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The Fleeting Value of Iraqi Lives January 4, 2017

Posted by geoff in News, Obama's Legacy.

(I’m going to try to find the time to write a series of posts summing up President Obama’s legacy. He’s also been reviewing his legacy in recent days, putting himself at severe risk of shoulder injury from excessive patting of his own back. My reviews may be a wee bit more critical…)

I recall a decade ago when not a day went by without the press screaming about civilian casualties in Iraq. And, to an extent, they were justified in doing so. But now you don’t hear anything at all. But here’s how the casualties during their 2 terms stack up:

Bush’s 2 Terms: 106,210

Obama’s 2 Terms: 82,381

Pretty comparable, though you might arguably claim that casualties during President Obama’s first few years were not his responsibility – they were a legacy from Bush’s policies. So I’ll let you pick the point at which you think Obama’s policies took root:


The bars in red are all civilian casualties in Iraq (per Iraq Body Count), while the blue bars are those caused by the US and its allies (excluding Iraq itself).

The civilian deaths during Bush’s administration were tragic, but those during Obama’s administration were equally so. And in both cases, those deaths caused by the US and its allies were particularly grievous.

Yet while the press dwelled incessantly on Iraqi casualities and the culpability of the coalition during Bush’s terms, they haven’t said a word for the past 8 years.

It’s like the value of an Iraqi life disappeared after President Obama’s inauguration.


1. The “Obama’s Legacy” Posts Thus Far | Innocent Bystanders - January 18, 2017

[…] The Fleeting Value of Iraqi Lives […]

2. One Last Look at Iraqi Civilian Casualties | Innocent Bystanders - August 13, 2018

[…] Last year I pointed out that though Iraqi civilian casualties were comparable under the Obama and Bush administrations, the press stopped talking about them as soon as Obama was elected. […]

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