ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Dead in Iraq and the War of Numbers

Two different studies on mortality in Iraq after the 2003 US invasion - by Iraq Body Count and Johns Hopkins School of Public Health - provide vastly different assessments.

Among the many wars taking placein and around Iraq – the Americanwar on (or of) terror, the warbetween the occupation forces and Iraqiinsurgents and civilians, the war relentlessly being waged on innocent civiliansby a wide array of armed forces, the strifebetween sunnis and shias, the war by mediagroups to gain the attention of the world,to enumerate only the most obvious formsof an escalating conflict that shows littlesign of diminishment – the war of numbersis shaping up as an important part of theconflict. The daily barrage of the dead issuch that a long-term perspective on casualties may appear to be something of aluxury. Since the American invasion ofIraq in March 2003, the independentorganisation Iraq Body Count ( has been maintaininga tally of “civilian deaths in Iraq thathave resulted from the 2003 military intervention by the USA and its allies”, and itscount includes civilians who have died at the hands of US forces, other coalition troops, Iraqi security forces, insurgents,and all other paramilitary organisations.As of October 27, 2006, the Iraq BodyCount gave a maximum total of civiliandeaths of 49,697.

Excess Deaths and Its Assessment

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