100k Civilians Killed In Iraq By Coalition Forces
100,000 Civilian Women And Children Killed In Iraq By Coalition Forces
by Patricia Johnson
''Most individuals reportedly killed by coalition forces were women and children. The risk of death from violence in the period after the invasion was 58 times higher (95% CI 8·1-419) than in the period before the war.''
The above is a direct quote from "Mortality before and after the 2003 invasion of Iraq: cluster sample survey" a survey conducted by researchers Les Roberts, Riyadh Lafta, Richard Garfield, Jamal Khudhairi, and Gilbert Burnham.
Roberts and Burnham are with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Lafta and Khudhairi are with the College of Medicine at Al-Mustansiriya University in Baghdad and Garfield is with the Columbia University School of Nursing.
The Johns Hopkins report found the deaths were attributed to violence resulting from military action by coalition forces, with women and children being the majority of those killed. The full, eight-page, report is published in the October 30, 2004, online edition of The Lancet.
The study was completed in September of 2004, by randomly selecting 33 neighborhoods, of 30 homes, across Iraq. The original sample consisted of 988 households.
Residents were asked about the number and ages of each person living in the household, as well as the number of births and deaths since January of 2002. 7,868 Iraqis were included in the study. The cause and circumstances behind each death was collected and when possible death certificates or other documentation was obtained to verify the deaths.
The data was derived by comparing the mortality rate among civilians in Iraq for 14.6 months prior to the March invasion, with the 17.8 month period following the invasion.
Findings indicated 100,000 more Iraqis died than would have been expected to die, with 84% of the deaths caused by coalition forces, and 95% of the deaths due to air strikes and artillery. These figures do not include information from the city of Falluja. The researchers felt the totals would be distorted if the Falluja deaths were included in the total.
Gilbert Burnham, M.D., the study co-author explains "There is a real necessity for accurate monitoring of civilian deaths during combat situations. Otherwise it is impossible to know the extent of the problems civilians may be facing or how to protect them."
Johns Hopkins researchers note that even though their research indicates 100,000 civilians are dead that wouldn't otherwise be dead due to actions taken by coalition forces; they found no evidence of improper conduct by the coalition forces. They further state "in view of the political importance of this conflict, these results should be confirmed by an independent body such as the ICRC, Epicentre, or WHO. In the interim, civility and enlightened self-interest demand a re-evaluation of the consequences of weaponry now used by coalition forces in populated areas."
The report is indicating an estimated total of 100,000 deaths in Iraq, that wouldn't have otherwise occurred, mostly women and children, but does not include the number of wounded Iraqi civilians.
The U.S. Department of Defense is listing 1,107 Americans as being killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom with 8,150 Americans wounded, a ratio of roughly 7:1. For every one soldier killed, another 7 are wounded. Note: The eight Americans killed, and nine wounded in Anbar province, on October 30, are not included in the above totals.
Using the same 7:1 ratio for civilians in Iraq could indicate a minimum of 700,000 wounded, mostly women and children.
When the WTC was hit on 9/11 the people in the U.S. were subjected to a terror attack and the memory of that day is forever embedded in our memory. The people of Iraq have been subjected to terror attacks on a daily basis since the coalition invasion in March of 2003. We had one day of terror, the people of Iraq have been subjected to terror for the past 590 days.
(click here) for a recent example. "About 4 p.m. a Marine Harrier jet bombed a mortar position inside Fallujah and strafed it with machine-gun fire, "neutralizing the target and any threat," said Marine spokesman 1st Lt. Lyle Gilbert." In Baghad a car bomb collapsed the first floor of the Al-Arabiya TV network. "Three bodies, including one of a woman, were mutilated beyond recognition, said Al-Arabiya correspondent Najwa Qassem."
Coalition forces are attacking insurgents, while militant groups are attacking anything and everything associated with Americans. In all instances Iraqi civilians are caught in the middle.
Less than 3,000 were killed on 9/11 and the world was outraged. Where is the outrage for 100,000 innocents killed in Iraq by Coalition forces? Are these people destined to be saved from a ruthless dictator, only to die a violent death at the hands of their saviors?
Patricia Johnson is a freelance writer
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