This new study believes that 655,000 Iraqi civilians have died since the invasion, and further estimates that 600,000 of them have died violently. This study used statistical sampling (as I understand it) and could be way off. But those around the issue (who aren't Bushies) think it is close. The study measures the mortality rate and has it well over twice pre-invasion Iraq.
As Glenn Greenwald notes, and as Stephen Colbert remarked, "facts have a well known liberal bias." This study is far from established fact, but is just another indication that our policy there has been ill conceived to say the least. It will go down as a needlesss historical tragedy, and set our relationships with the Middle East back 100 years or more. Not only did Bush sell the war on false pretenses, he and Rummy decided to ignore the Powell Doctrine and tried to fight this one on the cheap, and it should be noted, rob from Peter (Afghanistan) to pay Paul (Iraq) and then rob from the military families and national treasury to, well, not pay Paul.
It is very possible that this war was doomed from the start--that the entire idea of forcing democracy at the point of gun is ridiculous. But it is arguable that once invaded, an overwhelming force could have immediately improved the lives of Iraqi citizens and stopped the insurgency from forming, or at least becoming the force it is.
We will never know. But regardless of how you see this new mortality study, Iraq is not better off than it was. The UN estimates that torture is worse in Iraq now than under Saddam. Iraqi citizens in huge numbers want America out and distrust our motives.
I wonder if my hardcore Bush supporting friends and family will ever concede that this presidency has been a HUGE mistake? Iraq is a mess; Afghanistan headed back to Taliban rule; the president using the constitution as kleenex; civil liberties up for political points; and our own ability to take care of the American people severely weakened. Our army is in shambles and our military families the only ones asked to sacrifice for this mess.
Time to vote Democratic, if only for this election cycle. Time for some semblance of accountability.