How Many Deaths In Iraq?

The local anti-war group, Kalamazoo Non-Violent Opponents to War, held a protest on Saturday, March 13 to call attention to the number of people killed in the year since the U.S. invasion of Iraq began. They created life-size silhouettes to represent the dead,

In the middle of the parade of silhouettes was a banner asking this question,

Being the helpful sort, let me see if I can take a stab at answering that question.

As Deroy Murdock noted in National Review, there is some disagreement over just how many people Saddam Hussein’s regime murdered in order to maintain his dictatorial rule,

Assessments of the devastation vary. Last May, Human Rights Watch concluded that “as many as 290,000 Iraqis have been ‘disappeared’ by the Iraqi government over the past two decades.” Last November 20, British Prime Minister Tony Blair said: “We’ve already discovered just so far the remains of 400,000 people in mass graves.” This scale of destruction rivals 1994’s Rwandan genocide.

In the year since the United States invaded and removed Saddam Hussein, those on the Left claim that anywhere from 8,000 to 12,000 civilians have been killed as a result (those figures, by the way, apparently include the civilian victims of terrorism in post-occupation Iraq).

So how many deaths in Iraq? Well, from March 2003-2004 about half as many were apparently killed in the effort to rid the world of Saddam Hussein as Hussein himself murdered every year, on average, for 20 years using the Human Rights Watch estimate.

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