Sunday, October 30, 2005


We Don't Do Body Counts?

That was then: Gen. Tommy Franks, March 2002:

You know we don't do body counts.
Donald Rumsfeld:
Well, we don't do body counts on other people.
This is now: Reuters, October 2005:
Pentagon estimates showed that more than 60 Iraqis are killed or wounded every day by insurgent attacks. In a first partial public count of Iraqi casualties in the war, available on Sunday, the Pentagon estimated nearly 26,000 Iraqis were killed or wounded in attacks by insurgents since January 2004, with the daily number increasing fairly steadily.
They won't tell us how many people have been killed by U.S. military action, certainly not how many civilians have been "collateral damage". They will, however, tell us how many people are being killed by the insurgents. Call me cynical, but I'm thinking that suddenly we "do body counts" after all in order to emphasize that the insurgents are evil mass murderers. Which they are — but the insurgency would not exist and all those people would not be dead if George W. Bush hadn't ordered the invasion and occupation of Iraq.
So the Lancet numbers, which by now are getting stale and old, would indicate that for each Iraqi killed by the insurgents, American forces and their allies kill about 4 more.

I heard an NPR story yesterday which I think involved the guys who did the Lancet study. They said the civilian deaths were mostly from bombs (50K dropped so far on Iraq!) and helicopter fire, not soldiers on the ground, so the casualties were more a result of warfare style than individual soldier's responsibilities.

Still, we're killing way too many innocent people. That's no way to establish democracy. Every errent bomb, every civilian death creates another whole team of "insurgents."

No Red-Stater can tell me they themselves wouldn't do the same if they were in the same situaion.
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