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Thursday, April 20, 2006


Death toll in Iraq: an update

One of my frequent subjects is "groups of people whose deaths are forgotten when 'totals' are given," and I have included in various posts on that subject soldiers of countries other than the U.S. (e.g., U.K., Italy), members of the Iraqi army (past and present), resistance fighters, and, finally (I think, I'm probably forgetting someone now) contractors (note: I have not forgotten to include Iraqi civilians in this list; their deaths are not "forgotten," they are simply not reliably counted). In the past I've relied on the number from Iraq Coalition Casualty Count, which lists 318 dead contractors of all nationalities. Today, on Democracy Now!, in a segment on the deaths of the four Blackwater contractors/mercenaries in Fallujah, host Juan Gonzalez says this:
According to Department of Labor statistics, at least 425 U.S. civilians have died in Iraq including at least 22 Blackwater contractors.
So, for those interested in tracking just American deaths, whether you are a jingoist or just think that (correctly, unfortunately) that that number has the most impact on other Americans and their thoughts about the war, the number is now not 2378, the number of American military killed, but at least 2803. And remember that, while some of those are "regular" civilians (e.g., journalists, Christian Peacemakers), most of them are contractors who were, for all intents and purposes, just "outsourced" (civilianized) members of the military, doing jobs which in any previous war would have been done by the "real" military.

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