vote -- and will soon be the majority in that state. Yes, caucasians are becoming a MINORITY in that state. Hispanics are concerned about issues at home. The war in Iraq is the least of their worries. And they are Catholic. So shall we start Hispanic bashing now? Their votes were for for morality and social services, not against the war in Iraq. So were they stupid? Selfish? Ignorant? Let's pick a blanket term for them and make huge stereotypical assumtions. But wait! They were Catholic, voted AGAINST Bush and, yet they voted locally AGAINST stem-cell research, gay civil unions, abortions.... they don't fit into a stereotype!

How do I know?
I lived for 12 years in an Hispanic neighborhood in L.A. Solano Canyon. Volunteered in the planning and building of a community garden. We worked with local political officials one on one. My husband was the Treasurer of the project. So yes, I have been involved in grassroots political activity in Downtown Los Angeles. Right next to Chinatown, another growing majority in California -- Asians.

The primary concerns in that community were a need for State money to improve the schools, the streets, the environment (we were right next to the Pasadena freeway), to help with crime (gangs), fund the police. Their issues had NOTHING to do with Iraq.

The same is true of New York, an international city. To applaud all New Yorkers and Californians for having "sense" to vote AGAINST George Bush and other states for being idiots is a ridiculous oversimplification.

It isn't some damned conspiracy. Oh my word.

Why has everyone forgotten that Saddam Hussein committed genocide, used billions BILLIONS of dollars in the Oil-for-Food program to build his own palaces and buy military supplies from many countries in Europe? He allowed his own people to starve, live without an infrastructure of clean water, reliable electricity, jobs, transportation? He advocates terrorism, murder, beheadings. Shoot anyone who disagrees with you. But any Republican President is evil. OK, whatever you say.

The U.N. itself is under investigation for nods, winks, and turning in the other direction re: dictators such as Saddam, Arafat, etc., etc., etc.

Why are Americans attacked as a whole, and lumped into one category when we have a huge variety of beliefs, needs, hopes, fears, just like any other human being in the world?

Why has everyone forgotten what happened on 9/11, that changed the face of American foreign policy forever? I'm curious what people think of Tony Blair? Why aren't we talking about him? Isn't he an idiot? Last I heard he was called "Bush's poodle."

What about the career military men, men who enlisted and feel they are doing right by their country. Will this be like Vietnam where we crucify our military when they come home?

There are no easy answers.

This is a futile discussion, especially on the internet. Very sad.

With hopes of Peace, but often in reading this board, I only see closed minds. I try not to have one. If I do, I feel terrible for it. I try to be as educated as possible, and make as an informed choice as possible.

Best,
Dreamer

OK, fire away at me. That's always the best to do. Attack. I hear attacks here. And I thought we were against war? Thank GOD, my State of Michigan had the sense to vote for Kerry, or you all might beat me to death for living in the Detroit area! I'm safe. I'm in a "BLUE STATE" -- let's reduce the states and American people to two colors -- Blue and Red. My that's constructive.
 

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Pure Narcotic said:
I sometimes get ashamed of it too Joe. But it's a lose lose. If we don't go in there then Saddam continues to slaughter a countless number of civilians. We go in there and there is some benefit, but the chaos continues. You just cannot win with the middle east.
I'll go with Narcotic on this one. I defy any of you to come up with a plan for Peace in the Middle East. Even with the recent death of Yasser Arafat who had us all on a string for 40 YEARS. He was head of the PLO for 40 YEARS. No elections for the Palestinians.

And now what? Noone knows. The most intelligent pundits have no clue what is going to happen.

Good writer: Thomas Friedmann From Beirut to Jerusalem and The Lexus and the Olive Tree. I don't understand 1/5th of what I'm reading, but it's worth trying to understand.
 
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Dreamer,
I think that is an excellent post. Spot on.

However, problem is this: it's two different discussions. Your position is geared towards open mindedness in search of finding some common truths, or acknowledging common areas of confusion and/or helplessness.

The other argument is about emotion - it feels cathartic to people to hate. Some people hate other countries and pronounce them the axis of evil. Others hate those who hate those countries. It's all rage. And basically scratches the same aggressive human itch. One is just masked under compassion.

We humans are very very aggressive, and the folks who hate war are pretty violent about it.

We're conundrums, we humans. And if there are no easy answers, people will just choose SOME answer and rant about it in the name of right.

