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The Week in Iraq is a weekly assessment of significant incidents and trends in Iraqi civilian casualties by IBC's news collector and Recent Events editor Lily Hamourtziadou.

The analyses and opinions presented in these commentaries are personal to the author.

Recent weeks

Healing the wounds of the past
  18 Jan 2009

Happy New Year
  11 Jan 2009

The sad numbers
  31 Dec 2008

  21 Dec 2008

The farewell kiss
  14 Dec 2008

Regrets –he’s had a few…
  7 Dec 2008


The Week in Iraq

The sad numbers

by Lily Hamourtziadou

31 Dec 2008

December 2008: 497
Total for 2008: 9,193 -442 children
98,600 killed since the invasion

We can try and talk of the good developments, the positive things that happened in Iraq in 2008, the ‘highs’:

-the reduction in violence
-the signing of an agreement that could potentially restore sovereignty to Iraq and force foreign armies to withdraw
-the single day, December 12, when no civilian deaths were reported (the first since I started working for IBC in July 2006).

We can mention the good, talk about how this was a ‘better’ year.

But the sad numbers would undermine all that. How happy, how optimistic, how upbeat can anyone be when 442 children have been murdered in a year?

Perhaps the one truly good development of 2008 was the loss of power by those who started this war that has destroyed the lives of millions. George W Bush and his regime are on their way out. There may now be hope for Iraq in the new year, or in the years to come.

The sad numbers cannot go away though, cannot be forgotten. The loss of so much life, the deaths of thousands of unarmed people is too great. Too sad.