Sunday, October 31, 2004

100,000 Fireflies

Civilian death toll in Iraq exceeds 100,000

Shaoni Bhattacharya, news service
Updated 13:05, October 29 04

The invasion of Iraq in March 2003 by coalition forces has lead to the death of at least 100,000 civilians, reveals the first scientific study to examine the issue.

The majority of these deaths, which are in addition those normally expected from natural causes, illness and accidents, have been among women and children, finds the study, released early by The Lancet on Thursday.

The most common cause of death is as a direct result of violence, mostly caused by coalition air strikes, reveals the study of almost 1000 households scattered across Iraq. And the risk of violent death just after the invasion was 58 times greater than before the war. The overall risk of death was 1.5 times more after the invasion than before.

The figure of 100,000 – estimated by extrapolating the surveyed households’ death toll to the whole population - is based on "conservative assumptions", notes Les Roberts at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, US, who led the study.

That estimate excludes Falluja, a hotspot for violence. If the data from this town is included, the study points to about 200,000 excess deaths since the outbreak of war.

I went out to the forest and caught
A hundred thousand fireflies
As they ricochet round the room
They remind me of your starry eyes
Someone else's might not have made me so sad
But this is the worst night I ever had
Cause I'm afraid of the dark without you close to me

Why do we keep shrieking, when we mean something?
We should be whispering all the time...

Magnetic Fields, 100,000 Fireflies

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