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Iraqis Deaths: More Than Just Numbers

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

You probably saw the headline this morning, "Study: 655,000 Iraqis die because of war." My first thought was, "Over half a million people... Man, that's a lot of people!" My mind then started comparing those numbers to other death tolls from previous wars. See this page at Wikipedia for a chilling list of wars and disasters by death toll. There certainly has been a lot of people killed in the name of politics.
Back to the article. The second paragraph called into question the timing of the release of this study. It was insinuated that the study's release was politically motivated. While I don't doubt that for a moment, I have to question the logic of the accusation. On the one hand, we have the release date of the study being of a political nature, but at the same time, the subject of the study is itself a creation of politics. In my mind, you can't have it both ways. You don't get to cherry-pick when information is released that may be politically damaging to you when the subject of the information is what you're trying to protect from the sphere of politics. Make sense? I hope so... This reminds me of Bush v. The New York Times when the paper release their stories telling of both torture and spying.
As for the picture above, I took the relevant quotes from the article and overlaid them on a picture dating back to May 21, 2003, that showed Iraqis in search of remains of their relatives among bags containing bodies pulled from a nearby mass grave, inside a makeshift morgue near Karbala, Iraq. I hoped to demonstrate with this picture that the Iraq war is more than just "politics" to the flesh-and-blood people who are dying while Americans bicker about the timing of death toll studies. Those who have to collect the bodies of their loved-ones from the morgues surely must find some comfort in all our squabbling.
...and we wonder why they hate Americans so much!


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