(Occasional sobering thought.) Americans know how many of their own have died so far in Iraq. They can recite names and hometowns of the fallen. Yet Americans haven't a clue about the war's toll on Iraqis, finds a new AP-Ipsos poll. With this occasional feature IntLawGrrls intends to put that to rights.
The Lancet, England's premier medical journal, set the number of Iraqi civilian deaths in the 1st 18 months of conflict at more than 100,000, but that number hasn't been corroborated. We'll rely on Iraq Body Count; it reports that as of Feb. 21, 2007, between 56,880 and 62,613 Iraqi women, children, and men had died. (The absence of firmer numbers speaks volumes about the state of civil society in Iraq.)
For numbers close to home, we rely on the U.S. Department of Defense. Confirmed American servicemember fatalities, through Feb. 22, 2007: 3,151 persons. Total coalition fatalities: 3,410 persons. Total U.S. wounded: 23,417 persons. Total casualties in Afghanistan conflict: 370 Americans and 164 other coalition servicemembers killed, 5,994 American servicemembers wounded.
The AP article quotes a political scientist that knowing numbers doesn't matter, because "[p]eople in democracies generally don't shy away from inflicting civilian casualties." Laying the numbers out for people to read will test that contestable assumption.