Over 1,000,000 Dead Iraqis from 2003 U.S. Led Invasion

By Craig Considine

George W. Bush and his cronies are not ashamed of themselves, but they certainly should be.  They should also be held in front of the International Criminal Court for their gross crimes against humanity. 
 
A study conducted by the British polling group Opinion Research Business (ORB) reveals that over 1,000,000 Iraqis have died as a result of the United States’ illegal invasion of Iraq. 
 
The OBS sampled 15 of the 18 provinces of Iraq. Two of the provinces which were not included in the report were Kerbala and Anbar – two of Iraq’s most deadly areas. 
 
Furthermore, OBS interviewed over 2,000 Iraqis and found that one in five had at least one dead family member. 
Many Americans will likely consider the OBS report as biased, arguing that all the deaths cannot be blamed on the United States because Iraqis are also killing each other.  This is true, but it is grossly misleading, as the authors of the report suggest. 
 
Joshua Holland and Michael Schwartz, authors of the Lancet report of October 2006, asked Iraqis the cause of death of their family members.  Of deaths for which families were certain of the perpetrator, 56% were attributable to United States force or their allies.  Schwartz suggests that if a low pro rata share of half the unattributed deaths were caused by United States forces, a total of approximately 80% of Iraqi deaths are directly United States perpetrated.
 
And those who still do not trust the OBS report for whatever reason are simply dismissing the more important point that the disproportionate use of force by the United States is simply appalling and unacceptable under any circumstance.  There have been less than 5,000 dead on the American side.  Compare that to 1,000,000! This all on top of an extremely ambiguous reason, weapons of mass destruction, for invading Iraq in the first place.
 
Americans need to open up their eyes and take seriously the barbaric actions committed by their elected leaders.   
 
I have added below further citations to verify.
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Citations
 
1. “The Iraqi Displacement Crisis,” Refugees International, March 3, 2008.
UPDATE BY MICHAEL SCHWARTZ
 
The mortality statistics cited in “Is the United States Killing 10,000 Iraqis Every Month?” were based on another article suitable for Project Censored recognition, a scientific investigation of deaths caused by the war in Iraq. The original article, published in Lancet in 2006, received some dismissive coverage when it was released, and then disappeared from view as the mainstream media returned to reporting biased estimates that placed Iraqi casualties at about one-tenth the Lancet estimates. The corporate media blackout of the original study extended to my article as well, and has continued unabated, though the Lancet article has withstood several waves of criticism, while being confirmed and updated by other studies (Censored 2006, #2).
 
By early 2008, the best estimate, based on extrapolations and replications of the Lancet study, was that 1.2 million Iraqis had died as a consequence of the war. This figure has not, to my knowledge, been reported in any mass media outlet in the United States.
 
The blackout of the casualty figures was matched by a similar blackout of other main evidence in my article: that the Bush administration military strategy in Iraq assures vast property destruction and lethality on a daily basis. Rules of engagement that require the approximately one thousand US patrols each day to respond to any hostile act with overwhelming firepower—small arms, artillery, and air power—guarantee that large numbers of civilians will suffer and die. But the mainstream media refuses to cover this mayhem, even after the Winter Soldier meetings in March 2008 featured over one hundred Iraq veterans who testified to their own participation in what they call “atrocity producing situations.” (see Story #9)
 
The effectiveness of the media blackout is vividly illustrated by an Associated Press poll conducted in February 2007, which asked a representative sample of US residents how many Iraqis had died as a result of the war. The average respondent thought the number was under 10,000, about 2 percent of the actual total at that time. This remarkable mass ignorance, like so many other elements of the Iraq War story, received no coverage in the mass media, not even by the Associated Press, which commissioned the study.
 
The Iraq Veterans Against the War has made the brutality of the occupation their special activist province. The slaughter of the Iraqi people is the foundation of their demand for immediate and full withdrawal of US troops, and the subject of their historic Winter Soldier meetings in Baltimore. Though there was no mainstream US media coverage of this event, the live streaming on Pacifica Radio and on the IVAW website reached a huge audience—including a vast number of active duty soldiers—with vivid descriptions of atrocities committed by the US war machine. A growing number of independent news sites now feature regular coverage of this aspect of the war, including Democracy Now!, Tom Dispatch, Dahr Jamail’s MidEast Dispatches, Informed Comment, Antiwar.com, and ZNet.
UPDATE BY MAKI AL-NAZZAL AND DAHR JAMAIL
 
The promotion of US general David Petraeus to head CENTCOM, and General Raymond Odierno to replace Petraeus as commanding general of the Multi-National Force in Iraq, provoked a lot of anger amongst Iraqis in both Syria and Jordan. The two generals who convinced US and international society of improvement in Iraq do not seem to have succeeded in convincing Iraqi refugees of their success.
“Just like the Bush Administration decorated Paul Bremer (former head of the Coalition Provisional Authority), they are rewarding others who participated in the destruction to Iraq,” stated Muhammad Shamil, an Iraqi journalist who fled Iraq to Syria in 2006. “What they call violence was concentrated in some parts of Iraq, but now spread to be all over the country, thanks to US war heroes. People are getting killed, evicted or detained by the thousands, from Basra (South) to Mosul (North).”
 
Other Iraqi refugees seem to have changed attitudes regarding their hopes to return. Compared to when this story was published in March 2008, the refugee crisis continues to deepen. This is exacerbated by the fact that most Iraqis have no intention of returning home. Instead, they are looking for permanent residence in other countries.
 
“I decided to stop dreaming of going back home and find myself a new home anywhere in the world if I could,” said thirty-two-year-old Maha Numan in Syria, “I have been a refugee for three years now living on the dream of return, but I decided to stop dreaming. I have lost faith in all leaders of the world after the surges of Basra, Sadr City and now Mosul. This seems to be endless and one has to work harder on finding a safe haven for one’s family.”
 
Iraqis in Syria know a lot more of the news about their country than most journalists. At an Internet café in Damascus, each of them calls his hometown and reports the happenings of the day to other Iraqi refugees. News of ongoing violence across much of Iraq convinces them to remain abroad.
 
“There were four various explosions in Fallujah today,” said Salam Adel, who worked as a translator for US forces in Fallujah in 2005. “And they say it is safe to go back! Damn them, go back for what? For roadside bombs or car bombs?”
 
It has been important, politically, for the Bush administration to claim that the situation in Iraq is improving. This claim has been assisted by a complicit corporate media. However, the 1.5 million Iraqis in Syria, and over 750,000 in Jordan, will tell you differently. Otherwise, they would not remain outside of Iraq.