Printed in the NST here.
This is a follow up to my earlier calculations that Bush’s War saved 600,000 Iraqi lives.
Super kudos to Say Anything Blog for tipping me off to this update via a link that trackbacked to my stats page!
Three quarters of a million Iraqis saved by Bush!
On 14 October 2009, the Associated Press reported that Iraq’s government had finally released their figures for the death toll. A report by the Human Rights Ministry said that from the beginning of 2004 to 31 October 2008, a period of 58 months, 85,694 Iraqis were killed – a rate of 1,477.5 deaths per month. No Americans, insurgents or foreigners are included in the figure.
(This is significantly lower than my earlier calculation of 98,882 Iraqi deaths over 57 months using the Iraq Body Count project estimate – a rate of 1,734.8 deaths per month.)
And thanks to the US Troop Surge and the Anbar Awakening where the Iraqis turned against Al Qaeda, the situation in Iraq is far more stable today.
The Iraqi defence, interior and health ministries estimate that from 1 November 2008 to 31 August 2009, there were just 3,045 Iraqi casualties – a rate of just 304.5 deaths per month. (For comparison, the murder rate in peacetime South Africa currently stands at 1,512.3 deaths per month, higher than even wartime Iraq.)
Taken together, this means that 88,739 Iraqis were killed over the past 68 months – a rate of 1,305 deaths per month. Bear in mind that these deaths were overwhelmingly caused by terrorist attacks while the ‘evil US occupation soldiers’ were giving their own lives to protect Iraqi civilians.
Compare this to Saddam Hussein’s reign. From July 16, 1979 to April 9, 2003 and focusing on just six war crime events listed by US War Crimes Ambassador David J. Scheffer, there were an estimated 865,000 Iraqi deaths over 285 months – a rate of 3,035.1 deaths per month.
And compare to the Bill Clinton-era embargo that followed: From Aug 6, 1990 to Aug 6, 1999 the United Nations estimated one million Iraqi civilians died over 108 months as a result of the sanctions – a rate of 9,259.3 deaths per month.
Thus, Saddam Hussein’s death rate was 2.33 times greater than Bush’s. Clinton’s death rate was 7.1 times greater than Bush’s.
So if Bush’s invasion had not ended both Saddam’s rule and the embargo, we can estimate that from the period of 1 January 2004 to 31 August 2009, a total of 206,387 + 629,632 = 836,019 Iraqis would have died.
Taken against the actual figure of just 88,739 deaths during that period, we can determine that 747,280 fewer Iraqi lives have been lost due to ‘Bush’s war of aggression’.
So did Bush invade Iraq based on faulty reasoning about weapons of mass destruction? Indubitably. Did he act unilaterally without the approval of the United Nations? Indisputably. Did his actions directly lead to a massive campaign by terrorists to make the lives of Iraqis living hell? Unfortunately.
But did Bush’s decision to invade Iraq turn out for the good in the end?
For the answer to that, perhaps we should ask one of the three quarters of a million Iraqis who are alive today due to his ‘warmongering’.
See also the difference in estimations from this chart from Something should go here, maybe later, which explains why Bush was so (unjustly) vilified:
Two of the people I would like to shake the hands of, pose for a photo and get an autograph from – George W. Bush and General David Petraeus, both for what they have done for the people of Iraq.
Not only have Bush’s actions saved 750,000 innocent Iraqis… They have simultaneously killed tens of thousands of murderous terrorists, thus making the whole world safer.
A guy who supported genocide, versus a guy who saved 750,000 lives. Who do you think wins the Nobel Peace Prize?