We are not supposed to know that the Iraqi capital’s death toll last month was only 700 short of the total American fatalities in Iraq since April of 2003. Of the dead, 963 were men – many with their hands bound, their eyes taped and bullets in their heads – and 137 women. The statistics are as shameful as they are horrifying. For these are the men and women we supposedly came to “liberate” – and about whose fate we do not care.I remember some piece of shit politician on television saying that he has a picture of the mass graves of Saddam to remind him of why we are "liberating" the Iraqi's. Um. The mainstream media and the powers that be insist that we are winning. If we cause the violent deaths of more Iraqi's than Saddam did, do we win?
The figures for this month cannot, of course, yet be calculated. But last Sunday, the mortuary received the bodies of 36 men and women, all killed by violence. By 8am on Monday, nine more human remains had been received. By midday, the figure had reached 25.
“I consider this a quiet day,” one of the mortuary officials said to me as we stood close to the dead. So in just 36 hours – from dawn on Sunday to midday on Monday, 62 Baghdad civilians had been killed. No Western official, no Iraqi government minister, no civil servant, no press release from the authorities, no newspaper, mentioned this terrible statistic. The dead of Iraq – as they have from the beginning of our illegal invasion – were simply written out of the script. Officially they do not exist.
Thus there has been no disclosure of the fact that in July 2003 – three months after the invasion – 700 corpses were brought to the mortuary in Baghdad. In July of 2004, this rose to around 800. The mortuary records the violent death toll for June of this year as 879 – 764 of them male, 115 female. Of the men, 480 had been killed by firearms, along with 25 of the women. By comparison, equivalent figures for July 1997, 1998 and 1999 were all below 200.
Between 10 and 20 per cent of all bodies are never identified – the medical authorities have had to bury 500 of them since January of this year, unidentified and unclaimed. In many cases, the remains have been shattered by explosions – possibly by suicide bombers – or by deliberate disfigurement by their killers.
Mortuary officials have been appalled at the sadism visited on the victims. “We have many who have obviously been tortured – mostly men,” one said. “They have terrible burn marks on hands and feet and other parts of their bodies. Many have their hands fastened behind their backs with handcuffs and their eyes have been bound with Sellotape. Then they have been shot in the head – in the back of the head, the face, the eyes. These are executions.”
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Saturday, August 20
US Occupation/Liberation Is Worse Than Saddam
Robert Fisk writes: