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August 26, 2007

More on Civilian Casualties
Posted by Ilan Goldenberg

Via Matt the AP is reporting that sectarian violence is up.   (Don Bacon also points this out)


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Damn, I get second billing to Matt, and after recently being considered persona non grata on his site the knife cuts deep. *sigh*
The term "sectarian violence" is being used to describe the cause of civilian deaths in Iraq, but as indicates, the billion or so small arm rounds, and the artillery shells and bombs that the US military has expended haven't all been for naught.

Coalition-caused deaths.
Coalition forces, principally US as well as some UK, were identified to have killed at least 536 Iraqi civilians in year four (excluding a major incident in Najaf in January which is still under investigation by IBC). This compares with 370 in year three. If 536 seems insignificant in light of the overall total, consider for a moment what it would mean if in your country there were, on average, three incidents a week in which a foreign army killed civilians, including the killing of a 5-yr-old girl and entire families with their children. Would this army be a stabilizing influence?

This is kind of a "site management" comment but it's really cool to see you all taking notice of the commenters and hat tipping Don Bacon. Helps that I know Don from TPMCafe but that's a really smart way for you all to run this site.

Not that you wrote this, but we should avoid the meme, promoted by the US, that the US military needs to stay in Iraq only to dampen sectarian violence. Actually, the US military is in Iraq to further US strategic objectives, and to justify its continued presence has promoted sectarian violence while it is defending against a multi-sectarian resistance to its brutal military occupation. The most recent evidence of this is the arming of the Sunni gangs that previously were killing US troops.

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