Death toll X 3
When did we start doing Iraqi civilian body counts? For the longest time we didn't, according to Gen. Tommy Franks. It was up to websites like Iraq Body Count or others, like the researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, to do the horrific math.
Now, it seems, Iraqi civilian deaths do matter. Gee, how about that!
Soon we'll mark the 5th anniversary of 2,752 American deaths that mattered. They mattered so much that we turned the whole world upside down, or so it seems to me sometimes.
Well, a couple of weeks ago a US military spokesman was touting a 46% reduction in the number of murders in Baghdad during the month of August, thanks to the "crackdown." Only about 550 deaths, mind you. In one month, mind you.
The Baghdad Ministry of Health has since revised the figure upward ... and multiplied it by three. There were about 1,536 violent deaths in the city on the Tigris in August ... even a bit higher than the 1,500 in July.
I'm having a hard time digesting these figures ... over one thousand five hundred people dead by violent means in a single month ... in a single city.
And all our elected officials can tell us is to have patience. Democracy takes time. Well, if it takes any more time, there won't be any people to run that democracy.
Wasn't the time to have patience, to give things time, to try nonviolent methods... before March 2003?
Will we ever learn?