Your cross to bear, Ms. Hairball, is that you keep striving to be highly logical and fair in an unfair and childlishly-emotional world.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Dreamer,

As usual I disagree with 100% of what you have to say. A plan for peace!! That actually made me laugh. Who the hell do you think we are. Who are we to think we have to come up with a plan for peace and then force it down the throat of other countries. Who are we to say what government a country should have. Their peace should be none of our business. I think weve made it our business for other reasons than peace. Were nothing but a big bully and we all know what eventually happens to a bully. "Peace cannot be achieved by force, it can only be achieved by understanding"-Albert Einstein

Neal,

Your missing my point. As bad as Saddam was, the US is on track to kill many more people than he ever did. There is alot more people dying now daily than when Saddam was in power. There is no way there is ever going to be a resolution as long as we are occupying their country. If this mess drags on for 10 years can you imagine how many people are going to die? Its not a lose-lose situation for the US because we inflicted it and whatever happens to us, we deserve. Its a lose-lose situation for the Iragis. They went from Saddam to the US turning their country into a living nightmare.

Joe
 
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Well, I am totally anti- bush, but reading about saddam makes me throw up everything.

I remember a documentary on tv, and they showed the sort of rooms
where they executed all the inmates. I think most or a lot were prisoners of conscience.

The executioner was interviewed, and he reported that the executions took place on wednesdays and fridays, and there were so many doomed that they had to build rows next to the gallow.

The helpers of the executioner sometimes had to pull down hanging inmates because they did not die immediately.

That was incredibly perverse.

But the ultimate perversion was displayed when the interviewer asked the executioner why he had been so cruel and if he does not regret the mass murder.

And he, the executioner, while keeping a totally straight face, said that he feels sorry for it, moaning about his nightmares he has now as if he has been the victim of the system, arguing that he had to kill them all because he had to support his family. As if he deserved every compassion in the world.

This person was so disgusting that I wondered why the interviewer did not kill him right away.

Seeing the executioner talk so emotionlessly about the mass murder he is guilty of was even more shocking than seeing the war scenes on tv.

There are no words that describe the perversion of these hangmen.

If I had to choose between bush and the government in Iraq with all the executives that make up the saddam regime , I would go for bush.

However, the best would be to just keep out of of the mess.
It's really none of our business. It's only bush's business.
 

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First id like to say that this off topic forum is very interesting, it makes me very happy talking about international relations/events and real life with other DP/R people. Ive had lots of 'net arguments/debates about such things before but i never thought id get a chance to have such conversations (knowingly) with people who have my problems.

I-
Well, I am totally anti- bush, but reading about saddam makes me throw up everything
Thats perfectly understandable, i cant think of anyone i know against the war who i spoke to who was actually somehow in favour of Saddam Hussein, the mans actions are well known (those who were can reasonably be discounted as extremists).

But look at the unfolding of events from another perspective. Imagine you are not American but from some other country (or even Iraq). The US military go in supposedly to depose Saddam and rid the world of his dangerous WMD. These weapons have not been found and appear not to exist (there were also some utterly inexcusable and transparent attempts to link Saddam to Al-Qaida which still seem to have some veracity in the eyes of some Americans). Then cleverly the focus is shifted to the 'liberation' of the Iraqi people.

Freedom! Democracy! Human Rights! These were the shouts that went up from the new occupiers of Iraq.

And what do we get? Abu Ghraib, sexual degredation and torture. There is frankly no compelling reason for a cynical non american not to believe that that was a deliberate covert experiment in new interrogation techniques (perhaps for use especially against professed muslims in this War on Terror). Rumsfelds 'few bad apples' theory seems no more plausible to me (the 'apples' in question barely seemed bright enough to come up with such convoluted culturally sensitive humiliations).

Now we have at least two pieces of footage of apparent executions of badly wounded and unarmed Iraqis by US marines in Fallujah (by unarmed i mean not brandishing weapons or being in any state to use them in other words non combatants). These are only the incidents we have film footage of, it seems reasonable to suppose that they were not the only such incidents. There has also been overwhelming bombardent of civilian areas needless to say, massive violence and whole cities in chaos. All of these things are being beamed around the world and across arabic satellite channels.

Iraq was not a part of the war against terrorist organisations posing a threat to the western world. Now it is. Some have argued unbelievably (and in hindsight) that this was somehow the plan all along, to 'take the heat' off the US mainland and distract or lure Islamist terrorists into Iraq. I wont even dignify such idiocy with a responce. This war WILL create more distrust, dislike and hatred of America across the world and especially the M.E. Now that Bush has been voted back into office it will also be easier for extremists to argue that US citizens are legitimate targets.

