Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Death Toll in Iraq Tragically Vast

From the Wall Street Journal Morning Brief:

A new estimate of the death toll from the war in Iraq is so tragically vast it raises the question of whether the U.S.-led invasion and reworking of the country can ever be considered a success no matter how the conflict is resolved.

The study, to be published in Saturday's edition of the British medical journal the Lancet, finds that roughly 600,000 Iraqis have died in the violence. This number, produced by a team from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, represents "an additional 2.5% of Iraq's population [that] died above what would have occurred without conflict," the report says, according to The Wall Street Journal. It compares with a civilian casualty rate for May through August this year of 117 people a day, according to a U.S. military study; other tabulations that have pegged the amount of civilian fatalities at about 50,000 to more than 150,000; and President Bush's declaration 10 months ago that "30,000, more or less" have been killed during and since the invasion.

Bush says 30,000; a scientific team says 600,000. Why is it not surprising that the real numbers bear no relationship to those of the Bush Administration? Let us never forget that this was a war of choice.

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