12 Jul. 2007

One Million Dead Iraqis


A group called Just Foreign Policy verifies the number of dead today:
In a scientific study published last fall in the prestigious medical journal The Lancet, researchers from Johns Hopkins estimated that 650,000 Iraqis had died because of our government’s invasion of their country. The survey that produced that estimate was completed in July, 2006. That was a year ago.

Unfortunately, despite the calls of the Lancet authors for other studies, there has been no systematic effort to update these results.

Just Foreign Policy has attempted to update the Lancet estimate in the best way we know. We have extrapolated from the Lancet estimate, using the trend provided by the tally of Iraqi deaths reported in Western media compiled by Iraq Body Count. Our current estimate is that 974,000 Iraqis have died as a result of the U.S. invasion. The web counter and fuller explanation are here.
Now for the study about how many angry young souls have been radicalized by those deaths. What have we fucking done?

Please read these soldiers' own words and contemplate the horror in which our once proud nation has colluded:
"People would make jokes about it, even before we'd go into a raid, like, 'Oh fuck, we're gonna get the wrong house'. Cause it would always happen. We always got the wrong house."

Sergeant Jesus Bocanegra, 25, of Weslaco, Texas 4th Infantry Division. In Tikrit on year-long tour that began in March 2003

"I had to go tell this woman that her husband was actually dead. We gave her money, we gave her, like, 10 crates of water, we gave the kids, I remember, maybe it was soccer balls and toys. We just didn't really know what else to do."

Lieutenant Jonathan Morgenstein, 35, of Arlington, Virginia, Marine Corps civil affairs unit. In Ramadi from August 2004 to March 2005

"We were approaching this one house... and we're approaching, and they had a family dog. And it was barking ferociously, cause it's doing its job. And my squad leader, just out of nowhere, just shoots it... So I see this dog - I'm a huge animal lover... this dog has, like, these eyes on it and he's running around spraying blood all over the place. And like, you know, what the hell is going on? The family is sitting right there, with three little children and a mom and a dad, horrified. And I'm at a loss for words."

Specialist Philip Chrystal, 23, of Reno, 3rd Battalion, 116th Cavalry Brigade. In Kirkuk and Hawija on 11-month tour beginning November 2004

"I'll tell you the point where I really turned... [there was] this little, you know, pudgy little two-year-old child with the cute little pudgy legs and she has a bullet through her leg... An IED [improvised explosive device] went off, the gun-happy soldiers just started shooting anywhere and the baby got hit. And this baby looked at me... like asking me why. You know, 'Why do I have a bullet in my leg?'... I was just like, 'This is, this is it. This is ridiculous'."

Specialist Michael Harmon, 24, of Brooklyn, 167th Armour Regiment, 4th Infantry Division. In Al-Rashidiya on 13-month tour beginning in April 2003


"I open a bag and I'm trying to get bandages out and the guys in the guard tower are yelling at me, 'Get that fuck haji out of here,'... our doctor rolls up in an ambulance and from 30 to 40 meters away looks out and says, shakes his head and says, 'You know, he looks fine, he's gonna be all right,' and walks back... kind of like, 'Get your ass over here and drive me back up to the clinic'. So I'm standing there, and the whole time both this doctor and the guards are yelling at me, you know, to get rid of this guy."

Specialist Patrick Resta, 29, from Philadelphia, 252nd Armour, 1st Infantry Division. In Jalula for nine months beginning March 2004

"Here's some guy, some 14-year-old kid with an AK47, decides he's going to start shooting at this convoy. It was the most obscene thing you've ever seen. Every person got out and opened fire on this kid. Using the biggest weapons we could find, we ripped him to shreds..."

Sergeant Patrick Campbell, 29, of Camarillo, California, 256th Infantry Brigade. In Abu Gharth for 11 months beginning November 2004


"Cover your own butt was the first rule of engagement. Someone could look at me the wrong way and I could claim my safety was in threat."

Lieutenant Brady Van Engelen, 26, of Washington DC, 1st Armoured Division. Eight-month tour of Baghdad beginning Sept 2003

"I guess while I was there, the general attitude was, 'A dead Iraqi is just another dead Iraqi... You know, so what?'... [Only when we got home] in... meeting other veterans, it seems like the guilt really takes place, takes root, then."

Specialist Jeff Englehart, 26, of Grand Junction, Colorado, 3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry. In Baquba for a year beginning February 2004

"[The photo] was very graphic... They open the body bags of these prisoners that were shot in the head and [one soldier has] got a spoon. He's reaching in to scoop out some of his brain, looking at the camera and smiling."
This is the reality you are not seeing on yout TV screens. This is the reality you are not reading about in Teh Australian.

This is the reality that Iraqis are living through every fucking day.