By Brad Friedman on 9/29/2004, 5:32pm PT  

Are the citizens of Iraq better off with Saddam out of power? Conventional Wisdom offers a "theoretically, yes" to that question. But for the innocent citizens of Iraq, "maybe, maybe not." I keep hearing, from the few still trying to justify this "miscalculation" about all of "Saddam's mass graves". So I did some quick cursory math.

Since Saddam took over Iraq in 1979 through his ouster in 2003, he supposedly killed some 300,000 citizens (according to repeated Administration assertions). That's roughly 13,000 deaths per year.

In the short time since the U.S. invaded Iraq through today, we've killed about 20,000 of it's citizens (not including the 28,000 Iraqi military that the Pentagon reported as killed). That rate then is also roughly 13,000 deaths per year. A few more than Saddam's numbers actually. And if you add the military deaths to it, of course, then Bush seems to out-Saddam Saddam hands down when it comes to filling mass graves with Iraqi citizens.

In theory, of course, those number should go down as time moves on. Even though they are rapidly moving up as we speak. If the CIA's prediction is true, about civil war breaking out in Iraq --- a notion that seems to be well on it's way to reality according to all sources who happen to be in touch with said reality --- that number may not go down any time soon and will be probably continue to increase.

Why did we invade again? I know that Bush has given anywhere from 23 to 27 different justifications for it. But I don't believe any of them seem to be "operable" anymore, other than we invaded because "John Kerry is a flip-flopper". Or something.