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[casi] Civilian deaths, cholera, and malnutrition

Hi Tom and everyone,

Links follow in two areas:
(1) Research into civilian casualties of the war on Iraq, and
(2) Current humanitarian conditions in Iraq, including the water supply.

None of what follows was unexpected.  The U.S. and Britain were warned
repeatedly of Iraq's fragility, and of the war's likely human cost.  The
warnings were ignored.  Our governments could have taken steps to minimize the
damage, but did not.  These actions, and the governments' cynicism in justifying
the conflict, were purely criminal (in its prosecutorial, not agit prop, sense).

>> IraqBodyCount.Net notes 5,546 civilian casualties (minimum) have been
reported in Iraq[1].  By virtue of their methodology, IBC tracks direct
casualties almost exclusively.

As someone said, "If the WTC was a bloodbath, then what is this?"

>> IBC lists 15 independent research projects that seek to estimate Iraqi
civilian casualties[2], with several focusing on post-war health effects, rather
than direct casualties.  As we know, indirect civilian casualties far outpaced
direct casualties in the 1991 war[3].

>> Long-term epidemiological studies are perhaps the only reliable method of
inferring indirect casualties (an "excess death" calculation, comparing
pre-war/post-war mortality rates).

>> Concerning Iraq's water supply, chlorine may be a lesser issue than
infrastructural damage (pipes, purification plants, and power supplies).
Virtually all major international health agencies have issued alerts, though
responses are hard to track[4].

>> Non-fatal bouts of diarrhea lead to malnutrition.  A UNICEF survey "released
on 15 May, showed that 7.7 per cent of children are acutely malnourished, up
from 4 per cent prior to the hostilities".[5]

An accident of birth spares most of us a daily battle to find water, find the
propane to boil it, while enduring 110 degree heat.  Several reporters [6a-c]
have attempted to make this reality tangible.

Drew Hamre
Golden Valley, MN USA


[2] List of ongoing research, including AP's widely cited report

[3] Probably the most comprehensive examination of Gulf War casualties is Beth
Osborne Daponte's study:

[4] The UN's portal for the Iraq crisis:

... inclues archived press conferences and links to Iraq alerts by:
OCHA - UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
OHCHR - Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights
UNDP - UN Development Programme
UNEP - UN Environment Programme
UNESCO - UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Org.
UNFPA - UN Population Fund
UNHCR - UN High Commissioner for Refugees
UNICEF - UN Children's Fund
WFP - World Food Programme
WHO - World Health Organization

[5] UNICEF's report:

[6a] Behind the victory, a power struggle that drains life from a weary people,2763,966025,00.html

[6b] Water Damage:  As the heat has crept up into the low 100s in Iraq, so has
the reliance on the ancient, sewage-choked waterways. The impact on the
country’s children has been devastating

[6c] Safe drinking water among highest concerns in Iraq
By Dana Hull Knight Ridder Newspapers

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