Why Washington Post Gives Low Iraq Death Estimate

A recent Washington Post article states that the US invasion of Iraq caused “well over 100,000 deaths”.  Undeniably true.

However, the careful phrasing is a way of printing the lowest possible number of deaths caused by the illegal invasion, and is intended to foster an environment conducive to continued US militarism and international criminality.  Other articles from the same day in the Post call for the US to further escalate the civil war it has helped cause in Ukraine (to the dismay of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists) by overthrowing Ukraine’s democratic system.

Veteran journalist and media-analyst Robert Parry finds that Washington Post is a typical “neo-con” propaganda rag, but there is nothing new (or “conservative” in the actual sense of the word) about the US massacring and exploiting easy human targets like Iraq.  Historian Dr. Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz finds that the US invasions of Iraq are merely continuations of US wars and massacres against indigenous peoples.

As MIT documents, The Lancet (one of the world’s oldest and most respected medical journals) found that there were almost 100,000 deaths due to the illegal US invasion of Iraq, in the first 18 months.

Estimates since then have gone over a million, and exclude that the US had already caused hundreds of thousands to millions of Iraqi deaths from terror-bombings, sanctions, and direct support for Saddam Hussein over many years, including helping him into power.

But regardless of the number of deaths, illegal invasion is the lowest (ie worst) crime in international law, punished at Nuremberg by death by hanging.

On mass media’s minimization of the crimes of its integrated state, noted media analyst, Chomsky, writes:

“Asked to estimate Vietnamese casualties during the Indochina war, Americans polled gave the (median) figure 100,000, about 5% of the US government estimate. I do not assume that they are anti-Vietnamese racists; rather, they have been inundated by propaganda that leads them to believe this. You might, incidentally, ask what the reaction would be if a poll of Germans today estimated Jewish deaths in the Holocaust at 300,000; the question was raised by the authors of the academic study in which the results just cited are given, and it is worth pondering, in the present connection — though it never is.

There are many real and significant cases of denial of genocide — never discussed, precisely because they are not useful as ideological weapons, and pursuing the issue would reveal the wrong truths.”

Robert Barsocchini is an internationally published researcher and writer who focuses on global force dynamics and writes professionally for the film industry.  He is a regular contributor to  Washington’s Blog.  Follow Robert and his UK-based colleague, Dean Robinson, on Twitter.

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  • paul

    The US seems to routinely underestimate the deaths its wars cause by a factor of about ten, I would say. American citizens are all too eager to swallow such numbers. I think we are also seeing ridiculously low death tolls reported from Ukraine.