Debate and Discussion

Fun with numbers! Tim Robbins says we have killed 400,000 civilians in Iraq
Vindibudd at 12:14AM, Sept. 1, 2007
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I've heard and read random people pulling numbers out of their butts about this. One person said 600,000 in a comment on a prominent DD cartoon recently.

This is not even possible.

We have been there since March 20, 2003. That is about 1580 days.

400,000/1580 = 254

So Robbins says we have been killing the equivalent of 254 innocent civilians every single day for 4 years.

I don't think so.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:42PM
lothar at 4:00AM, Sept. 1, 2007
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actualy , that number sounds a little low to me , and if you add in all the people that died during sanctions before the invasion (many of them children) the number would be well over a million , and then of course the tens of thousands of soldiers that were slaughtered as they tried to flee kuwait back in desert storm that number just keeps going up !

anyway , exact numbers on how many civilians are being Killed in Iraq are hard to come by, i've only heard of one scientific study that was done and i forget what their total was but it was too much
ANY amount of innocent death is too much !

realy. is there some meter ticking away somewhere in the American collective conciousness where we say “oh, 200'000 Deaths - that's acceptable , as long as we don't go over 300'000 ”
that's realy cold and detached !!!!
if enough people could see just 1 or 2 of these deaths, if the Iraqi people had a voice in the US media , or at least a face ; this occupation would end !
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:45PM
TnTComic at 6:02AM, Sept. 1, 2007
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Vindibudd
I've heard and read random people pulling numbers out of their butts about this. One person said 600,000 in a comment on a prominent DD cartoon recently.

This is not even possible.

We have been there since March 20, 2003. That is about 1580 days.

400,000/1580 = 254

So Robbins says we have been killing the equivalent of 254 innocent civilians every single day for 4 years.

I don't think so.

Oh, its entirely possible. You said it yourself, we're the greatest superpower in the world! If we couldn't off two fitty every day, that wouldn't reflect very highly on our superpowerdom.

That said, the accounts that I've read and believe have the number closer to 75,000. While I respect Robbins in alot of what he says, he's just an actor, and he's pushing an agenda. That's going to result in some wrong numbers. Is 75,000 that much better than 600,000? I guess, but its still 75,000 dead people.

last edited on July 14, 2011 4:31PM
mapaghimagsik at 6:12AM, Sept. 1, 2007
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Considering we “don't do body counts”, I'm wondering what methodology everyone is using for their estimates. So which one are you using? Also, figuring out who owns what bullet or bomb is a bit tricky as well. Do we also count the dead as a result of the fact we can't maintain the security situation there? If it is really Al Qaeda doing all these attacks, don't we, as the occupying power, have a responsibility to maintain the order like we did in postwar Germany?

Of course there, we had well over half a million troops to keep the peace.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:51PM
lothar at 7:06AM, Sept. 1, 2007
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HERE IT IS - death toll among Iraqis as a result of the US-led invasion -
http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,,1892888,00.html
i wouldn't exactly say he “pulled it out of his butt”
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:45PM
Ronson at 7:16AM, Sept. 1, 2007
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The inevitable argument is that the United States is not responsible for:

- Deaths caused by the insurgents
- Deaths caused by Al Queda
- Deaths caused by poor health care (or no health care)
- Deaths caused by lack of electricity
- Deaths caused by lack of potable water

If you back all of those deaths out, you get something close to the Pentagon's “estimate”. That is, civilians killed by our military and our bombing campaigns.

Now we need to ask WHY there are insurgents, Al Queda, little to no health care, little to no electricity and a lack of potable water.

Those who understand cause and effect realize that all of these factors were caused by the American invasion of Iraq. Those of us who realize the war was unneccessary to contain Saddam Hussein would blame the GWB Administration who fixed intelligence and lied to the American people, and who bullied congress into giving them powers they promised not to use without international support.*

Those who love the American involvement in this war will blame the last three on insurgents and Al Queda, and the first two on stupid ideology and (wait for it) Saddam Hussein. Therefore everything that has happened to innocent civilians is the result of their now executed leader, and not United States aggression for no good reason.

There, now I've saved us all three pages of debate, right?

_________

* Yes, we can blame Democrats and Republicans for this because both voted in the Senate. However, Bush lied when he said he'd only use the war powers he was granted if he gained international support, because he began mobilizing the troops well before even approaching the international community.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
Hawk at 11:28AM, Sept. 1, 2007
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lothar
HERE IT IS - death toll among Iraqis as a result of the US-led invasion -
http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,,1892888,00.html
i wouldn't exactly say he “pulled it out of his butt”

To be fair, that's not the number of killed civilians. That number would include Saddam's soldiers, insurgents, civilians, and even civilians killed by insurgents.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:46PM
lothar at 9:30AM, Sept. 2, 2007
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Hawk
lothar
HERE IT IS - death toll among Iraqis as a result of the US-led invasion -
http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,,1892888,00.html
i wouldn't exactly say he “pulled it out of his butt”

To be fair, that's not the number of killed civilians. That number would include Saddam's soldiers, insurgents, civilians, and even civilians killed by insurgents.

