Nearly half a million people have died from war-related causes in Iraq since the US-led invasion in 2003, according to an academic study published in the United States on Tuesday.Linkage. Since a number of us expressed outrage at not only the Iraq invasion but the genocidal level of carnage that ensued at the hands of the US and its so-called "Coalition of the Willing," it seemed fitting to share with those of you who are still around the latest effort by academicians to estimate the death toll. Although employing a different methodology, the numbers seem to square with the estimates of previous studies that had employed cluster sampling methodology (the margins of error in each of those studies could easily include one half-million dead as a plausible number).
That toll is far higher than the nearly 115,000 violent civilian deaths reported by the British-based group Iraq Body Count, which bases its tally on media reports, hospital and morgue records, and official and non-governmental accounts.
The latest estimate by university researchers in the United States, Canada and Baghdad in cooperation with the Iraqi Ministry of Health covers not only violent deaths but other avoidable deaths linked to the invasion, insurgencies and subsequent social breakdown.
It also differs from some previous counts by spanning a longer period of time and by using randomized surveys of households across Iraq to project a nationwide death toll from 2003 to mid 2011.
As an aside, those of us who protested this travesty back in 2003 were not heard by those who had the power to stop it from happening in the first place. The aftermath of that invasion should have led to the conclusion that we really, really need a Left in the US that actually has some tangible power to stop atrocities. So far, those who grasp that particular reality are barely recognized by their peers, and we remain as a political force more a diaspora than a movement. It wasn't always like that, nor need it remain that way as some sort of inevitability.