Sunday 2 January 2022

How many little Iraqi children died in the streets?

I have given up reading the news, except for skimming it over breakfast. In the time that gives me I keep finding interesting things. For example, I recently came across a reference to the deaths caused by sanctions in Iraq between the two Iraq Wars. I looked up the figures on the net and saw that UNICEF said that around 1,500,000 Iraqis, primarily children, died as a direct consequence of the sanctions.

Is this figure true? According to researchers writing in the Washington Post, it is a fraud concocted by Saddam.

It seems incredibly high and I trust neither the UN nor the Washington Post. Still, something to bear in mind.

Many more Iraqis would die as a result of the invasion, of course. 

According to Iraq Body Count site there were between 186,057 and 209,241 violent deaths of combatants and civilians added together as a result of the war. According to Jonathan Steele, writing in The Guardian, the site "is widely considered as the most reliable database of Iraqi civilian deaths" but some researchers say the real number of deaths is much, much higher.

According to Wikipedia:

Population-based studies produce estimates of the number of Iraq War casualties ranging from 151,000 violent deaths as of June 2006 (per the Iraq Family Health Survey) to 1,033,000 excess deaths (per the 2007 Opinion Research Business (ORB) survey). Other survey-based studies covering different time-spans find 461,000 total deaths (over 60% of them violent) as of June 2011 (per PLOS Medicine 2013), and 655,000 total deaths (over 90% of them violent) as of June 2006 (per the 2006 Lancet study). Body counts counted at least 110,600 violent deaths as of April 2009 (Associated Press). The Iraq Body Count project documents 185,000–208,000 violent civilian deaths through February 2020 in their table. All estimates of Iraq War casualties are disputed.[4][5]

I think I was right about a lot of things that happened in my lifetime. I was right about Brexit and spot on about South Africa. I was slightly too kind to Jimmy Carter, too hard on Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, too sanguine about immigration into the UK and mistaken in supporting the EEC, though the EEC was far less objectionable than the EU. I am very pleased that I was right to think the invasion of Iraq was unjust and unnecessary.

It is facile and inaccurate to accuse Mr George W Bush and Mr Anthony Blair of war crimes, though my former boss Sir David Amess was right to try to have the latter impeached. Bush was a democrat with a small d, but Auden's Epi
taph on a Tyrant could almost apply to him, and to Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney.
Perfection, of a kind, was what he was after,
And the poetry he invented was easy to understand;
He knew human folly like the back of his hand,
And was greatly interested in armies and fleets;
When he laughed, respectable senators burst with laughter,
And when he cried the little children died in the streets.

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