After over half a million deaths, was the Iraq War worth it?

George W. Bush was asked during one of the 2004 presidential debates if he had ever made any mistakes as president. He sat there silent, trying to come up with one example of a mistake he made as president. ..He could not come up with one relevant and honest example, especially considering the fact that during... show more George W. Bush was asked during one of the 2004 presidential debates if he had ever made any mistakes as president. He sat there silent, trying to come up with one example of a mistake he made as president.
..He could not come up with one relevant and honest example, especially considering the fact that during that same time, an increasing number of Iraqi civilians were dying either from sectarian violence or as a result of coalition action.
Let me run a few numbers by you.

106,071 direct civilian deaths (from March 2003 to July 2010) (based on published counts). The Iraq Family Health Survey (conducted by the WHO, and published in New England Journal of Medicine, to June 2006) estimates that there were 151,000 "violent" deaths. AP has a similar but smaller number of 110,600 (to April 2009).
650,000 "excess" deaths (March 2003 to June 2006). These are deaths of people above and beyond the normal average before the war. These include people not counted as directly killed by violence, such as people dying of hunger, malnutrition, untreated or poorly treated disease, cancer, etc. (numbers from Lancet)
800,000 wounded individuals. (Numbers from Lancet)
7% of the adult male population has been killed. This is equivalent to 21 million dead American males, or 3.5 Holocausts (per capita rate).
500,000 "unofficial" death certificates. Even if some are inaccurate, even a fraction of these would indicate a staggering number.

American casualties:

4,415 (of total 4,733 coalition deaths).

Even if the numbers vary, it is likely that there are thousands of unreported deaths; many people have gone missing and have no family to report their status. Given the violent nature of the conflict, sometimes it is impossible to tell just how many people are killed in bombings.

Regardless, it seems that some 100,000 civilians in Iraq have died from violence (bombings in particular, but also coalition activities as "collateral" damage; also, many so-called "combatants" are not clearly "combatants", as they wear no uniforms and it is nearly impossible to distinguish them from other individuals).

It is likely that some 500,000 additional people (although more accurately, this is a range) have died as a result of disease and other health-related causes.

Was the Iraq War worth it?

To help you answer this question, I'd like to put the above numbers in perspective.

Even if the 600,000 "excess" deaths number is off- say it is off by some 100,000. Ok, let's say that instead of 600,000 deaths, there really were "only" 500,000.

As enormous as 500,000 is by itself, as a raw number, it does not really exemplify the true gravity of such a death count for a nation of only 30 million people. That number represents 2% of the Iraqi population.

What does that represent for the United States.

Let's first look at 9/11:

Although the true figure is closer to 2,800, approximately 3000 people died on 9/11 (September 11, 2001).

Of course this is a very large number.

But out of a nation of some 300 million, it represents just .000001 of the population, or 1/10,000th of 1% of the total U.S. population. To put this in perspective, some 1500 Americans die of cancer every day. So 9/11 represents 2 days worth of cancer deaths in America (this does not include deaths from heart disease and other diseases).

By comparison, 500,000 deaths in Iraq represents almost 2% (.0167) of the total Iraqi population.

If 2% of the U.S. population were killed, it would be equivalent to 5,000,000 dead Americans...

...or almost 1 Holocaust.

Was it all worth it?

Many thanks to those individuals who made this all possible:
George W. Bush ("born again" evangelical "Christian")
Colin Powell (African American "yes man")
Condoleeza Rice (African American "yes madam")
Dick Cheney (label-less, Satan perhaps?)
Douglas J. Feith ("brainchild"; Jewish)
Paul Wolfowitz ("brainchild"; Jewish)
Richard Perle ("brainchild"; Jewish)
David Wurmser ("brainchild"; Jewish)
Bill Kristol ("official propagandist"; Jewish)
Charles Krauthammer ("official propagandist"; Jewish)
The U.S. Congress ("blank check"; AIPAC)
Sean Hannity (Fox News)
Bill O'Reilly (Fox News)
Robert Novak (converted Jew)
And many more, too many to mention here.

