Friday, September 14, 2007

Iraq: over one million dead civilians

Since our media endlessly spew tiny numbers of Iraqis killed since we trashed their country, it is good to find in the Los Angeles Times that a British outfit has made a serious effort to discover what our military hopes to sweep under the rug.

The figure from ORB, a British polling agency that has conducted several surveys in Iraq, followed statements this week from the U.S. military defending itself against accusations it was trying to play down Iraqi deaths to make its strategy appear successful. ...

According to the ORB poll, a survey of 1,461 adults suggested that the total number slain during more than four years of war was more than 1.2 million.

ORB said it drew its conclusion from responses to the question about those living under one roof: "How many members of your household, if any, have died as a result of the conflict in Iraq since 2003?"

Based on Iraq's estimated number of households -- 4,050,597 -- it said the 1.2 million figure was reasonable. ...

ORB said its poll had a margin of error of 2.4 percent. According to its findings, nearly one in two households in Baghdad had lost at least one member to war- related violence, and 22 percent of households nationwide had suffered at least one death. It said 48 percent of the victims were shot to death and 20 percent died as a result of car bombs, with other explosions and military bombardments blamed for most of the other fatalities.

The U.S. Census estimates [pdf] that there are roughly 115 million households in the United States. Now those households probably contain a lot less persons than Iraqi households. Let's pretend to correct for that difference by estimating that the U.S. has roughly 57 million Iraqi-size households. If 22 percent of those U.S. households had suffered a death from invasion- and occupation-related violence, 12.5 million of us would be dead. Just to put what we've done in some context.

Nobody can produce exact numbers, but this British survey suggests that, if anything, the counter displayed at the top of this blog is a conservative estimate of the carnage!

1 comment:

Jane R said...

Good Lord.

Thanks for the stark figures.