A team of American and Iraqi epidemiologists estimates that 655,000 more people have died in Iraq since coalition forces arrived in March 2003 than would have died if the invasion had not occurred.
The estimate, produced by interviewing residents during a random sampling of households throughout the country, is far higher than ones produced by other groups, including Iraq’s government.
It is more than 20 times the estimate of 30,000 civilian deaths that President Bush gave in a speech in December. It is more than 10 times the estimate of roughly 50,000 civilian deaths made by the British-based Iraq Body Count research group.
Rather than debate the idea that we have lost Iraq, that we have no real plan other than ‘staying the course,’ and various other issues of importance (despite the ‘seriousness’ of the GOP), you can bet that all that will be done is an attack on the procedures of this study. As we all know the instinctive Republican response when confronted with things they don’t like is to blame the media, Democrats, or both, it is just a matter of time before the assault on this data begins (and to be fair, I know I did my best to ‘debunk’ the first study). Who knows- maybe by the time Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly are done dissecting the stats in this study, we will find out that it actually proves global warming isn’t happening.
At any rate, rather than sit back and wait for the inevitable bullshit to fly, let’s help them out. With that in mind, here are the top ten GOP excuses for an estimate of a half million+ dead Iraqi’s:
10. At least when we kill civilians, it is an accident. Saddam intentionally killed civilians.
9. No one could have predicted there would be civilian casualties.
8. We tried to come up with a plan to win this war without killing civilians, but obstructionist Democrats made it too hard.
7. How many innocent civilians did FDR and Truman kill? (Excuse used partially used with a reference to Nagasaki and Hiroshima.)
6. Why all the fuss? The Iraqi people can ‘tolerate’ a few dead. (Excuse actually used by Bush in his presser.)
Freedom isn’t Free. Freedom is messy.
4. Better to have collateral damage over there than to have it over here.
3. The terrorists don’t care if they kill innocent civilians.
2. Brian Ross and the media have known people are dying in Iraq for a long while. Why did they wait until right before an election to tell us? (Excuse actually used here at Red State)
1. Epidemiologists?!? What the hell do skin doctors know about waging war? (Excuse partially used here: “So somewhere between 8 and 194 thousand, good lord I hope I never get treated by one of these quacks.”)
Feel free to add your own in the comments (and if you have links to these made-up excuses being actually used, please forward them).
*** Update ***
Majikthese compiles the list of reactions so I don’t have to.