Tennis Forum banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,745 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/162/nation/Civilian_death_toll_in_Iraq_put_at_3_240+.shtml

Nationwide total doesn't account for some battles, towns

By Niko Price, Associated Press, 6/11/2003

AGHDAD -- Someone has taped together the shredded binding, as if that could fix the horrors inside. There are pages bathed in dried, reddish-brown blood, their letters smeared and unintelligible.



The frantic scribblings and bloody handprints are a record of war.

This ledger at Kadhamiya General Hospital is one of dozens of documents reviewed by The Associated Press over five weeks in an effort to count the civilian casualty toll from a month of fighting.

The finding: At least 3,240 civilians died throughout the country, including 1,896 in Baghdad. The count is still fragmentary, and the complete number, if it is ever tallied, is sure to be much higher.

Several surveys have looked at civilian casualties within Baghdad, but this is the first attempt to gauge the scale of such deaths from one end of the country to the other, from Mosul in the north to Basra in the south.

The count is based on records from 60 of Iraq's 124 hospitals, including almost all of the large ones, and covers the period between March 20, when the war began, and April 20, when the fighting was dying down. Journalists visited the hospitals, studied their logs, examined death certificates when available, and interviewed officials.

Many of the 64 other hospitals are in small towns and were not visited because they are in dangerous or inaccessible areas. Some hospitals that were visited had incomplete or damaged records on casualties.

Even if hospital records were complete, they would not tell the full story for this nation of 24 million. Many of the dead were never taken to hospitals; they were either buried quickly by their families in accordance with Islamic custom or lost under rubble.

The journalists excluded all counts done by hospitals whose written records did not distinguish between civilian and military dead, which means hundreds, possibly thousands, of victims in the largest cities and most intense battles aren't reflected in the total.

The US military did not count civilian casualties because ''our efforts are focused on military tasks,'' said Lieutenant Colonel Jim Cassella, a Pentagon spokesman. The British Defense Ministry said it didn't count casualties either.

In the 1991 Gulf War, an estimated 2,278 civilians were killed, according to Iraqi civil defense authorities. No official US count is known to have been made. That war consisted of seven weeks of bombing and 100 hours of ground war; it did not take US forces into any Iraqi cities.

This time it was very different. In a war in which Saddam Hussein's soldiers melted away into crowded cities, changed into plainclothes, or wore no uniform to begin with, separating civilian and military casualties was often impossible.

Adding to the civilian toll was the regime's tactic of parking its troops and weapons in neighborhoods, creating targets for US bombs that increased the casualties among noncombatants.

The reasons for some high-casualty attacks have yet to be fully resolved. For instance, on March 28 a missile landed on a sidewalk in a crowded marketplace in the Baghdad district of al-Shoala. Iraqi officials said 58 civilians were killed by a US airstrike. Central Command said at the time that it was investigating, but spokesman Captain John Morgan now says no inquiry was conducted. Central Command neither confirmed nor denied firing the missile.

The great majority of civilian deaths appear to have been caused by US and British attacks, but witnesses say some -- even a rough estimate is impossible -- were caused by the Iraqis themselves: by exploding ammunition stored in neighborhoods, by falling antiaircraft rounds aimed at coalition warplanes, or by fire directed at coalition troops.

The United States said its sophisticated weaponry minimized the toll, and around the country are sites that, to look at them, bolster the assertion: missiles that tore deep into government buildings but left the surrounding houses untouched.

''Did the Americans bomb civilians? Yes. But one should be realistic,'' said Dr. Hameed Hussein al-Aaraji, the new director of Baghdad's al-Kindi Hospital. ''Saddam ran a dirty war. He put weapons inside schools, inside mosques. What could they do?''

Like the register at Kadhamiya General Hospital, other ledgers across the country record the names, ages, and addresses of patients; the diagnoses and operations; the recoveries and the deaths. They also list professions: butcher, carpenter, soldier, student, policeman.

Some of the best record-keeping was in Baghdad, where journalists visited all of the 24 hospitals that took in war casualties. Their logs provided a count of 1,896 civilians killed. There were certainly more civilians dead; a few hospitals lost count as the fighting intensified.

In some parts of the country, records are more spotty. The three civilian hospitals in Basra, Iraq's second-largest city, recorded the deaths of 413 people. Doctors estimate that 85 percent were civilian, but they have no evidence. The journalists didn't include the numbers from Basra in their count.

Some hospitals that began keeping records at the beginning of the war had to stop. The fighting came to them -- in some cases, through their front doors.

Doctors at Nasiriyah's Republic Hospital said seven patients were killed in their beds when a shell hit the building April 7. At Baghdad's Yarmouk Hospital, doctors fled when US tanks shelled a hospital building seized by Iraqi fighters. When they returned five days later, 26 patients were dead.

It will take months or more before anything like a final count emerges. One survey is being done by the advocacy group Human Rights Watch, another by the Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict, which hopes to win US compensation for victims or their relatives. Meanwhile, from city to city, block to block, house to house, Iraqis are trying to come to terms with their losses. For them, it matters little whether the casualty count is 3,000, double that, or more.

