Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Report; Posted on: 2006-10-23 12:59:03
When does “collateral damage” so dwarf combatant deaths that war becomes genocide?
Paul Craig Roberts
Bush’s illegal invasion of Iraq has cost 655,000 Iraqis their lives. That is the conclusion of a study financed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for International Studies and conducted by physicians under the direction of Johns Hopkins University epidemiologists. These are deaths over and above the pre-invasion mortality rate. Bush’s illegal invasion raised Iraq’s mortality rate from 5.5 deaths per 1,000 people per year to 13.3 deaths per 1,000 people per year. The study is published by the distinguished British medical journal The Lancet and is available on the journal’s online site.
The study uses a scientific method known as “cluster sampling.” In 87 percent of the deaths, the researchers requested death certificates, and more than 90 percent of the surveyed households produced the death certificates. Violence accounted for 601,000 deaths, and disease and destruction of civilian infrastructure accounted for 54,000 deaths. The violent deaths are attributed to gunshot wounds, coalition air strikes and car bombs.
Johns Hopkins University epidemiologist Gilbert Burnham says, “We’re very confident with the results.” Columbia University epidemiologist Ronald Waldman says the survey method used is “tried and true” and that “this is the best estimate of mortality we have.”
When asked about the report, President Bush stated, “I don’t consider it a credible report.” Bush, of course, is not reality-based, and he knows that any unfavorable news is “enemy propaganda.” That’s what the neocons who pull his strings tell him, and that is what he believes.
What percentage of these 655,000 deaths were insurgents or “terrorists”? Probably 1 percent and no more than 2 percent. Bush’s “war on terror” is, in fact, a war on Iraqi civilians.