Wednesday, October 14, 2009

From 2004-2008 only 85,000 Iraqis were killed - and most at the hands of al Qaeda

BBC: Iraq says 85,000 violently killed
Just over 85,000 Iraqis were killed in Iraq between 2004 and 2008, according to the first estimate from the Iraqi government since the war began.

The figure is based on death certificates issued by the ministry of health and included 15,000 unidentified bodies.

It counts violent deaths of military, police and civilians, but does not include foreigners or insurgents.

Previous attempts to calculate the number of dead have been controversial.

Past reports have used a number of different methods to produce estimates ranging from more than 100,000 to well over half a million deaths since 2003.

The Ministry of Human Rights included the figure in a larger report into human rights in the country.

'Terrible figures'

It does not include the first months of the war after the 2003 US-led invasion, as there was no functioning Iraqi government at that time to keep track.

"Through the terrorist attacks like explosions, assassinations, kidnappings and forced displacements, the outlawed groups have created these terrible figures which represent a big challenge for the rule of law and for the Iraqi people," it said.

Among the deaths were 1,279 children, 2,334 women, 263 university professors, 21 judges, 95 lawyers and 269 journalists.

The data covers only violent deaths, such as people killed in shootings, bombings, mortar attacks and beheadings.

It does not include indirect factors such as damage to infrastructure, health care and stress that contributed to more deaths.

About 148,000 people were injured during the same period.

Most of the fatalities were at the hands of Saddam's Sunni allies and al Qaeda, not the USA or coalition forces.

Iraqis paid a high price for their independence, but those who argue the war was wrong or pointless - or that Iraqis were better off under Saddam - are wrong.

Saddam murdered more Iraqis each year than died each year from 2003-2009.

REPEAT: Saddam murdered more Iraqis each year than died each year from 2003-2009.

REPEAT: Saddam murdered more Iraqis each year than died each year from 2003-2009.

And also: nobody had any freedom in Iraq.

Iraqis are infinitely better off - and they can thank the USA, Bush, our troops.

But they cannot thank not a single Democrat except for former Democrat Joe Lieberman.

Iraqis cannot thank Obama or Biden or Hillary or Kerry - who were all opposed to the Surge which finally secured the victory.

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