Study reveals 655,000 Iraqi deaths from U.S. occupation

Over 655,000 Iraqis have died as a result of the U.S. occupation of Iraq.

A new study conducted by U.S. and Iraqi scientists at Johns Hopkins University and the School of Medicine at Al

Mustansiriya University in Baghdad revealed this shocking statistic. The study was published in the respected British medical journal the Lancet on Oct. 11.

This new figure of Iraqi deaths under the U.S. occupation is much higher than any prior body count. The study is the most thorough study completed since the occupation began in March 2003.

Recent U.N. and Pentagon studies have concluded that the death toll is high and continually rising, but both came up with numbers much lower than the Johns Hopkins study. A U.N. report found that over 3,000 civilians were killed in June 2006.

The 655,000 deaths break down to 15,000 a month; 500 a day. The total number of dead equals 2.5 percent of Iraq’s total population. The study estimates that 336,000 Iraqis have died from gunshot wounds. U.S. air strikes have killed over 45,000 civilians.

The study also found that violent deaths are on the rise. From May 2005 to June 2006, the number of violent deaths doubled.

Iraq is a country of 27 million people. To put the number of Iraqi deaths under occupation in perspective: an equal percentage of the U.S. population would be 7.5 million people.

U.S. genocide of Iraqis

According to the best estimates, U.S. imperialism is now directly responsible for well over 2 million Iraqi deaths.

Official U.N. figures state that 1.5 million Iraqis died as a direct result of 13 years of U.S.-backed U.N. economic sanctions.

Over 150,000 Iraqi civilians died in the 1991 U.S. war on Iraq. During that war, the U.S. military dropped 85,500 tons of bombs indiscriminately on Iraqi towns and villages.

The sheer number of Iraqi deaths under the current U.S. occupation undercuts the propaganda campaign of lies about the U.S. war on Iraq. The corporate media, the Bush administration and the Pentagon have gone to great lengths to hide the enormous violence and devastation that the Iraqi people face on a daily basis.

Indeed, they have gone to great lengths to hide the true extent of the colonial occupation set up in Iraq.

The U.S. occupation has 150,000 troops, 14 permanent military bases and 11,000 Iraqi prisoners. Thousands of


U.S.-led U.N. sanctions killed over 500,000 Iraqi children under the age of five.
Photo: Bill Hackwell

colonial administrators work out of the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad. And the U.S. military maintains de facto operational control over the Iraqi army, Iraqi police and Iraqi puppet government.

Other recent revelations about the U.S. occupation include a steady rise in armed attacks against the occupation and increasing support for attacks against U.S. troops.

In the last two years, weekly attacks on U.S. troops have risen from 423 a week to a current level of 792 a week, according to the Pentagon’s latest quarterly report to Congress. At the same time, the level of support for the armed resistance has risen to more than 60 percent of Iraqis. According to recent polls, 80 percent of Iraqis blame the United States for the violence in their country.

Over the course of the occupation, it has also been brought to light that the U.S. occupation forces have committed massacres, widespread torture, indiscriminate bombings of civilians and much more.

The Bush administration has arrogantly dismissed the findings of the Johns Hopkins study, despite the scientific rigor employed by the scientists. This should come as no surprise. The U.S. ruling class does not care about Iraqi lives.

With every day, the occupation intensifies. With every revelation of imperialist criminality, the ruling class fears that the strong sentiment against the war will turn into deeper anger and frustration.

The capitalists’ fear that anger against the war might be directed against U.S. imperialism’s deep need to dominate workers and oppressed peoples around the world and here at home.


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