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Iraq Body Count project

The Iraq Body Count project is an ongoing effort to record those civilian casualties (including journalists) of the 2003 Iraq war attributable to the invading armies. It refrains from reporting on civilians killed by Iraqi forces. It also doesn't count dead soldiers and indirect deaths caused by the broken infrastructure.

According to the project's website, it was created "to establish an independent and comprehensive public database of civilian deaths in Iraq resulting directly from military actions by the USA and its allies in 2003" for the purpose of "holding our leaders to account." [1] (http://www.iraqbodycount.net/background.htm#methods)

The project, which is rooted in the anti-war movement[?] (see list at the end of the article), is staffed by volunteers who measure the number of non-Iraqi-caused civilian deaths in the Iraq war of 2003 by sampling news stories to extract minimum and maximum numbers of civilian casualities. Each incident reported at least by two independent news sources is included in the Iraq Body Count database.

Although IBC records the newspaper, magazine or website where each estimate is reported, it makes no attempt to record or assess the original sources for the information: that is, the NGO, journalist or government responsible for doing the counting. Hence, any inherent bias due to the lack of reliable reports from independent or Allied sources is hidden. Also, it is difficult for outsiders to assess the extent of this problem, because IBC does not publish full citations for their sources -- they only give a date, a newspaper name and an incident location.

If a number is quoted from a pro-Iraqi source, and the Allies fail to give a sufficiently specific alternate number, the pro-Iraqi figure is entered into IBC's database as both a maximum and a minimum. The same works vice versa. The project claims that these over- and underestimations of different media sources balance out to give some sort of accuracy.

Biographical information of group members as shown on the groups' website:

  1. Hamit Dardagan, a researcher for Greenpeace and past chair of Kalayaan[?], a human rights campaign for overseas domestic workers in the UK
  2. John Slobodo, who runs the peaceuk.net mailing list, and a delegate to the Stop the War Coalition
  3. Bülent Gökay, author of The Most Dangerous Game in the World: Oil, War, and US Global Hegemony[?], and co-editor of War, Terror and Judgement: 11 September 2001[?]
  4. Torben Franck, musician and peace activist, webmaster for www.peaceuk.net, www.humanshields.org and delegate to the Stop the War National Conference[?].
  5. Marc Herold, Associate Professor of Economic Development, International Affairs[?] and Women's Studies[?] at the University of New Hampshire[?], USA
  6. David Flanagan, JavaScript consultant
  7. John Buccheri, co-founder of Musicians Opposing War[?]
  8. Eric Clarke, music professor, campaigner for nuclear disarmament
  9. Nikki Dibben, music lecturer
  10. Joshua Dougherty, guitarist
  11. Charlie Ford, awarded a doctorate for his holistic critique of Mozart's Cosi fan tutte
  12. Jordana Lipscomb, member of Musicians Opposing War, currently researching the criminal implications of the war on Iraq
  13. Scott Lipscomb, co-founder of Musicians Opposing War
  14. Darell Whitman, lawyer, peace activist, organizer of Emergency Committee to Stop the War[?] (Gulf War I)
  15. Kay Williams, librarian, runs a mailing list for those interested in anti-war activities
  16. Rowan Williams, she was Justice and Peace representative for the Anglican Community of St Francis[?], and is in training for the priesthood.

As of (April 9, 2003) the project counts a minimum of 996 civilian deaths caused by the US and its allies in the Iraq war, and a maximum of 1174. As noted above, the project counts neither civilian deaths caused by Iraq, nor military deaths. Update: (June 11, 2003) at least 5531 civilian deaths caused by the US and its allies in the Iraq war, and a maximum of 7203.

Current numbers are given on the link below.

See also: 2003 invasion of Iraq casualties

External link



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