Thursday, August 9, 2007

One Million


The skinny on the estimate and graphic courtesy of Ten Percent:

I have been generally using the 1 million figure for a while, but the figure based on the method detailed below should become widely accepted and if people want to gasp in horror over other genocides it is time to stop ignoring the one we are intimately responsible for. If they want to dispute it, it is time we put the burden of proof on them, prove me wrong or shut up. As I have the counter in my sidebar I have been watching it crawl up to the 1 million mark which it reached tonight, a while back I worked out how long it would take if you alloted a 1 second silent commemoration for each death. The time needed now is 11 days and 14 hours, it is a little over 1 hour for coalition casualties.

Just Foreign Policy accepts the Lancet estimate of 601,000 violent Iraqi deaths attributable to the U.S. invasion and occupation as of July 2006.

To update this number, we need to obtain a rate of how quickly deaths are mounting in Iraq. For this purpose, the Iraq Body Count (IBC) provides the most reliable, frequently updated database of deaths in Iraq. (The IBC also usefully provides a database of all violent Iraqi deaths demonstrable through press reports and thus relatively undeniable.) The IBC provides a maximum and minimum. We opted to use the midpoint between the two for our calculation.

We multiple the Lancet number as of July 2006 by the ratio of current IBC deaths divided by IBC deaths as of July 1, 2006 (43,394).
The formula used is:

Just Foreign Policy estimate = (Lancet estimate as of July 2006)x( (Current IBC Deaths) / (IBC Deaths as of July 1, 2006) )

Chris Floyd sez:
We can't really put it any plainer than this: they literally do not care how many people die and suffer as a result of their policies. The only restraint -- the only one -- on their actions is the need to preserve the acquiesence of various American factions and institutions to their own illegitimate, authoritarian rule. They have continuously, relentlessly pushed the boundaries to see how far they can go and still retain this acquiesence -- and at every step, no matter how outrageous, they have found that it still holds. And so they keep pushing one step further. (We can see a perfect example of this in the FISA farce: Bush demands draconian powers of unfettered mass surveillance; the Democrats give them to him; then he demands even more.) There seems to be no limit to the docility of Americans in the face of this authoritarian onslaught -- clearly, the nation as a whole has lost the independent spirit of its founders -- but still, a tyrant must always tread carefully, testing the waters for what the populace will swallow. Killing a million innocent Iraqis is obviously OK -- but would two million, or six million, cause an uproar? Dropping bombs in residential areas is fine with the folks -- but would carpet bombing Sadr City be a bit too much? But these restraints, such as they are, are merely political; moral, legal, and ethical concerns play no part in the Bushists' calculations.
Arthur Silber sez:
I certainly understand that many people feel overwhelmed and even paralyzed by the unrelenting train of horrors that crushes us beneath its seemingly inexorable path every single day. Many people may conclude there is nothing to be done, and that we can only pray that the next six months or few years do not bring us catastrophe that quickly spreads out of anyone's control, destroying hundreds of thousands or even millions of additional lives.

And yet. I can only direct you once more to this entry, "Still Another Call to Activism." I admit that my heart is far from fully in such an appeal at this point. I've made such appeals numerous times, in many different forms, providing those specific suggestions that seemed worthwhile to me. For the most part, they have all fallen into a soundless void. I see no reason to think this time will be any different.

Still, I make the appeal once more. As some wise observers have had tragic occasion to note, to hope in the absence of hope is the most difficult act of all and, in the end, the only one that matters.
See also Scruggs over at UFO Breakfast Recipients.

Also, Mickey Z drops a Ward Churchill quote that fits the times:
"Stop killing our kids, if you want your own to be safe."
Really doesn't get any simpler than that.

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