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Press Release 14 16 Oct 2006

Implication five:

The Coalition has killed far more Iraqis in the last year than in earlier years containing the initial massive "shock and awe" invasion and the major assaults on Falluja.

According to Lancet calculations, Coalition forces killed 32,000 Iraqis from late March 2003 to the end of April 2004. This is a period that included the large-scale invasion in which 20,000 air strikes rained 30,000 bombs on a largely urbanized country along with an untold quantity of artillery, as well as an additional 240,000 cluster bombs. This type of assault was then repeated on a smaller but still significant scale in Falluja. All available evidence points to a significant and progressive reduction in Coalition military operations overall since the first year of the invasion.

Yet, according to Lancet estimates, the number of Iraqis killed by the Coalition rose to 70,000 in year two (May 2004 – May 2005), and rose yet again in the third year (June 2005 – June 2006) to 86,000, nearly three times more than in year 1.

When looking at US air strikes, the picture becomes even more puzzling. This data is comprised of 40 deaths:

  • 1 killed in January 2002-March 2003 (estimate: 2,000 killed);
  • 6 killed in March 2003-April 2004 (estimate: 12,000 killed);
  • 13 killed in May 2004-May 2005 (estimate: 26,000 killed);
  • 20 killed in June 2005-June 2006 (estimate: 40,000 killed).

Those who keenly recall the reported carnage associated with the invasion in 2003 will scarcely credit the notion that similar events but of a much greater scale and extent have continued unremarked and unrecorded, including by locals, in a nation at the level of education and urbanisation of Iraq. Iraq is not an undeveloped society where tiny, self-sufficient communities live in isolation and ignorance of each other.

Six thousand civilians were reported killed by Coalition forces in the first three weeks of the invasion, i.e., 285 per day. The Lancet estimate of 86,000 Iraqis killed by Coalition forces in the 13 months from 2005 – 2006 averages 217 per day over a much longer, relentlessly sustained period. And as shocking as such a secret toll would be, it is claimed to constitute only 26% of the even greater carnage inflicted by anti-Coalition or unattributable bombs and bullets, which it is claimed killed 330,000 Iraqis in this period, also almost always without being noticed by anyone but the victims.