I think Blair played a part in such a great emphasis being placed on WMD. Without that 'imminent threat' hed never have got the necessary support for such a 'pre-emptive' war of choice. Paul Wolfowitz has publicly admitted it was only one of many reasons as far as he was concerned. The neo-conservatives in the Bush Administration have been gunning for Iraq since well before Sept. 11. They appear to have used the current climate of fear and hysteria (including a curbing of civil liberties) created by that attack to get what they already wanted . They want to transform the world via American force and if necessary military intervention and i think its important that everyone is aquainted with the views of these influential figures and the project for a new american century is a good place to start - http://www.newamericancentury.org/

America is becoming more and more an empire but this is (or was) by no means an inevitability. It seems to me very far removed from the ideals of the founding fathers of America. I find it hard to imagine what they would make of all this. It also seems strange to recall a time before the WTC attacks when the Bush Administration was on an isolationist footing internationally and talked of America as 'a humble nation but strong'. Very different to the neo-conservative forceful restructuring of the world which
seems to be the order of the day now (and it is traditional libertarian conservatism that is adrift).

JanineBaker-
The other argument is about emotion - it feels cathartic to people to hate. Some people hate other countries and pronounce them the axis of evil. Others hate those who hate those countries. It's all rage. And basically scratches the same aggressive human itch. One is just masked under compassion.
Yes but the difference is that one kind of rage leads to a jingoistic support for a war in which approx 100,000 people may have died (or lets be hopeful and go with a lower figure and say 15-20,000 -still equal to sept.11 many times over) and the other, doesnt.

If all of the 'rogue states' were full of such people with a hatred of war, violence and xenophobia then i cant see that there would be any problem.

I was against this Iraq war but in a very cautious way (i talked about the 'timing and circumstances' being wrong). Yet I thought it might just possibly work in transforming the middle east but even if it now does, i see it more and more as a result of dangerous and reckless policy. America thinks a vote for Bush is for stability and 'more of the same' internationally ? How can you be so wrong? Neo-conservatism is all about risk taking, gambling with the fate of the world and the strength of America.
Well i just hope the dice have something nice in store :(

Enough ranting for one post i think.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Excellent ranting! I think everything you have to say is spot on. Your post was like a breath of fresh air for me.

Joe
 

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Wow! I'm sorry I missed out on this post for a while.

Let me first say that:

Sebastian, that is the stupidest and most ignorant post I've read on this board in a while. Why don't I go ahead and characterize all Kerry supporters as:

A: Poor minorities on the streets who want the rich to pay for all their misfortunes.

B. Tree hugging hippie environmentalists, homosexuals, animal rights activists, atheist hedonists, etc...

C. Really intelligent people who feel that science has refuted God and who believe that the natural course of history is to advance to a more socialist state where the rich surrender their successes to the underpriveleged poor, and that is the only way to reach a unified state and more peaceful and equitable society.

See how stupid that sounds.

OK, to the topic of the post. It's hard for any of us to to really know what the civilian death toll has been in Iraq since the government doesn't like to release that kind of information and it's just hard to know. But, in my NON-PARTISAN opinion (may be hard for some of you to stomach), let me say that I highly doubt the civilian death toll is 100,000 people. That could possibly be the total death toll. Even then, I'm not too sure. We went into Iraq, in what, March of 2003. So, that is about 20 months. Somehwere around 600 days or so. That's about 140 people a day. From what I've seen, the media isn't reporting those kind of numbers (civilian and insurgents) that I see daily in the news. Every now and then we may see those numbers but that is usually in more major strikes. But, again, how much do we really know.

Let me also add, that many of the civilian casualties have been caused by suicide bombers, car bombs, bombings of buildings, and random firings that come from Iraqis, insurgents and terrorists who come into Iraq from other countries.

I really believe that our forces do their best to keep civilian casualties to a minimum. Without this caution, our ability to recruit Iraqi troops and police forces, and our ability to ever help the Iraqis establish their own government, would be near impossible. I realize, that in many of the major airstrikes, civilian casualties are unavoidable. The initial strike on Baghdad yielded the most casualties of all the air strikes, and from what we know, they were very precise in just targeting buildings that were centerpoints of Sadaam and his regime. I think the estimated death count there was around 3 or 4 thousand, but how much of that were civilians, people not associated with the Iraqi National Guard and Baathist party, i do not know.

As far as the other major strikes in Fallujah, Tikrit, and Mosul, which were slower and more methodical, have targeted insurgent strongholds. Once again, we really don't know the numbers but a civilian death count of 100,000 does seem highly inflated to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Gimpy,

I guess well never know now will we? Ive read we are killing so many, that they are burying them faster than they can be counted. If you think Bushs' war is so wonderful, why are you in your nice little safe house, typing on a computer? Youre a young guy, right? Why arent you over in Iraq helping to make peace?

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I forgot to add, all the suicide bombings, car bombs etc. which you talk about all began after we forcefully occupied THEIR country, so the way I see it, its still instigated by the US. They didnt have that before we came there or at least not near what its like now. Most of the terrorists causing the terrorist acts, that have flooded into Iraq, are only there because of our presence also. Now matter how you look at it, we have caused alot of death.

Joe
 
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