The human cost of the war

Iraq Does Poorly On U.N. Human Development Repor

Wednesday, April 22, 2015
The United Nations Human Development Report of 2014 tried to rank countries in terms of living standards, inequality, gender, and poverty. The figures used were based upon several United Nations and World Bank reports. While not all countries were included in all the indexes the statistics give a good overview of the Middle East. Unfortunately for Iraq, due to years of wars and sanctions it did not do that well.
The first category was the Human Development Index (HDI), which assessed life expectancy, schooling, and income. Out of the 18 countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Iraq was third to last in the HDI with a vale of 0.642. In comparison the top three countries were Saudi Arabia, 0.836, Qatar, 0.851, an Israel, 0.888. Only Morocco, 0.617, and Yemen, 0.500, did worse. Iraq did make a jump from 1980 however when its HDI value was 0.500

Iraq Human Development Report 2014

With the Iraqi government’s adoption of the National Development Plan 2013–2017 and before it the National Employment Policy and National Education Strategy – and with the launch of the National Youth Strategy and this National Human Development Report (NHDR) 2014, which focuses on opportunities and challenges related to youth development – a promising foundation is being laid for the empowerment of the youth. These national efforts however depend on two things: first, actual implementation of the plans. Second, transforming the role of the government into a constructive role that realizes the potential of youth empowerment. Only then do the youth’s ambitions remain connected to their own
efforts and perseverance. Because of our belief in 

Les Roberts - Measuring Deaths in Iraq, 2004

Uploaded on Oct 25, 2006
Les Roberts speaks on the methodology behind the study published in the Lancet - Mortality before and after the 2003 invasion of Iraq: cluster sample survey.

Mortality before and after the 2003 invasion of Iraq: cluster sample survey


Center for International Emergency Disaster and Refugee Studies,
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthLes
Roberts, Riyadh Lafta, Richard Garfield, Jamal Khudhairi, Gilbert Burnham
Findings The risk of death was estimated to be 2·5-fold (95% CI 1·6–4·2) higher after the invasion when compared with the preinvasion period. Two-thirds of all violent deaths were reported in one cluster in the city of Falluja. If we exclude the Falluja data, the risk of death is 1·5-fold (1·1–2·3) higher after the invasion. We estimate that 98 000 more deaths than expected (8000–194 000) happened after the invasion outside of Falluja and far more if the outlier Falluja cluster is included. The major causes of death before the invasion were myocardial infarction, cerebrovascular accidents, and other chronic disorders whereas after the invasion violence was the primary cause of death. Violent deaths were widespread, reported in 15 of 33 clusters, and were mainly attributed to coalition forces. Most individuals reportedly killed by coalition forces were women and children. The risk of death from violence in the period after the invasion was 58 times higher (95% CI 8·1–419) than in the period before the war.

Hunger and Poverty in Iraq, 1991


London School of Economics and WIDER 
Summary. - This paper examines the impact of economic sanctions, war and internal conflicts on the well-being of the civilian population of Iraq during and after the Gulf war. Particular attention is paid to the issue of food entitlements and nutritional deprivation. The paper is based primarily on data collected by the authors in August/September 1991 through household surveys and related investigations carried out in different parts of Iraq. Economic reasoning andempirical analysis both point to very high levels of poverty, mortality and nutritional deprivation in 1991. Further, the sharp decline in living standards in this period clearly relates to the collapse of economic activity as a result of the war and economic sanctions. 

TalkingStickTV - Hans Von Sponeck - Effects of Sanctions on Iraq

Uploaded on Nov 12, 2011
Talk by Hans Von Sponeck, former U.N. Coordinator of the Oil for Food Program in Iraq on the effects of Sanctions on Iraq given November 9, 2001 at University Temple United Methodist Church in Seattle, WA

Dismantling the social fabric of Iraq

Published on Jan 20, 2016
They are among the most trusted allies of the international coalition in the fight against ISIL in Iraq.
Kurdish fighters benefit from military and political support. 
But they are also being accused of deliberately destroying thousands of Arab homes.
In another sign that the diverse society in Iraq is breaking down, Amnesty International said Kurdish forces have campaigned to forcibly displace Arab communities; bulldozing and blowing up Arab villages recaptured from ISIL.
The destruction's being seen as revenge for perceived Arab support for ISIL. Amnesty said the Kurdish actions could amount to war crimes.


NOTE: This is part of HRW report about 1991 Gulf war.
March 2 Boston Globe, describing the aftermath of the February 25 attack on the Iraqi convoy retreatin from Kuwait, reported that Allied soldiers were "burying hundreds of dead in shallow graves." The article quoted US and British troops who were burying the dead from this convoy. One U.S. officer told the Globe that some of the bodies would be taken to a grave registration site, where Kuwaiti and Saudi specialists would give them proper treatment under Muslim law.
The Independent on Sunday reported on March 3 that the burial work "was left to Saudi mortuary parties with US troops":
Sometimes trenches where Iraqis fell were used as mass graves, with sand pushed over corpses and marked with makeshift signs. A US spokesman said he did not know if the bodies would be exhumed and returned to Iraq, as it was a matter for the Saudis....
A US spokesman in Saudi Arabia acknowledged that mass burials were taking place well away from reporters, adding that the US would not get into a body count of dead Iraqi soldiers even though the conflict is over.
Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, in his February 27 press conference, also displayed a cavalier attitude toward the coalition forces' obligation to document enemy dead. Referring to the Iraqi front-line units in southern Kuwait, he said, "There's a very large number of dead in these units, a very, very large number of dead." Asked whether there would ever be an accounting, he said, "No, there will never be an exact count." He continued:

How Many Iraqis Died in the Iraq War?

By Rebecca Hellmich

How many Iraqis died in the Iraq War? That's the kind of question that should be asked, especially if you happen to live in the countries that launched the war that killed so many.

read artical


A Mortality Study, 2002-2006 (2)

The large scale of mortality during the Iraq war has implications for how the war is being conducted by the United States. While not within the scope of the survey itself, it is worth raising a few points and questions relevant to political and military policies, strategy, and tactics.

  • The overall scale of death from the beginning of the war, and the constant rise in mortality, clearly demonstrates that the United States and other legitimate armed forces are not adequately providing security, and indeed that everyday insecurity is increasing for most Iraqis