Thursday, 20 March 2008

Occupation of Iraq - 5 years on

I just thought I'd share these shocking figures from Robert Fisk in today's Independent :

"the Iraqi civilian death toll since our invasion is now greater than the total number of British military fatalities in the Second World War, which came to an astounding 265,000 dead (some histories give this figure as 300,000) and 277,000 wounded. Minimum estimates for Iraqi dead mean that the civilians of Mesopotamia have suffered six or seven Dresdens or – more terrible still – two Hiroshimas."

Of course, we are only dealing with estimates. As today's Guardian points out:

"The Americans learned one lesson from Vietnam: don't count the civilian dead. As a result, no one knows how many Iraqis have been killed in the five years since the invasion. Estimates put the toll at between 100,000 and one million. 19 Mar 2008 The British polling firm Opinion Research Business (ORB) asked 1,720 Iraqi adults last summer if they had lost family members by violence since 2003; 16% had lost one, and 5% two. Using the 2005 census total of 4,050,597 households in Iraq, this suggests 1,220,580 deaths since the invasion. "

My Plaid colleagues in Westminster have renewed calls for an inquiry into the events which led to the conflict.

Elfyn Llwyd has said “You have always got to consider the loss of life – military and civilian. Why are we spending £30m per week in Iraq and Afghanistan? What is the ultimate purpose?” And I couldn't agree more with Kate Hudson, chair of CND who said ",“The illegality of the war on Iraq, and the crimes committed there, cannot be swept under the carpet. Five years does not erase the guilt of those responsible.”

For information on campaigning against the occupation and for troops out, check out

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