Today’s L.A. Times, in an article headlines “War’s Iraqi death toll tops 50,000,” says the following:

At least 50,000 Iraqis have died violently since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, according to statistics from the Baghdad morgue, the Iraqi Health Ministry and other agencies — a toll 20,000 higher than previously acknowledged by the Bush administration.

Many more Iraqis are believed to have been killed but not counted because of serious lapses in recording deaths in the chaotic first year after the invasion, when there was no functioning Iraqi government, and continued spotty reporting nationwide since.

Now, it seems to me that, back when there were sanctions and Saddam was still in power, critics of sanctions against Iraq said they were responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths. Hundreds of thousands! Here’s just one example from The Nation. Couple that with all those Saddam had murdered, and the numbers are staggering.

Some claimed that in the 1990′s alone, sanctions were responsible for the deaths of 1.25 million Iraqis.

Now, Saddam’s gone, as are the sanctions. Not to make light of an ugly situation, shouldn’t the LA Times headline read, at the very least, “Less than half as many Iraqis dying since liberation”?

Of course they’re not going to word it that way, but it’s fun to dream once in a while, isn’t it?


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