Military Lies-US Does Keep a Tally of Iraqi Civilian DeathsSomervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


 

Military Lies-US Does Keep a Tally of Iraqi Civilian Deaths
 


20 April 2005 at 4:15:26 PM
salon

The Geneva Convention says that military must keep counts of civilian deaths. The US has ignored this requirement- Tommy Franks said  the US Army "don't do body counts".

But according to humanitarian worker Maria Ruzicka, she was told by a Brigadier General that it was SOP for the US to file reports when they kill a non-combatant.

"These statistics demonstrate that the US military can and does track civilian casualties," she wrote. "Troops on the ground keep these records because they recognise they have a responsibility to review each action taken and that it is in their interest to minimise mistakes, especially since winning the hearts and minds of Iraqis is a key component of their strategy."

Sam Zia-Zarifi, deputy director of the Asia division of Human Rights Watch, the group for which Ms Ruzicka wrote the report, said her discovery "was very important because it allows the victims to start demanding compensation". He added: "At a policy level they have never admitted they keep these figures."

Exactly how many Iraqi civilians have been killed in the last two years is unclear. Iraq Body Count, a group that monitors casualty reports, says at least 17,384 have died. But the group bases its totals only on deaths reported by the media, and says it can therefore only "be a sample" of the total actually killed. Its website says: "It is likely that many if not most civilian casualties will go unreported by the media. That is the sad nature of war."

A peer-reviewed report published last year in The Lancet and based on an extrapolation of data suggested that 100,000 civilians may have been killed during the invasion and its aftermath. One of the report's author, Dr Richard Garfield, professor of nursing at Columbia University, said: "Of course they keep records and of course they pretend they don't. Why is it important to keep the numbers of those killed? Well, why was it important to record the names of those people killed in the World Trade Centre? It would have been inconceivable not to. These people have lives of value.


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