The Real Iraq Body Count

What You're Not Supposed to Know



These ordinary Iraqis were victims of senseless violence.  Were they killed by an American bomb or a Saudi suicide bomber?  Hint: IraqBodyCount doesn't want you to know.

(Updated 2/02/07)

Our staff sometimes hears from people who complain - in hit and run fashion - about the "tens of thousands" of innocent Iraqis killed by "American cluster bombs" and other instruments of destruction that the "occupiers" are supposedly dropping on Saddam Hussein's once idyllic "Muslim land."  Sometimes the claims run into the hundreds of thousands.  Sometimes even the millions.

Usually the critics are just sanctimonious types who use these ridiculous numbers to trash America, since that seems to make them feel better about themselves.  At times, however, they are upfront about their support for the "insurgents," which (as we demonstrate here) is an extreme irony.

In fact, terrorist leaders in Iraq keep the conflict going by recruiting Muslims with videos and other propaganda that imply the Americans are killing Iraqi civilians.  This, in turn, creates more dead Iraqis.

But, enter, an anti-war organization that was envisioned even before the Iraq War began, with the heady ambition of documenting each and every victim of American aggression in order to turn public opinion against the action to remove Saddam (let's just say they aren't too concerned about the hundreds of mass graves unearthed from the Ba'athist era).

Somewhere along the way, however, the harsh reality began to sink in that America was acting as no other country in history has ever acted to prevent civilian casualties in warfare.  As a matter of fact, more American troops have been killed in the conflict than have civilians been killed by Americans.  Americans are literally taking casualties to prevent casualties on the part of Iraqi civilians.

Though mere mortals might be prompted to reconsider their prejudices at this point, the folks at IraqBodyCount reacted by quietly changing their mission to include the victims of terrorists - the very people that the Americans are trying to stop.  Their dubious body-count even includes members of the Iraqi security forces, who are part of the coalition.

In other words, people who are killed trying to stop terrorists are counted as victims of their own effort - as if deadly attacks against the innocent should be tolerated by those in a position to discourage it.  Of course, no one thinks this way in real life.  Who would lay the blame for rape victims at the feet of those who campaign against sexual abuse? 

Another big problem with IraqBodyCount's statistics is that it even include the terrorists themselves.  Enemy combatants in Iraq don't wear uniforms or carry ID cards, and all it takes for someone to make the list is to wind up in a hospital or morgue from "the effects of trauma."  How many true civilians were really "killed by Americans" at Fallujah?  Probably very few.

Look further and you'll also find that one out of every 50 "war victims" on the list actually came from a stampede at a religious festival on a single day, August 31,2005, that neither the Americans, Iraqi security forces, nor even the terrorists were anywhere near.  No doubt the Americans are somehow responsible for Hajj stampedes in Mecca as well.

Unfortunately, few of the people who quote IraqBodyCount's sensational numbers (or even the wilder figures from other sources that are obvious products of invention) bother to put much thought into what they really represent.  Fewer still choose to drill into the data to discover the identity of those who kill.

In fact, if you do make it through the donation solicitation pages on the main site and begin to browse their database, you'll notice that the tables are conspicuously missing a column - the party responsible for each attack.

There's a reason for this, as we discovered when we analyzed each incident to answer this question.  It turns out that the vast majority of civilian deaths are caused by Islamic terrorists, and that very few are from American bombs and bullets.  This is because (unlike the terrorists) the Americans aren't in Iraq to kill civilians.

Why does IraqBodyCount vilify Americans, who are literally giving their blood to help Iraqis, while protecting the activities of foreign terrorists, who enter the country specifically to kill civilians?  Because the website and the terrorists both share an anti-American political agenda to which the lives of innocent Iraqis are nothing more than a supporting prop.

In fact, Iraqis are mere statistics to these folks.  And since the value of these statistics is substantially mitigated by presenting the full truth, IraqBodyCount wisely avoids identifying each incident by relevant context. 

Since our sympathies are merely for the innocent, and not filtered by anti-American bigotry, we decided to sift through the data to discover the information that IraqBodyCount doesn't want you to know.  We carefully examined their list of incidents from January 1, 2006 through December 31st to come up with some idea of who's really behind all those alleged civilian casualties.

Obviously it would have been easier to do this if IraqBodyCount kept track of the party responsible for each attack rather than, say, the time of day that it took place, but (as we found out) this extremely pertinent information completely undermines their preferred conclusions and so it is omitted (to the indifference of fawning new organizations).

Despite this imprecise science, we feel confident in our general findings.

Since the beginning of the year, we counted exactly fifty incidents involving U.S. troops in which civilians were said to have been killed.  Some were air strikes against terrorists, others were raids against or ambushes by terrorists in which civilians were killed in the crossfire.  Although the Americans aren't trying to kill civilians and the terrorists are, we added most of these to our count anyway just to allay suspicion.

There were thousands of Islamic terrorist attacks in Iraq during 2006.  IraqBodyCount often uses a "who really gives a rat's ass" method of counting deaths that even they have to admit contains overlap, so it's difficult to discern the true number of dead bodies from the beginning of the year, but the site appears to be reporting between 18,000 and 26,000 civilians killed (so much for accuracy).  What's clearer is that only about 225 of these involve American troops - or about 1 in 100.

So far, there have only been three or four incidents since the war began that involve non-combatants killed intentionally by American criminals - all of of which were deplored and prosecuted by the U.S.  (By contrast, Muslim terrorists commit more atrocities than that against the innocent every single day with extreme malice).  The relatively small number of deaths attributed to the Americans are either accidental or a result of the collateral damage from a targeted attack against terrorists that saved lives in the long run.

The wide moral distinction between collateral damage against terrorists and the intentional murder of civilians is not done justice merely by counting bodies.  Anyone who pretends not to understand this is either a fool or a liar.

Since the terror campaign in Iraq is fueled by propaganda, publicizing the truth about the extraordinary measures that American troops are taking to protect civilian life would almost certainly prevent more civilians from being killed.  In 2006, the number of civilians who died in encounters between the Americans and the terrorists was about four times lower than the number of U.S. troops killed.

In short, civilians in Iraq aren't dying from the war.  They are being murdered by Islamic terrorists.

And by the way
, what's with all those IraqBodyCount pleas for donations?  TROP covers far more territory with far less people and you don't see us begging for money at every turn like a junkie with the shakes... (although your support is truly appreciated).

Go back to the List of Islamic Terrorist Attacks


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