Sectarian violence sweeps Iraq, 51 killed
Attacks kill more than 1,000 in month since bombing of Shiite shrine
In other words, about a quarter less than we were all told had been killed on the first day after the bombing. Remember all the “1,300 dead” headlines? I never saw any major media organizations run any clarifications or corrections. I only saw the errors pointed out in blogs and such.
Now a month later they get to run their grim headlines once again.
UPDATE: A commenter points out that we’re not hearing anything about the average montlhy death toll among Iraqi civilians, and that’s a good point. According to the obviously-slanted Iraq Body Count web site, the range of reported deaths through March 12th is 33,710 – 37,832. Given that this is the third anniversary of the invasion, that comes to about 1,000 dead per month.
Unfortunately, the site doesn’t seem to make it easy to get monthly numbers, so it’s hard to compare this “1,000 dead in a month” headline to any previous months. It’s been my impression that casualties among Iraqi civilians have been holding steady or increasing over the past year, though I don’t know for sure. If that’s the case, it seems to me that this 1,000 in the past four weeks isn’t terribly out of line, though.
Does anyone know where we can get quasi-accurate monthly numbers to compare? We need some context to know if this number is particularly meaningful. 1,000 dead is terrible in any context, of course. But if we’re going to talk numbers we need more numbers.