Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Mass Murder

We hear it all the time: Al Qaeda killed 3,000 Americans. Actually, the official death toll from the Sept. 11, 2001 attack is 2,967, not counting the 19 hijackers. Among the dead were at least a couple of hundred people who were not U.S. citizens, although I have not been able to find an exact count.

As of this writing, the total of U.S. military deaths in Iraq is 2,267. This does not include people who committed suicide or died as a result of substance abuse or violence after returning home. We know of some publicized instances, but no-one is counting. Military deaths for other coalition partners total 204, for a total death count of U.S. and allied troops of 2,471.

No-one has done a comprehensive count of deaths of civilian "contractors" (many of whom were actually mercenaries, but others of whom were truck drivers and other ordinary workers), but ICCC has been able to compile information on 310 of them, of whom 124 were American. There have also been several American journalists killed in Iraq, and others from various allied countries.

The rate at which U.S. soldiers and Marines have been dying in Iraq this month is 2.6 per day, so far, the highest since November. It is likely that the total number of Americans killed in the Iraq war will exceed the number killed by the Sept. 11 attack before summer. I wonder if anyone will note that symmetry.

Of course, as General Franks said, "We don't do body counts." Nobody has bothered to count the Iraq civilians killed by U.S. and allied forces, or the thousands of conscript soldiers killed in the initial invasion, or Iraqis who have died from malnutrition, lack of health care, and the collapse of public order. As we have noted before, the best available evidence is that the total is something like 200,000.

Draw your own conclusions.

No comments: