Friday, December 12, 2003

Latest outrage from Iraq

They're no longer counting dead civillians:

Iraqi Health Ministry officials ordered a halt to a count of civilian casualties from the war and told workers not to release figures already compiled, the head of the ministry's statistics department told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The health minister, Dr. Khodeir Abbas, denied that he or the U.S.-led occupation authority had anything to do with the order, and said he didn't even know about the survey of deaths, which number in the thousands.

Dr. Nagham Mohsen, the head of the ministry's statistics department, said the order came from the ministry's director of planning, Dr. Nazar Shabandar, who told her it was on behalf of Abbas. She said the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority, which oversees the ministry, didn't like the idea of the count either.

"We have stopped the collection of this information because our minister didn't agree with it," she said, adding: "The CPA doesn't want this to be done."

For some reason this is reminding me of a child sticking its fingers in its ears and going "lalalalalala I can't hear you". The conquest of Iraq killed civillians. The occupation has killed more. Not counting them is not going to change that. It's not even going to hide it from the Iraqis - they know when their relatives go missing (hell, half the time they get shot right in front of them). This is primarily aimed at us, at westerners, for whom the deaths in Iraq are nothing but a statistic. By denying us that statistic, they are trying to prevent us from asking whether the war was worth it - and the fact that they're trying to prevent us from even asking suggests that they wouldn't like our conclusion...