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One Out Of Every Forty


The BBC has this little tidbit which I'm willing to bet will get zero play on the American evening news this week, being that it's so much more important to talk about Anna Nicole Smith's autopsy:

The British government was advised against publicly criticising a report estimating that 655,000 Iraqis had died due to the war, the BBC has learnt.

Iraqi Health Ministry figures put the toll at less than 10% of the total in the survey, published in the Lancet.

But the Ministry of Defence's chief scientific adviser said the survey's methods were "close to best practice" and the study design was "robust".

Another expert agreed the method was "tried and tested".


The Lancet medical journal published its peer-reviewed survey last October.

It was conducted by the John Hopkins School of Public Health and compared mortality rates before and after the invasion by surveying 47 randomly chosen areas across 16 provinces in Iraq.

The researchers spoke to nearly 1,850 families, comprising more than 12,800 people.

In nearly 92% of cases family members produced death certificates to support their answers. The survey estimated that 601,000 deaths were the result of violence, mostly gunfire.


If the Lancet survey is right, then 2.5% of the Iraqi population – an average of more than 500 people a day – have been killed since the start of the war.

The BBC World Service made a Freedom of Information Request on 28 November 2006. The information was released on 14 March 2007.



In four years.

That's one out of every forty Iraqis who were alive at the beginning of this monstrosity.

Putting It In Perspective #1:  According to Human Rights Watch, Saddam Hussein, as bad as he was, managed to kill at most 290,000 people during his quarter-century in power — less than half of Bush's four-year death total.  Saddam would have had to have ruled another twenty-four years to even come close to matching what George W. Bush has 'achieved' in four years.  Can you imagine why the Iraqis might not feel so 'grateful' about being invaded?  I sure can.  [UPDATE: And there's reason to question whether the 290,000 figure cited by Human Rights Watch was inflated, as noted here and here.]

Putting It In Perspective #2:  Imagine that in March 2003, the Chinese, with the help of the rest of the world and a few space aliens, had decided that Bush had to go and so started "Operation American Freedom", invading and bombing the crap out of our land and infrastructure, installing a hideously corrupt puppet government, and setting off sectarian wars and an insurgency that would end up killing nearly eight million Americans in the process over four years.  Think that even the biggest Bush-haters might long for the pre-invasion days?  So it is that even people who disliked Saddam yearn for a return to days when they could live normal, even peaceful lives in cities that weren't bombed-out ruins.

One out of every forty.

Think about it.

And that doesn't count the living who are maimed and wounded, spiritually and physically.

One out of every forty. 

Every Iraqi knows at least one person — and more likely five or six or seven — who died in the last four years as a result of this war.

One out of every forty.

And two million people — one out of every thirteen Iraqis — have left Iraq for Jordan, Syria, Turkey, whereever they can go to get away from the hell that used to be their country. 

Think about it. 

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