Sunday, October 31, 2004

100,000 Iraqi Deaths Since the 2003 US Invasion

The Lancet, a top British medical journal (my apologies if I should be using a definite article instead), on Thursday published online the results of its recent survey of 33 clusters of 30 households each, and the results are devastating. The authors note: "Making conservative assumptions, we think that about 100,000 excess deaths, or more have happened since the 2003 invasion of Iraq."

Richard Horton, writes the "Comment" (link from the survey article): (T)hese findings also raise questions for those far removed from Iraq—in the governments of the countries responsible for launching a pre-emptive war. In planning this war, the coalition forces—especially those of the US and UK—must have considered the likely effects of their actions for civilians. And these consequences presumably influenced deployments of armed forces, provision of supplies, and investments in building a safe and secure physical and human infrastructure in the post-war setting. With the admitted benefit of hindsight and from a purely public health perspective, it is clear that whatever planning did take place was grievously in error. The invasion of Iraq, the displacement of a cruel dictator, and the attempt to impose a liberal democracy by force have, by themselves, been insufficient to bring peace and security to the civilian population. Democratic imperialism has led to more deaths not fewer.

Well, what can one say? A war of choice. No plan for the peace. A craven disregard for human life.

Suddenly I am reminded how much I f*cking hate Donald Rumsfeld. Remember this masterpiece of look!-shiny-object-over-there! dissemblage:

"The construct I would suggest would be, um, what are the benefits - what are the advantages and disadvantages of not acting? And of course, the advantage of not acting - against the moon - would be that no-one could say that you acted. They would say, 'Isn't that good - you didn't do anything against the moon'. The other side of the coin of not acting against the moon, in the event that the moon posed a serious threat, would be that you then suffered a serious loss, and you're sorry after that's over. And in weighing the things, you would have to make a judgement ... or net ... do you think you are acting most responsibly by avoiding the threat that could be characterised - X numbers of people dying, innocent people, and it's that kind of a evaluation one would have to make."

Is it respectful to tell the Secretary of Defense to f*ck kindly off? No. Is it incumbent upon patriots the world over to do so? Yes.

All together now, kiddies: F*CK! KINDLY! OFF! RUMMY!

[Psst. Rummy's being sued. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.]