Patriot Analysis – 8/23/03
Iraqi War Civilian Deaths
By Kirt R. Poovey
There is now a report that there have been over 37,000 civilian deaths in Iraq as a direct result of the Iraqi War from American and English weaponry. This information is from a report by Dr. Mohammed Al-Obaidi, an Iraqi exile from Saddam Hussein’s government who currently lives in England. Members of his family were reportedly killed several years ago by cruise missiles launched by then President Clinton at Baghdad.
Dr. Al-Obaidi, a member of the Iraqi Freedom Party, claims that after over five weeks of research and investigation into civilian deaths that his party has verified that the number of civilians killed ”since the beginning of the invasion came to 37,137“. They arrived at this figure by going to ”all villages, towns, cities and some of the desert areas etc. affected by the aggression (with exception of the Kurdish area), and also by interviewing hundreds of undertakers, hospitals officials and ordinary people in these places.“ The figure ”does not include militia, para-military or Saddam’s Fiday’een“. The figure is much more than the maximum of 7,830 reported by www.iraqbodycount.org which used media reports to count civilian deaths.
These figures were compiled up to the middle of June. Dr. Al-Obaidi detailed this information in an email to Jude Wanniski who operates a financial website. Dr. Al-Obaidi stressed that Iraqi’s genuinely believe that Iraq's interim governing council appointed by the U.S. administrator in Iraq ”is nothing less than another ‘Vichy Government’ similar to the one appointed by the Nazis in France.“ Does it come as any surprise that the Iraqis would look at us like this?
We came as liberators, but are acting like oppressors. We claimed we would give the Iraqis freedom from tyranny so that they could decide for themselves the type of government they wanted and who would lead them in their new government. We were deposing a tyrant and offering them freedom.
Unfortunately, on the way to freedom there was a train wreck. It seems that the truth from the Bush administration was once again not quite as it seemed. (Is this administration better at prevaricating than the Clinton administration?) Once the military had secured Iraq, the mission seemed to change ever so slightly. Yes, we came to free the Iraqis from Saddam, but no we were not going to let them pick their own leader. After all, they couldn’t be expected to pick the right one.
Now we are in the process of trying to force them into the type of government that we deem best for them. Isn’t that what Saddam did? (Yes, I know he was a horrible despot, but remember we actually helped set up Saddam as the ruler of Iraq in the first place.) Our first attempts at setting up Ahmed Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress as an interim government failed miserably and now we are groping for a new solution.
Perhaps we will find the appropriate means of creating a new government that will work as well as Japan after World War II, but it appears doubtful. We are in a totally different situation. There we crushed a country that had actually attacked us, while in Iraq we attacked a country that had virtually no capabilities of actually attacking us. Our stated reasons were because we needed to preemptively protect our nation and we also wanted to free the Iraqi people. The Iraqis say ”thank you for ridding us of Saddam, now kindly rid our country of yourself.“
This shocks Americans who expected great thanks from the Iraqis and were told by Chalabi that we would be welcomed as liberators. Apparently, Bush listened to the wrong person.
While civilian casualties are part of war, it helps to put into perspective the costs of going to war and those you are supposedly going to war for. Just as in Waco, where we attacked the Davidian compound for ”the sake of the children“, we have killed a large number of those we supposedly were helping. Is it any wonder that we aren’t liked as much as we thought we should be?
"We will stand, fight, and die to defend our country; but we will not blindly trust it. Even our Founding Fathers distrusted a large, centralized, all-powerful federal government -- so should we. Always be on guard to discern the truth and defend it at all costs."