Iraq deaths, yet again

In news that will come as no surprise to long-term SBBS readers, another independent organisation has estimated the Iraqi civilian violent death toll (not including disease or combatant deaths) at around 25,000 – consistent with the Lancet and UN studies.

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6 thoughts on “Iraq deaths, yet again

  1. Not so sure it’s consistent; the time period looks much longer. But this looks like the IBC methodology which was always going to give a lower count.

  2. Note the Iraq government’s response. Eight million people voted for them:

    The Iraqi government welcomed the attention the report gave to Iraqi victims, but said it was a mistake to claim that the "plague of terrorism" had killed fewer Iraqis that the multi-national forces.

    "The international forces try to avoid civilian casualties, whereas the terrorists target civilians and try to kill as many of them as they can," it said in a statement.

    "The root cause of Iraq’s suffering is terrorism, inherited from Saddam’s fascist regime and from mistaken fundamentalist ideology.

    "Everybody knows that international forces are necessary in Iraq, on a temporary basis and they will leave Iraq at a time chosen by Iraqis, not in response to terrorist pressure."

  3. "The international forces try to avoid civilian casualties, whereas the terrorists target civilians and try to kill as many of them as they can," it said in a statement.

    Eric, even if this is true, and I will assume that it is, it does not mean that the ‘plague’ of terrorism actually has killed more people than coalition forces. To establish this is it not enough to simply assert that the terrorism is bad, but it demands that alternative figures are quoted, or, at the very least, this study is demolished.

    Honestly, over the past two weeks we have gone from a government line that I disgree with to one (apparently widespread) that is counter to the operation of simple reason.

    We have had Blair disgreeing with everyone from the security services, anti-war protestors and academics, which is fine, but not when all that can be offered anything other than an acausal and obscurantist ‘analysis’ of terrorism. It seems that whoever is responsible for this quite frankly un-reasonable (and hence, anti-democratic) line in government-public communication has been seconded to Iraq to corrupt the operation of reason in their government too.

    8 million people voted for them. That means that they are right, doesn’t it? Well, bow to two-thirds of the British population and assign some responsibility for the London bombings to Blair. No? Well, argue with reason, not irrational bluster.

  4. I think that this is a semantic debate. It’s obvious that the coalition killed more civilians than the insurgency, because the insurgency didn’t get going until April 2003, and the period March/April (ie, the war itself) was responsible for the majority of deaths of civilians. However, at present, deaths/day are running at 0.4 for US-led forces and 24/day for "insurgency plus criminals", an extraordinarily uninformative category used in this survey.

    I certainly believe that the coalition "tries to avoid" civilian casualties and congratulate Eric for using this phrase rather than "minimises" them; it is absolutely clear from operating procedures eg at checkpoints that the coalition’s priority is the safety of its own troops first, then civilians second (sometimes a rather distant second). Which puts them several steps better than the insurgents, but isn’t the same as trying to minimise civilian casualties.

  5. Dan, are your 24/day calculated from the above study or something else? The NYT said recently that some Iraqi ministry said that 8,175 Iraqis were killed by insurgents in the 10 months that ended May 31, which is 817 a month, or a little bit more than 24 (26/27 I think). Ok, small difference, I just wondered why. Furthermore this does not include the standard crime rate, I don’t think.

  6. It’s from the study, in a table. The study is basically the IBC website put into a dossier, so it will be radically undercounting a) total deaths b) insurgent-caused deaths.

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