Ten Years On
Ahead of the 10th anniversary of the beginning of the war on Wednesday the latest figures from the Iraq Body Count project have been announced. The Iraq Body Count has been tracking civilian deaths since the beginning of 2003 when coalition forces invaded and the US famously declared it did not count civilian deaths .
The organisation said it has documented 112,017 to 122,438 civilian deaths from violence from March 20, 2003 to now. It has calculated that the conflict has led to more than 39,900 combatants of all nationalities being killed. A year ago it noted that of the 4,040 civilian victims of US-led coalition forces for whom age data was available, 1,201 (29%) were children.
• Over half of the civilian deaths caused by US-led coalition forces occurred during the 2003 invasion and the sieges of Fallujah in 2004.
• Of the 45,779 victims for whom IBC was able to obtain age data, 3,911 (8.54%) were children under age 18.
An IBC spokesman said: “This conflict is not yet history. It is entrenched and pervasive. In major regions of the country armed violence continues to exact a remorseless toll on human life – young and old, male and female – across society.”
Writing in the Sunday Herald, Alex Salmond wrote: “The illegal invasion and war in Iraq is a disgrace without parallel in modern times, the shame of which will echo down the ages for Blair and all of those who were complicit in sending young men and women to risk their lives on the basis of a gigantic fraud.
And it is a deception which – I am absolutely certain – could and would not be perpetrated by the government of an independent Scotland, of whatever political persuasion.
Other countries, including Denmark, the Netherlands and Ireland, have constitutional guarantees that they will not go to war without explicit parliamentary approval, and a similar such undertaking could be written into the constitution of an independent Scotland.
Ten years ago, the Labour Party at Holyrood, under orders from their Downing Street masters, claimed that the Scottish Parliament was no place to debate the looming war.
A decade on and it would seem that they have learned nothing – only this week we had the ludicrous spectacle of Labour opposing the business motion at Holyrood, objecting to the Scottish Government’s proposed debates next week on both Iraq and Trident.”
See this extraordinary exhibition of war photography from TIME Lightbox by Bobby Ghosh – Follow him on Twitter @ghoshworld.