;most of whom would still be alive had we not invaded their country.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:45PM
mapaghimagsik at 9:36AM, Sept. 2, 2007
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Well, if you don't like the civilian casualty count, just call them Al-Qaeda.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:51PM
Lukey at 6:54PM, Sept. 3, 2007
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Thats BS. Most of them are terrorists anyway. 400,000 dead terrorists is a GOOD thing in my book.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:49PM
Ronson at 6:57PM, Sept. 3, 2007
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Lukey
Thats BS. Most of them are terrorists anyway. 400,000 dead terrorists is a GOOD thing in my book.

And by what proof have you come to that conclusion?
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
Lukey at 7:01PM, Sept. 3, 2007
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Look, we invaded Iraq because of Al Qeuda connections. You may not believe it, but the US military doesn't just KILL civillians. Liberals always think that the military loves killing. They LOVE doing their JOB. So if we've killed 400,000 those are either terrorists who innocents killed by terrorists. We might have killed a few people accidently but with numbers like that most have to be terrorists.

Also are they counting Saddam supporters when they talk about so called civillians?
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:49PM
Ronson at 7:23PM, Sept. 3, 2007
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Lukey
Look, we invaded Iraq because of Al Qeuda connections. You may not believe it, but the US military doesn't just KILL civillians. Liberals always think that the military loves killing. They LOVE doing their JOB. So if we've killed 400,000 those are either terrorists who innocents killed by terrorists. We might have killed a few people accidently but with numbers like that most have to be terrorists.

Also are they counting Saddam supporters when they talk about so called civillians?

They probably are, but they're also counting people who died as a result of the invasion but not as a result of an actual action by our soldiers.

The people of Iraq are just getting through a brutal summer - mostly without electricity. If you know anything about that you'll know that cities need electricity for air conditioning and air circulation or the old and infirm will die. These deaths are among those that are counted.

There is less potable water in Iraq, and many people are getting sick and dying from diseases that are in the water. Other diseases are spreading as well. They are currently dealing with a cholera epidemic.

Which leads to the last bit, the healthcare system is broken. Little to no water and little to no electricity for several years has lead to a very substandard system of medicine. Add all the bombings and bullets and you get a lot of people dying from otherwise treatable wounds.

These are the facts that this estimate deals with. These are conditions that did not exist before unseating Saddam. You can argue that these hundreds of thousands of deaths will ultimately be worth it, but you cannot argue that they didn't happen as a result of invasion.

…but I have to correct you …

may not believe it, but the US military doesn't just KILL civillians.

Yes, it does. They call these casualties “acceptable loss”. It happens in EVERY war, without exception.

I'm not saying they enjoy it, or even that it is done on purpose. But if you drop a bomb, you can't be certain someone completely separate from the battle isn't going to die. If you spray bullets in a neighborhood, there's no guarantee that they'll only hit the enemy. And if you set up checkpoints and a civilian doesn't recognize it, the soldiers must shoot.

I can, if you really need to see them, find several instances where innocents were killed or captured. People with no ties to Saddam other than being Iraqi, no ties to Al Queda whatsoever, and no ties to the insurgency.

Babies have been killed, Women have been killed, children have been killed, men have been killed - and none of them were guilty of anything but being in the wrong place or doing the wrong thing at the wrong time.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
mapaghimagsik at 7:49PM, Sept. 3, 2007
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What's strange is there are *soldiers* that are talking about the indiscriminant killing of civilians in a battlefield situation – they don't pass judgment on it, they just know it happens and have first=hand accounts. Rolling Stone had some very gripping accounts of the language barrier making it very hard for the American Troops to make sure civilians didn't get killed.

Despite the accuracy of our “smart bombs”, civilians still get killed. What's very telling is that, like in Vietnam, we “don't do bodycounts”. There have been attempts to find out how many have been killed by civilian agencies, but nothing official from the military or the US government. That doesn't exactly send a ‘we’re doing the very best we can about avoiding civilian casualties' message.

So unfortunately, if you say that the only people getting killed by American forces are terrorists, that would make the soldiers that have reported the killing of civilians liars.

Absolutes are tricky like that.

I think the bulk of American forces are doing the best they can to make sure civilians don't get killed. Doing this while not getting killed yourself is a tricky job at best.

As the occupying power, we have a responsibility to set up basic infrastructure for the occupied. Its the humane thing to do. But, as has been proven elsewhere, the quality of life in Iraq outside the Green Zone is terrible.

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:51PM
TnTComic at 5:18AM, Sept. 4, 2007
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Lukey
Look, we invaded Iraq because of Al Qeuda connections.

No we didn't.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:31PM
mapaghimagsik at 6:59AM, Sept. 4, 2007
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TnTComic
Lukey
Look, we invaded Iraq because of Al Qeuda connections.

No we didn't.

I think there was some blather about Hussein's government being connected to Al Qaeda, which was disproven not once, but multiple times.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A47812-2004Jun16.html
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:51PM

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