There’s another death toll in Iraq

A recent study indicates the civilian death toll in Iraq is close to 100,000.

A recently released study is estimating civilian deaths in Iraq to have reached 100,000. The horrifying number of civilian casualties shows more have been killed since the coalition invasion than would have died during prior sanctions in Iraq.

Though U.S. military officials aren’t keeping track of civilian deaths, they say they are fighting the war with precise action to avoid as many civilian casualties as possible. But based on the study, they aren’t avoiding as many civilian casualties as they thought they were.

The estimate of 100,000 civilian deaths isn’t the end of it. The researchers didn’t even include deaths in Fallujah, Iraq, the site of many violent air strikes and an immense amount of fighting. Researchers say the deaths in Fallujah would not have been proportionate to the rest of Iraq and would have thrown the survey.

Most of the violent deaths that were tracked down during research for the study were reported as a result of coalition actions. The study also found most of the deaths were caused by aerial attacks, and women and children are as often the victims of attacks as civilian men are. Of the 73 violent deaths, 95 percent were because of air raids. 46 percent of the violent deaths surveyed were of children and an additional 7 percent were of women. Because the study lacks a sufficient survey of violent deaths, the numbers might or might not be proportionate.

Iraqi officials are keeping their tabs of civilian casualties to themselves. The hush-hush attitude caused the team of U.S. and Iraqi researchers to create a door-to-door survey of individual households in different areas of Iraq. The researchers printed their report recently in The Lancet, a British medical journal.

The fact that neither the U.S. nor Iraqi forces are reporting counts on the number of civilian casualties in Iraq is disturbing. The exact number – even if it is only in the vicinity of the projected 100,000 – forces people to look at what the war is actually doing to Iraq.