It is possible that as many as 655,000 Iraqis have died in the invasion and occupation of that troubled country–the vast majority civilians.
This according to a study conducted by Johns Hopkins University epidemiologists, funded by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for International Studies, and published in Britain’s premier medical journal, The Lancet. That link will give you the original (not very readable) article in PDF format.
The results were much more accessibly summarized in The Guardian, a major UK newspaper,
Thus they calculate that 654,965 Iraqis have died as a consequence of the invasion. It is an estimate and the mid-point, and most likely of a range of numbers that could also be correct in the context of their statistical analysis. But even the lowest number in the range – 392,979 – is higher that anyone else has suggested. Of the deaths, 31% were ascribed to the US-led forces. Most deaths were from gunshot wounds (56%), with a further 13% from car bomb injuries and 14% the result of other explosions.
I became aware of the study through a commentary by Paul Craig Roberts, who had been an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under conservative President Ronald Reagan. Roberts is blunt–he calls it “genocide.”
So even some people with solid Republican conservative credentials are saying “enough!”
I think this study provides a leverage point for organizing. Just as we don’t want to be complicit in the deaths at Darfur, we (those of us who are American or British, anyway) certainly want no complicity in the genocidal actions of our own governments.
It is time to demand withdrawal–NOW! With a concerted effort and a firm commitment to rapid withdrawal, the troops could be home in 60 or maybe even 30 days–and we would stop making enemies and inspiring future terrorists. It is long past time to admit that the US/UK Iraq policy is a massive failure, a disaster, and deadly to the lives of the people we are supposedly there to protect.