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[casi] Casualties counted- & uncounted in Iraq

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US Medical evacuations from Iraq near 11,000
By Mark Benjamin
United Press International
Published 12/19/2003 3:30 PM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 18 (UPI) -- The total number of wounded soldiers and medical evacuations from the 
war in Iraq is nearing 11,000, according to new Pentagon data provided in response to a request 
from United Press International.

The military has made 8,581 medical evacuations from Operation Iraqi Freedom for non-hostile causes 
in addition to the 2,273 wounded -- a total of 10,854, according to the new data. The Pentagon says 
that 457 troops have died.

The Pentagon's casualty update for Operation Iraqi Freedom listed on its Web site, however, does 
not reflect thousands of the evacuations.

It is a toll the country has not seen since Vietnam, said Aseneth Blackwell, former national 
president of Gold Star Wives of America, Inc., a support group for people who lose a spouse from 
war. ....


------------------------------------------------   Guardian

We must honour the dead

Thousands of Iraqi civilians have died as a result of the occupation. So why is there no official 
death toll?

John Sloboda
Friday December 19, 2003
The Guardian

Despite the capture of Saddam Hussein, civilian deaths in Iraq may prove to be the true Achilles 
heel of the US and Britain's intervention. The bodies pile up in morgues around the country, and 
reliable press and media reports put the total civilian death toll since March 19 as approaching 

More than 2,000 occupation-related deaths have occurred in Baghdad since President Bush announced 
the "end of major combat" on May 1. This bloodshed is inflaming anti-coalition passions in Iraq and 
beyond it, encouraging paramilitary organisations and provoking acts of revenge from ordinary 
Iraqis driven beyond moderation by the deaths of friends and family under the Coalition Provisional 
Authority's military rule.   ...

Last week, it was reported that the CPA has ordered the Iraqi health ministry to stop collecting 
statistics on civilian deaths. Dr Khudair Abbas, the Iraqi health minister, claimed such a study 
would not be feasible "because hospitals cannot distinguish between deaths that resulted from the 
coalition's efforts in the war, common crime among Iraqis, or deaths resulting from Saddam's brutal 

None of the statements from Washington, London, or Baghdad, make sense. ....


Since the start of hostilities, Iraq Body Count has been tracking civilian deaths through worldwide 
media reports. We will continue this work until some official agency fulfils its responsibilities 
to the memory of those who have died since March 19 2003. The innocent victims of the Iraq conflict 
must be recorded and honoured - and their relatives compensated - for it is they who have paid most 
dearly for the decisions of our politicians.

 John Sloboda is co-founder of Iraq Body Count and incoming executive director of the Oxford 
Research Group

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