''If they didn't want to kill civilians, why did they fire into civilian areas?'' asked Ayad Jassim Ibrahim, a 32-year-old Basra fireman who said his brother Alaa was killed by shrapnel from a US missile that struck his living room.

Aaraji, the doctor, sees things differently. ''It was a war,'' he said. ''This is the price of liberty.''
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,910 Posts
so the actual losses were only a few thousand, well below the millions expected by peacetard analysts, hehe their fuckstock was shit, dickasses :)

Ra!'s all round :) and H TO THE IZZO\/\/N3D! :)

- Car Key Boi :cool:
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,735 Posts
Actually, the civilian casualties are probably in the millions. But the killers are unaccounted for. Except for good old Chemical Ali (great job Brits.) :)

The Nazis, again
Mona Charen (archive)


June 10, 2003 | Print | Send


The whole world is focused on what we've failed to find in Iraq -- to the point of neglecting what we have found. In doing so, the press is missing the significance of what the United States and Britain have achieved.


The banned weapons will eventually be accounted for. Of that there can be no doubt. But the more important story is that the coalition overthrew a regime that can fairly be compared with Nazi Germany. Such a deed would be applauded by the world -- if we lived in a better world.

The absolute numbers of those tortured, maimed and killed by the Ba'ath government will never be known. But some estimates say 1 million Iraqis were butchered by Saddam. American and British forces are finding mass graves throughout the country. Corpses of men, women and children were found. Even some of the children had been tortured before being executed. A columnist for a Lebanese newspaper wrote: "This barbarism, unprecedented in human history, was committed by Arab hands, by hands that found such delight in death and murder that the death squads would send the heads of the victims to Saddam Hussein's two sons in cardboard boxes. . . . These plastic bags in the mass graves contained bullet-riddled skulls, bodies wrapped in rags, tied in ropes, or dressed in worn pieces of clothing. . . . Ropes still tied a mother's bones to her infant's, and a father's to his son . . . "

U.S. forces have reportedly captured millions of pages of meticulous documents from the files of the security forces, detailing tortures and murders by the regime. According to Insight magazine, "A single document dated August 1989 lists the names of 87 people who were executed and a summary of each case. The alleged crimes included trespassing into forbidden zones and teaching the Kurdish language." In one police station in Nasiriya, survivors showed U.S. Marines the electric shock prods, electric chair, and other torture implements, as well as tons of surveillance equipment. The station was filled with pictures of burned bodies.

The Saddam regime apparently used photos of its torture victims to intimidate others, particularly the victims' families.

Insight tells the story of Fatima Faraj, a Kurd whose nephews were arrested by the regime in 1986. After two years, they were executed. The Republican Guards demanded that their father pay a fee for their burial. When he demanded a receipt, the guards turned over the bodies. The father took the bodies of his sons home in boxes. "Their entire bodies other than (beneath) their underwear were places of burn," Fatima sobbed. "There were two black spots on their necks. They looked as though they were whipped and kicked throughout their bodies." Another nephew survived his torture. "He was kicked so bad," Fatima testified. "They took out all his fingernails and toenails. . . . He had a nervous breakdown."

Writing in the London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, columnist Ahmed Al-Rab'i issued a "J'accuse" at fellow Arabs: "Is there not a single man of conscience who might be brought by these sights to . . . admit that he was mistaken, that he was unaware of the truth, that he was a victim of the misleading (Arab) media?" A Jordanian journalist declared the obvious: "The dictatorship of the Iraqi Ba'ath reached the level of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia . . . "

Any nation that marched into that torture chamber of a country and freed it deserves the world's gratitude. Instead, we have carping from all sides. Antiquities were stolen from the museum (by the way, only 47 unaccounted for out of the originally suggested 170,000), water and power supplies took more than a couple of weeks to stabilize, and we haven't yet laid hands on the well-hidden weapons of mass destruction. The weapons will be found. The rest is nonsense. The United States and Britain have done a magnificent thing. Even if nothing else follows from it -- no liberalization of the Arab world, no breakthrough between Israelis and Palestinians, no hobbling of the terror masters -- it will have been worth it.



©2003 Creators Syndicate, Inc.
 
  • Like
Reactions: disposablehero

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,315 Posts
BigTennisfan, I'd postive rep you if the damn thing was working. I have no motivation left to do anything but shake my head at those who campaign for peace and justice, but seemingly have no genuine interest in either.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,735 Posts
disposablehero said:
BigTennisfan, I'd postive rep you if the damn thing was working. I have no motivation left to do anything but shake my head at those who campaign for peace and justice, but seemingly have no genuine interest in either.
Thanks for the sentiment dh but I don't put much stock in the rep business. But you are right on about people not seeming to really care. Charen put it well, If we lived in a better world, the US and Britain would be acknowledged for doing a good thing.

Some would ask does the end justify the means. In this particular case, YES.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top