As a journalist it's a question that's so hard to answer. How many have died in these four years due to violence? In 2006 the medical journal, Lancet, estimated that excess deaths in Iraq due to the war were 654,965, 2.5 percent of the population. Iraq Body Count, which tracks civilian deaths, puts the number of documented deaths between 72,596 and 79,187. For a reporter it is difficult to know.
The official numbers differ if you can get them and numbers leaked to us from Iraqi ministries are incomplete pictures. This week a poll by the British market research company, Opinion Research Business, put the number at 1,220,580 deaths that were not natural causes, since the 2003 invasion.
According to the poll one in two households in Baghdad has lost someone. One in two households.
Can you imagine? If you haven't lost someone, than your neighbor has. The next most deadly provinces were Diyala and Ninewa in the north, notable because both Baghdad and Diyala are inhabited by both Sunnis and Shiites. The Sunni Anbar province, Shiite Karbala in the south and Irbil in Kurdistan were not included in the poll.
The above is from Leila Fadel's "How many have died?" (Baghdad Observer, McClatchy Newspapers) and also of interest is when Fadel explains how the US military is pushing the things-are-better-violence-is-down nonsense again. The US military does not release anything to back up those claims and, last go round, AP and McClatchy Newspapers were able to demonstrate the claims were false. But the US military is again pimping that claim.
Something to keep in mind when you see Paul Tait (Reuters) report that serial liar Lieutenant-General Raymond Odierno (infamous throughout the summer for claiming evidence that Iran -- government or individuals depending upon his mood -- supplised resistance fighters in Iraq with weaponary and insisting it was so until repeatedly pressed in press conferences at which point he'd admit that there was no proof) is again claiming violence is a-dropping.
This week (Friday in most markets) on PBS' NOW with David Brancaccio:
Microfinancing has been hailed as a breakthrough in combating global poverty by giving small loans to impoverished people in the hopes oftransforming their lives. But one very profitable Mexican lending program is now under intense scrutiny. On Friday, September 21 at 8:30pm (check local listings), NOW takes a close look at Compartamos bank, which started as a nonprofit organization lending small sums of money to poor indigenous Mexican women to help them start their own businesses.
Today, it's a for-profit bank with more than 600,000 Mexican clients. Interviewing both grateful loan recipients and vocal critics -- like Nobel prize-winning microfinance pioneer Mohammed Yunus -- NOW investigates if Compartamos is truly serving the poor, or exploiting them. NOW Online will offer more information on the power and promise of microloans in developing countries, including a web-exclusive interview with billionaire venture capitalist Vinod Khosla.
NOW Online will offer more information on the power and promise of microloans in developing countries, including a web-exclusive interview with billionaire venture capitalist Vinod Khosla.
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now with david branccaciopbs