08/19/2005 03:07 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

War Deaths in Iraq

I don't expect to influence anyone who screams his opinions, but for those who might have worried that I was casting out imaginary numbers, the following may be useful:

The original estimate that coalition forces, but primarily the U.S., may have killed 100,000 Iraqis unnecessarily appeared in the leading British medical journal, The Lancet. Links to this report are widely available at Here is one from the CBC news service in Canada.

I doubt that those who scream their opinions actually heed the facts, but these estimates are extremely saddening, since the vast majority of those who died in Iraq during the U.S. invasion have been women and children. Also, it has been enormously difficult to get multiple news organizations to agree upon a standardized number since the U.S. Pentagon which is responsible for the official dissemination of war related deaths has not produced an accurate survey since the war began. Lost in the debate about precise numbers is the fact that almost the entire premise for the war in Iraq as presented by the administration has been discredited since the war began.

It's important to note that the vast majority if U.S. forces have been snared in this web of misinformation. In large part they are victims too and my heart goes out to every friend and family member whose son or daughter, husband or wife has lost their life and are shortchanged by simply being cited as the "cost of war."

Despite the rancorous tone of the comments I've received, eventually the whisper of fact will prevail. History will not deal kindly with this invasion in terms of the "acceptable" mass slaughter that has gone on.

I understand that politics is the art of the possible, and at certain times it becomes impossible, even in a nation that prides itself on free speech, to suggest a truth other than what is officially programmed into the citizenry. I wake up every day hoping that the U.S. will return to the path of peace. So far there are hopeful signs.