“The US misadventure in Iraq is responsible [in a little over three years] for setting off the killing of twice as many civilians as Saddam managed to polish off in 25 years.”
Despite the scholarly consensus, the governments’ denials have been quite effective from a public education point of view, and the few news items that mention the Lancet study bracket it with official rebuttals. One BBC report, for example, mentioned the figure in an article headlined “Huge Rise in Iraqi Death Tolls,” and quoted at length from President Bush’s public rebuttal, in which he said that the methodology was “pretty well discredited,” adding that “six-hundred thousand or whatever they guessed at is just … it’s not credible.” As a consequence of this sort of coverage, most Americans probably believe that Bush’s December 2005 figure of 30,000 Iraqi civilian deaths (less than 10% of the actual total) is the best estimate of Iraqi deaths up to that time.
Counting how many Iraqis the occupation has killed
These shocking statistics are made all the more horrific when we realize that among the 600,000 or so victims of Iraqi war violence, the largest portion have been killed by the American military, not by carbombings or death squads, or violent criminals — or even all these groups combined.
The Lancet interviewers asked their Iraqi respondents how their loved ones died and who was responsible. The families were very good at the cause of death, telling the reporters that over half (56%) were due to gunshots, with an eighth due each to car bombs (13%), air strikes (13%) and other ordinance (14%). Only 4% were due to unknown causes. continue reading