Sunday, October 15, 2006

3,000 commas + 655,000 commas = ?

We're going to help the Iraqi people. Remember, 12 million of them voted in elections last December. That probably seems like a decade ago to you, but when the history is finally written, it will be just a comma.
-- George W. Bush

It might be "just a comma" to Dubya, but it's 3,000 brave servicemen and women dead. There's a comma in that figure because we write out figures that way. However, there are a hell of a lot more commas in Iraq when you take accepted scientific statistical practices and apply them to civilian deaths in Iraq since we walked in there and took over. The figure that the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the British medical journal The Lancet came up with comes from a survey of Iraqi families done by a group of brave doctors, and statistical extrapolations after that, the same kind that is used in almost any kind of statistical analysis. The figure they came up with of civilian deaths since 2003: 655,000 souls.

If we sum the two together, there have been 658,000 deaths in Iraq since "Shock and Awe." That's almost 2/3 of a MILLION people. This has ceased to be just a war in the third world and has become a genocide. Not quite yet in the ballpark of Hitler and Stalin and Pol Pot, but closer to the Tutsi body count in Rwanda.

Do we really want all this on our consciences? Maybe we don't want it, but it's there in spite of our wishes. And we are continuing to add onto the body count with every day we stay in the country once thought of as the "cradle of civilization."

Think about it. This won't be a comma in the history books, it will be a big black blot.

1 comment:

Scott said...

Most recent reports put the number at 150k.