Thursday, January 10, 2008

155,000 "eggs."

Give or take...

GENEVA (Reuters) Jan. 9 - About 151,000 Iraqi civilians were killed in the three years following the U.S.-led invasion of their country, according to World Health Organization (WHO) research published on Wednesday.

The new study, which said violent deaths could have ranged from 104,000 to 223,000 between March 2003 and June 2006, is the most comprehensive since the war started.

The study drew on an Iraqi health ministry survey of nearly 10,000 households — five times the number of those interviewed in a disputed 2006 John Hopkins University study that said more than 600,000 Iraqis had died over the period.

While well below that figure, the United Nations agency’s estimate exceeds the widely-cited 80,000 to 87,000 death toll by the human rights group Iraq Body Count, which uses media reports and hospital and morgue records to calculate its tally…

The White House said it had not seen the study, but mourned the deaths of Iraqi civilians.

“The unmistakable fact is that the vast majority of these deaths are caused by the willful, murderous intentions of extremists committed to taking innocent life,” said White House spokesman Tony Fratto...

The rest is here. Another “unmistakable fact” that Mr. Fratto conveniently left out is that these people would probably not have died if the Bush/Cheney regime had not launched an unnecessary, illegal, immoral, indefensible war of aggression based on lies and media manipulation against a country which posed no immediate threat to us.

But hey, these aren’t Americans we’re talking about here. During the summer after the Iraq War began, my family and I took a day trip down to the Jersey Shore. I had my “Peacemonger” and “War Is Not The Answer” bumper stickers emblazoned (as always) across the back window of my Honda CR-V. We were curbside unloading our beach paraphernalia when this guy comes by on his very expensive imported Italian racing bike (the kind with peddles) and starts heckling me. He didn’t like my stickers. My wife told me to ignore him, but that just made him angrier. So my son said, “Let him have it, Dad.” So I did. Very politely. With my usual litany of peacemongering questions:

- “How many of the September 11th hijackers were from Iraq?”

- “How can you justify attacking a country which has never attacked us?”

- “How can you say that oil isn’t what this war is about, when Iraq sits on the third largest oil deposit on the planet?”

That kind of thing. The biker guy started sputtering. And then I said, “Sir, with all due respect, I am not willing to have your president kill my sons so that he can try to prove he’s right about what is obviously so wrong.” And the guy says, “Well, you gotta break a few eggs to make an omelet.“ And then he rode off.

I still can’t get over that.

“Egg” count, as of Jan. 10, 2008:

- Total U.S. combat deaths in Iraq: 3921 (NINE just yesterday)

- Total U.S. combat wounded: 28,000 +

- Iraq civilian deaths: 151,000 (est.)

- Iraq civilian wounded: Only God knows

- Progress made by the new Iraqi government towards peace and reconciliation: Zero.

- End in sight: None.

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