… Killing 10,000 Iraqis Every Month?

Is the United States Killing 10,000 Iraqis Every Month? Or Is It More? Published on voltairenet.org, by Michael Schwartz, July 9, 2007.

2 excerpts: … While the atlantist media is reporting more than 3 000 GI’s killed in Iraq and many civilian victims of inter-confessional violences, it looks away from the daily slaughter of civilians by US patrols conducting their search operations for suspects. Professor Michael Schwartz estimates that their number reached 10 000 a month in the first 3 years of occupation. And much more since Bush ordered his surge of operations …

… Let’s keep in mind, then, that the United States undertakes something over 1,000 patrols each day, and lately this number has surged to over 5,000 (if we also count patrols by the Iraqi military). According to U.S. military statistics, again reported by the Brookings Institute, these patrols patrols currently result in just under 3,000 firefights every month, or just under an average of 100 per day (not counting the additional 25 or so involving our Iraqi allies). Most of them do not produce 24 Iraqi deaths, but the rules of engagement our soldiers are given — throwing hand grenades into buildings holding suspected insurgents, using maximum firepower against snipers, and calling in artillery and air power against stubborn resistance — guarantee a regular drumbeat of mortality.

It is worth recording how these events are reported in the American press, when they are noted at all. Here, for example, is an Associated Press account of American/British patrols in Meyssan province, a stronghold of the Mahdi army:

Well to the south, Iraqi officials reported as many as 36 people were killed in fierce overnight fighting that began as British and Iraqi forces conducted house-to-house searches in Amarah, a stronghold of the Shiite Mahdi Army militia [6].

This brief description was part of a five paragraph account of fighting all over Iraq, part of a review under the headline “U.S. and Iraqi forces Move on Insurgents.” It contained brief accounts of several different operations, none of them presented as major events. There were 100 or so engagements that day, and many of them produced deaths. How many? Based on the Lancet article, we could guess that on that day — and most days — the incident in Amarah represented perhaps one-tenth of all the Iraqis killed by Americans that day. Over the course of June, the accumulated total probably came to something over 10,000 … (full long text).

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