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Cost of the Iraq War [US$]
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Magpie is a former journalist, attempted historian [No, you can't ask how her thesis is going], and full-time corvid of the lesbian persuasion. She keeps herself in birdseed by writing those bad computer manuals that you toss out without bothering to read them. She also blogs too much when she's not on deadline, both here and at Pacific Views.

Magpie roosts in Portland, Oregon, where she annoys her housemates (as well as her cats Medea, Whiskers, and Jane Doe) by attempting to play Irish music on the fiddle and concertina.

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The human toll of the Iraq invasion and occupation.

It may be far higher than anyone had guessed. A new estimate by a team of Iraqi and US epidemiologists suggests that, had the US-led invasion of Iraq not occurred, about 655,000 fewer Iraqis would have died since March 2003.

[The estimate] is more than 20 times the estimate of 30,000 civilian deaths that President Bush gave in a speech in December. It is more than 10 times the estimate of roughly 50,000 civilian deaths made by the British-based Iraq Body Count research group.

The surveyors said they found a steady increase in mortality since the invasion, with a steeper rise in the last year that appears to reflect a worsening of violence as reported by the U.S. military, the news media and civilian groups. In the year ending in June, the team calculated Iraq's mortality rate to be roughly four times what it was the year before the war.

Of the total 655,000 estimated "excess deaths," 601,000 resulted from violence and the rest from disease and other causes, according to the study. This is about 500 unexpected violent deaths per day throughout the country.

The survey was done by Iraqi physicians and overseen by epidemiologists at Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health. The findings are being published online today by the British medical journal the Lancet.

The same group in 2004 published an estimate of roughly 100,000 deaths in the first 18 months after the invasion. That figure was much higher than expected, and was controversial. The new study estimates that about 500,000 more Iraqis, both civilian and military, have died since then -- a finding likely to be equally controversial.
[Emphasis mine]

Via Washington Post.

More:  I was a bit tired when I posted last night, so I forgot to add some information that really puts the new estimate in perspective: The current population of Iraq is a bit over 26 million people; the current US population is just over 300 million. If you adjust the figures in the estimate for the larger population of the US, the numbers are the equivalent of 5750 unexpected deaths per day. If the US had suffered conditions like that of Iraq since March 2003, 7,532,000 people would have died.

Even if the researchers methodology was so wrong that their figures are twice the real death rate from the Iraq occupation, it's easy to see that the number of deaths in Iraq sinc March 2003 is still appalling.

| | Posted by Magpie at 12:17 AM | Get permalink




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