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Bush acknowledges Iraqi dead

It also marks the first time any one in this administration put a number on the casualties.
 
 
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Finally, finally, finally:

"I would say 30,000 more or less have died as a result of the initial incursion and the ongoing violence against Iraqis," the president said. "We've lost about 2,140 of our own troops in Iraq."

White House counselor Dan Bartlett said later that Bush's estimate of the number of Iraqis killed was not an official figure but that the president was simply repeating public estimates reported in the media. [ AP]

It takes this administration years to finally make this basic human gesture -- i.e. acknowledge the deaths of so many Iraqi civilians -- and they still have to fuck it up by doing that hair-splitting media jig.

Plus: As for Bush's estimate of 30,000, it falls in the general area of most other estimates -- the great exception being the Lancet study. According to a 2004 BBC article, these were: Iraq Body Count: 14-16,000; Brookings Institution: 10-27,000; UK foreign secretary: more than 10,000; People's Kifah: more than 37,000; Lancet: more than 100,000. [ BBC thanks to Chris Hayes]

Lakshmi Chaudhry is a senior editor at In These Times , and the former senior editor of AlterNet. You can write to her at lakshmi@alternet.org.