Even the Wikileaks Documents Underestimated the Iraqi Dead

Yes, amateur war fans, it's really true: Though the nearly 400,000 documents on the Iraq War released by wikileaks last Friday have stirred a flurry of attention to the persistent brutalizing of civilians during that war, the revelations about the abuse of detainees and the rampaging of private security contractors are only a small part of that human rights problem: The pattern of American commanders' misleading statements or outright dishonesty, is now becoming a military tradition, though the headlines, for once, are now focused on the death tolls of civilians. The reports raise the number of civilians killed by about 15,000 over the estimate of the Iraq Body Count. Unfortunately, the real count should be very much larger, in the 200,000 range, and very likely approaching 215,000. As I can vouch, based on my combat experience in Vietnam, counting enemy casualties is a tricky business, especially in the midst of a nasty war, that was stirred up by an invading military army. If the civilians in any country decide to join the war effort of their nation, all bets are off: When I probed for bunkers and tunnels outside the perimeter of our American base near Cu Chi, I merely removed the trap door of the enemy's hiding place, dropped a grenade into the opening, and began probing for the next enemy hiding place, with brazing rods furnished by the soldiers inside the base.
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