(Of course, the fact that so many are either extreme right-wing, evangelical Christian or Jewish- has nothing to do with it. It's complete coincidence).

The fact that the "brains" behind the entire operation were 100% Jewish, that, again, has nothing to do with anything. Nothing at all.

I don't see any irony here either....no irony at all.
Update: I do think it is worth it in the long run to wage an unjustified war on a sovereign nation's soil to make them more friendly to your oil, corporate, and extreme religio-fanatical interests. Totally worth it- and justified- in the long run! I think all nations should do this. Canada should invade the US and... show more I do think it is worth it in the long run to wage an unjustified war on a sovereign nation's soil to make them more friendly to your oil, corporate, and extreme religio-fanatical interests. Totally worth it- and justified- in the long run!

I think all nations should do this. Canada should invade the US and defeat the Christian-fascist alliance, restore true democracy. Sure, maybe hundreds of thousands will die. But hey: invading sovereign nations to impose your rules, your corporate interests, your stretegic alliances- is worth it- in the long run!

Brilliant!
Update 2: To the person who said I am "anti- American". I could not be more pro American. I love America. I think America offers opportunities that are not available to those living in most other countries. Most Americans are really good people at heart who want to do good. In fact, it is... show more To the person who said I am "anti- American".

I could not be more pro American. I love America. I think America offers opportunities that are not available to those living in most other countries. Most Americans are really good people at heart who want to do good.

In fact, it is "anti-American" not to question sending our own American men and women to wars that are misguided and unnecessary. It is "anti-American" to tow the jngoistic war mongering line without asking "why and what for?". It is anti-American to disregard the suffering of countless thousands- in this case 500,000 DEAD souls and many more wounded- simply because the politicians who sold us this crummy war claim to be doing it for America.

Wake up man. Being American also means taking RESPONSIBILITY for your actions. Being American means being educated and not ignorant, xenophobic, and cruel.
Update 3: Nancy, no offense here. But when you compare what Saddam did- which I will of course admit was horrible- to the 500,00+ who have died, and many more who have been wounded, I don't think you can say it was "worth" it. You see, that's the problem with these rationales. At any given moment, in any... show more Nancy, no offense here. But when you compare what Saddam did- which I will of course admit was horrible- to the 500,00+ who have died, and many more who have been wounded, I don't think you can say it was "worth" it.

You see, that's the problem with these rationales. At any given moment, in any given Third World nation, there is a dictator who has killed as many as Saddam did. Yet why do we not invade their nations and do the same as we did to Saddam?

The reason is because we don't have a strategic use for it. The "Saddam was the butcher of Baghdad" or "Saddam gassed the Kurds" line is a complete and utter excuse.

America has lost so much more in the process:
-It has lost the goodwill of many relatively peace-loving Islamic states (Turkey, Egypt, Jordan).
-It has fueled the belief that Americans are ignorant gun and war-loving fools who think that all Islamic people are guilty for 9/11.
-It has increased the recruitment to al Qaeda immesurably.
Wake up.
Update 4: Jimmy: I believe you, and I wish more Conservatives came forward and admitted just how awful Bush is. (Does he even realize what he did? I doubt it. Nixon never admitted his crimes led to the Pol Pot massacres- genocide really- in Cambodia through his destabilization of the country.) Criminals never realize... show more Jimmy: I believe you, and I wish more Conservatives came forward and admitted just how awful Bush is. (Does he even realize what he did? I doubt it. Nixon never admitted his crimes led to the Pol Pot massacres- genocide really- in Cambodia through his destabilization of the country.)

Criminals never realize their crimes. Hitler never thought he was evil.

I am sure GW Bush will continue to think he has "walked with Jesus".

If Jesus were alive he'd himself hand Bush to the Devil.
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