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Monday, May 07, 2007


How many Iraqis have died?

One hell of a lot:
Iraq’s child mortality rate has increased by a staggering 150 percent since 1990. Some 122,000 Iraqi children died in 2005 before reaching their fifth birthday. More than half of these deaths were among newborn babies in the first month of life.
The U.S. and its allies invaded Iraq more than four years ago. That's 488,000 dead children under the age of five, ignoring all the other dead that have resulted from this war. Yes, some of those would have died anyway. Using the 150 percent figure, 48,000/year, or 192,000 total, leaving 296,000 "excess" deaths. Of the most "innocent" civilians of all - children under the age of five.

It's been a long time since any reporter asked George Bush how many Iraqis have died thanks to the U.S. invasion. I wonder what he'd say now?

Of course, the excess deaths of Iraqi children, as the report makes clear, haven't been going on since 2003, they've been going on since 1990, thanks to the decade of punishing sanctions against Iraq. Back then, the U.S. used to blame the deaths on the specious claim that Saddam was diverting all the Iraqi money into palaces instead of food and health care. I wonder who they'd blame now, if anyone asked them the question?

Update: By the way, this new study points up precisely my previous criticism of the Johns Hopkins ("Lancet") study, which is that it actually underestimated the number of "excess deaths" by using as its baseline the mortality rate just preceding the invasion, a rate already degraded by the decade of sanctions.

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