Thursday, November 23, 2006

Iraqi Civilian Deaths Continue to Climb

The Lancet medical journal, in a report issued in October, estimated that 655,000 Iraqi people have been killed as a result of the March 2003 US-UK invasion of Iraq. The report was criticized by the Wall Street Journal but one of authors of the study, Les Roberts, replied in a way that seems worthy of respect by the scientific community. Of course, getting accurate numbers in wartime is impossible, but the methods used by the Lancet scientists were disciplined. The point is, the news seems to be worse the more we know about what is going on in Iraq. [Peace, Earth, and Justice News, "Media alert: Lancet report co-author responds to questions".]

Bloomberg has just reported (11/22/06) that "Iraqi Civilian Deaths Reached Record High in October (Update2)." The article says "A total of 3,709 Iraqi civilians were killed in October, a monthly record, and most were victims of sectarian conflict," according to a United Nations report. "Hundreds of bodies continued to appear in different areas of Baghdad handcuffed, blindfolded and bearing signs of torture and execution-style killing,'' the UN said. "Many witnesses reported that perpetrators wear militia attire and even police or army uniforms.'' … "The influence of armed militias is growing, and torture continues to be rampant despite the government's commitment to address human rights abuses,'' the UN said.

The word "genocide" for what is going on in Iraq has just been used by a UN official on TV. The colossal blunders of the last six years seem to be compounding. Where will it all end?

1 comment:

hamesha: said...

And now, with yesterday's attach and a death toll of more than 200 for a single attack, the killers have just outdone themselves and have set a new record.
I am frankly sick with the symantic fetish that happens in official circles when it comes to talk of genocide. The case of Darfur is far more straightforward, and even in that case there has not been a definitive symantic leap from 'acts of genocide' to 'genocide'. It is all too political. What is clear is that scores of innocent people are being murdered with impunity.