War is not Humanitarian

Brian Cook

A new survey reveals that up to 100,000 Iraqi civilians may have been killed so far. As of now, the survey itself has yet to be posted on The Lancet website, but AP has the story: In the households reporting deaths, the person who died had to be living there at the time of the death and for more than two months before to be counted. In an attempt at firmer confirmation, the interviewers asked for death certificates in 78 households and were provided them 63 times. There were 46 deaths in the surveyed households before the war. After the invasion, there were 142 deaths. That is an increase from 5 deaths per 1,000 people per year to 12.3 per 1,000 people per year - more than double. However, more than a third of the post-invasion deaths were reported in one cluster of households in the city Fallujah, where fighting has been most intense recently. Because the fighting was so severe there, the numbers from that location may have exaggerated the overall picture. When the researchers recalculated the effect of the war without the statistics from Fallujah, the deaths end up at 7.9 per 1,000 people per year - still 1.5 times higher than before the war.

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Brian Cook was an editor at In These Times from 2003 to 2009. He now works on the editorial staff of Playboy magazine.
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