Friday, July 22, 2005

Falluja again


"They [Muslims] feel the blows on Falluja, even if you don't." (George Galloway on 'Any Questions', 15 July)

Iraqbodycount: 'A Dossier of Civilian Casualties in Iraq, 2003-2005' In big letters, 'Civilians reported killed by military intervention in Iraq'. This is to be read as 'Civilians reported killed by the US-led military intervention in Iraq' or even 'Civilians reported killed because of the US-led military intervention in Iraq'

The graphs on page 12 and  the table on page 13, similar to a graph published in The Mirror, Thursday, shows the deaths caused by US-led Forces rising sharply at the time of the attacks on Falluja, in April and November 2004. This rise takes it up to the number of deaths caused by 'others', which remains constantly high in the range 500 to 900.

'US-led Forces', of course, includes the Iraqi army and police. 'Others' are 'Anti-occupation forces', unknown agents and crime. Unfortunately, Iraqbodycount does not break down these 2 categories, but it does tell us that, of the total of 14,131 deaths, 8,894 were primarily crime-related murders.

 An extract from the table is shown below - US-led coalition and Iraqi government forces first, 'others' second.
   
Feb 04 13 534
Mar 04 30 880
Apr 04632 503
May 04 74 614
...

Oct 04 97 695
Nov 04775 691
Dec 04 15 824
Jan 05 25 848
Feb 05 11 981

So, we can see that the numbers killed by the US and Iraqi government forces in the 'Falluja peaks' equals probably less than the numbers killed by the 'insurgents' in an average 3 months.

Naturally, Iraqbodycount uses the figures to 'prove' that the attacks on Falluja only led to increased numbers being killed by the insurgents.

Those killed by criminals can also be blamed on the Americans, since 'before the war, there was a strong government, strong security.'

By the way, The Mirror describes the report as being from 'the independent Oxford Research group'. ORG describes itself as 'an independent non-governmental organisation [...] which seeks to develop effective methods whereby people can bring about positive change [...] by non-violent means.'

Update (23 Jul):
The most breathtaking statement was the one of al-Qaida claiming responsibility for the London bombings saying it was in return for the massacre in Iraq. But the massacres in Iraq now are being conducted by al-Qaida against Muslims.
Ian McEwan in Der Spiegel via Eric.

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