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Commentary :: Imperialism : International Relations
Pre-Election Study Ignored - 100,000 Civilians Killed in Iraq Current rating: 0
07 Nov 2004
A study released before the election reported that 100,000 civilians have been killed in Iraq since the United States invasion. This seems to add offense to any argument against a 'safer' Iraq, yet the study was almost universally ignored. Read on for specific anti-invasion firepower that is now available because conclusion studies are emerging.
A study which estimates on deaths related to the March 2003 invasion of Iraq was released on October 28. The Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University calculated that 100,000 civilians have died as a direct or indirect result of the invasion. Dr. Gilbert Burnham of Johns Hopkins said that they were “quite sure that the estimate of 100,000 is a conservative estimate."

Most striking was the data relating death rates pre- and post-invasion. The study found that Iraqis were 2.5 times more likely to die in the 17 month following the invasion than in the 14 months preceding it. Before the invasion, heart attacks, strokes and chronic diseases were the most prevalent causes for death. Violent deaths surged ahead, it is now 58 times more likely than before the war.

These figures are not only appalling, but the corporate media’s response to these data is just as shocking. The study was released early, the researchers were determined to inform the public before the election. Unsurprisingly, the little print the study received was stuffed too far back in mainstream papers for most citizens to pay attention.

Why are the numbers so important? While many sides have weighed in, either supporting or opposing the war for purely moral reasons, it seems even more mainstream Americans were swayed by the Bush Administration’s story; ‘Saddam Hussein is a “crazy leader” who is a threat to the United States.’ What the Administration forgot to say was that Iraq never had the capabilities to be a direct threat to the United States, Saddam merely threatened perceived ‘United States interests.’ How oddly reminiscent of previous conflicts, from the Bay of Pigs to the Iran-Contra Affair, from Vietnam to complacency in the Rwandan Genocide.

To justify the invasion now that the weapons of mass destruction ruse has been uncovered, the Bush Administrations story hinges on a single claim: we are safer now that Saddam is out of power. The 9/11 Report, which Bush himself tried to stifle, offers government-sponsored evidence that has yet to be refuted. According to the report, there were no positive ties between Saddam and 9/11, and Saddam had even refused to help Osama bin Laden after being contacted. While Hussein may not have looked very positive on the United States ‘strategic interests’ in the Middle East, there has been no ‘smoking gun’ connection between Saddam, 9/11, or threatening attacks on the United States. Most striking, Iraq has become a new launching off point for Al Qaeda and anti-American political violence.

It sounds like the Bush Administration has failed in its promise to deliver a safer America. Even the most strident patriot would have a hard time justifying the war faced with these facts. As for us who have less invested in spirit to the country? The Bush Administration has made a more unstable country, murdered over a hundred thousand innocent civilians, splintered coalitions of peace in all parts of the globe and will soon launch a 10,000 soldier strong offensive on the sovereign city of Fallujah. America’s attempts to project order to make a more stable world have done nothing but backfire. Are you armed with the facts to convince people on the street the Administration’s empty rhetoric is false?

Study statistics: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/29/international/europe/29casualties.html

This work is in the public domain

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