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Being an MIT graduate, I was especially interested in this article by John Tirman, who is Executive Director of MIT's Center for International Studies. Mr. Tirman refers to figures from a Lancet survey, which estimated, through July 2006 (a period of 40 months), that 655,000 Iraqis had died as a consequence of the Iraq war. The estimate range was 943,000 at the high end and 393,000 at the low end.

Let's try to put this horrific human toll in context by comparing it with the slaughter on 9/11, and also the Virginia Tech massacre:

1. The 655,000 Iraqi deaths is an average of 16,375 deaths per month during the 40-month post-invasion study period (March 2003 to July 2006).

2. This means that Iraq suffered about 218 9/11 equivalents during the first forty months of war--an average of more than five 9/11 equivalents each month.

3. On a per capita basis, Iraq suffered, on average, the equivalent of sixty-five 9/11s per month--or one 9/11 every eleven hours, around the clock, twenty-four hours a day. (Iraq's population is about one-twelfth that of the United States.)

4. Iraq suffered, on average, the equivalent of 496 Virginia Tech massacres per month--or one Virginia Tech massacre every ninety minutes.

5. On a per capita basis, Iraq suffered, on average, the equivalent of 5,952 Virginia Tech massacres per month--or one Virginia Tech massacre every seven minutes and thirty seconds, around the clock, twenty-four hours a day.

And some people wondered why Bush had shoes thrown at him.

The peer-reviewed survey, which was conducted by the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and published in the Lancet medical journal in October 2006, concluded that 91 percent of the 655,000 deaths "were due to violence, the most common cause being gunfire."

Surveyed family members produced death certificates in more than 90 percent of the cases.

The foregoing is excerpted from my book The Bush League of Nations: The Coalition of the Unwilling, the Bullied and the Bribed--the GOP's War on Iraq and America (2008, CreateSpace Publishing, 448 pages). See in particular Chapter 4, "The Unjust War in Iraq--Christianity is Bombing in Iraq." You can now download the entire $25.95 book for free at www.bushleagueofnations.com. If you are so inclined, please spread the good news. I ask for nothing in return, except that you consider using my book as a resource to help restore and build America.

James A. Swanson

Los Altos, CA

Feb 6 2009 - 8:29pm

Web Letter

Can someone explain to me how the cassualties of Shiite-Sunni militia violence were America's fault when we opposed both sides in that conflict?

Hopefully, the elections last week will advance the reconciliation and promote evolving democracy in Iraq. After all, democracy and frredom were always the main point of the entire project.

John D. Froelich

Upper Darby, PA

Feb 4 2009 - 4:15am

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