can’t see the forest

Bush dismisses Iraqi death toll as ‘not credible’

Bush on the phoneAccording to the BBC, the President said in response to a new study estimating the number of Iraqi civilians killed during the US-led occupation of Iraq: “I stand by the figure that a lot of innocent people have lost their life. Six hundred thousand or whatever they guessed at is just . . . it’s not credible.” First of all: “a lot of innocent people have lost their life” is neither grammatically correct nor is it a figure. Secondly, while the study does rely heavily on statistical analysis and the comparison of mortality rates, nothing was “guessed at.” The study, spearheaded by an American university, is part of a continuing series of efforts in which data collection and tabulation methods are being improved and refined with each successive pass. Thirdly, it is Mr. Bush himself that is not credible. But the burning question seems to be: how many civilian deaths are acceptable to Mr. Bush? What would be credible? Please tell us. Three hundred thousand, does that sound better? Fifty thousand? How many Iraqis must make his ‘grand sacrifice’ before he’ll consider them “free?”    

There seems to be something approaching a general consensus that a civilian death toll of over 600,000 is indeed inflated. And the timing of the study, in fairness, seems a bit politically placed. But the reports favored by the White House place the death toll nearer 50,000, which seems to be a figure yawnably acceptable to the US media and military establishments.


3 Responses

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  1. Gracie said, on 10/12/06 at 6:59 pm

    Amy Goodman interviewed Les Roberts today on DN which is well worth watching. For this administration to claim this is false is nothing more than an attempt to discredit any legitimate report done by well respected institutions. It will only further the hatred felt by the Iraqi people towards us for dismissing the death and destruction caused by our occupation.

    It’s shameful.

  2. tellitlikeitis said, on 10/12/06 at 8:22 pm

    I’d like to see that. I know, it’s so cynical. If an official had said something like, “Well, we want to emphasize that a death toll as high as 700K might not be totally accurate,” I mean, the spirit of such a statement would still be pretty icky but at least it would have been somewhat honest and forthright. To wanly dismiss a university study on such an excruciatingly urgent topic is just…it’s just callous, typically callous. And calculated.

  3. Bluebear2 said, on 10/14/06 at 5:24 pm

    The only thing not credible is Bush himself!

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