Friday, 2 March 2007

The confusing civilian death toll

The death toll for civilians killed in Iraq is steadily rising, indicating that although our government would like us to believe they've got the Iraq situation under control in fact the data shows quiet the opposite to be true.

This graph, taken from the BBC website, shows the predicted civilian death toll between 2003 and 2006.

The death rate is not falling.

This graph can only show a predicted death toll because many deaths go unreported for various inhumane reasons. It's as if the civilians are forgotten amongst the rubble, gun sound and chaos that fills Iraq daily.

Many of the killings involve torture and kidnapping, and are typically sectarian in nature. Most of the victims are men, but women and children are also dying in large numbers.

Children who have barely seen the world are being needlessly taken from it.

Civilian deaths in Iraq can come from many different sources. Insurgent attacks on coalition forces, the Iraqi military and police all tend to create civilian casualties, as can coalition attacks on insurgents.

Civilians also suffer disproportionate casualties when compared with the military. One estimate from US officials in late 2005 concluded that although about 80% of insurgent attacks were targeted against the coalition, the Iraqi population suffered about 80% of all casualties.

Therefore, if the insurgents are not killing who they set out to defeat and deter (the coalition forces) but instead are wiping out the Iraqi population, what is the point of this war and when will it end?

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