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Thursday, July 31, 2008


Headlines I can't stand

US toll in Iraq hits all-time low as month ends

No, sorry, AP. The US toll was at an "all-time low" before the invasion, when the number was zero. Unfortunately for the Iraqis, even then their toll wasn't zero, since the decade-long embargo, not to mention the continued bombing in the "no-fly" zones, took lives by the tens of thousands every month.

Iraqi deaths are down from where they were, clearly. That is, death by violence. But what about "public health" deaths - deaths due to the continuing lack of health care in a country where so many doctors have fled, the continuing shortage of electricity and clean drinking water, and so on? The truth is we have no idea whatsoever where those deaths stand. One thing is pretty certain, though - they're not at an "all-time low" either. Because Iraq once had one of the best health-care systems in the region, a system of nationalized health care which provided care for everyone.

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