Thursday, October 19, 2006

Iraqi Death Toll Perspective

It lightened my heart as I read Libby's blog and saw that Riverbend is finally back. The feeling of goodness was as usual tempered by her on the ground reporting from Iraq. I was discussing the subject with a friend yesterday and I brought up the Iraqi bloggers. I noted that while some pundits continue the myth that the "mainstream" media outlets never report the good in Iraq, I believe that we actually do not get a clear picture of just how bad it is. An example I used was Riverbend only being able to connect to the outside world once every other month or so.

But she is back and the news is indeed grim. The recent Lancet report made waves with the startling figure of 650,000 deaths since the 2003 invasion. Those who supported the war immediately questioned the validity of the numbers and the analysis. Riverbend offers a personal and powerful rebuke.

We literally do not know a single Iraqi family that has not seen the violent death of a first or second-degree relative these last three years. Abductions, militias, sectarian violence, revenge killings, assassinations, car-bombs, suicide bombers, American military strikes, Iraqi military raids, death squads, extremists, armed robberies, executions, detentions, secret prisons, torture, mysterious weapons – with so many different ways to die, is the number so far fetched?

And if the numbers are wrong? What if it's onlly 400,000 or 300,000? What is the number of the permanently scarred and disfigured?

It is time that even those who supported the war face the butcher's bill. We can continue to debate the merits of the invasion and the execution of the post-invasion policy but only the crazy can ignore the fact that Iraq is broken. It is hell on Earth. It is time for true leaders to step forward and true leadership to reign and for we as Americans to demand that some other course must be found.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well said Grift. Thanks for the link.