Costs of War: New Body Count of Iraqi Civilians
an anti-Iraq war protest in Boston, Massachusetts
January 11, 2007. The numbers on Casilio's face
represent the estimated number of Iraqi civilians killed
in the war. Photograph © REUTERS/Brian Snyder.
I came across this image tonight quite by accident. You will notice that it was taken precisely one year ago. It was included among the Pictures of the Year, 2007 at Reuters. The image seems quite fortuitous since the news today reports (here too) on the latest in a long list of efforts to assess the civilian death toll due to the fiasco we have created in Iraq. Do we really need another count such as this? Regardless of the results, the number is too high. The question mark on Alicia Casilio's face remains; it symbolizes to me the questions 'Why?', 'For What Reason?' And BushCo are doing nothing to bring their criminal war to an end.
P.S.: I've just read the research results published in The New England Journal of Medicine. You can find it here. The final paragraph of the paper reads as follows:
During the same period [2003-2006] , the Iraq Body Count registered 47,668 civilian deaths from violence. A much smaller mortality survey (1849 households in 47 clusters) by Burnham et al. came up with a best estimate of 601,027 violent deaths. The best estimate on the number of deaths from March 2003 through June 2006 based on the IFHS data analysis and comparisons with other sources is three times as high as that reported by the Iraq Body Count but only one fourth of that reported by Burnham et al. On the basis of simulations that took into account survey sampling errors and estimated probable uncertainty in the adjustment factors for missing clusters, in the level of underreporting, and in projected population figures, we estimated that there were 151,000 violent deaths in Iraq during this period (95% uncertainty range, 104,000 to 223,000). Although this number is substantially lower than that estimated by Burnham et al., it nonetheless points to a massive death toll in the wake of the 2003 invasion — and represents only one of the many health and human consequences of an ongoing humanitarian crisis.This nicely locates the current study on the terrain marked by prior estimates. But let's make one thing clear. This is not a "humanitarian crisis," it is a political crime perpetrated by past and present members of the Bush administration, abetted by many members of the U.S. Congress.