(guest blogged by Logan Murphy)
Since the beginning of the occupation of Iraq the Bush Administration has played fast and loose with the facts when it comes to the number people who have died on their watch. Estimates have been mixed, but one thing is for sure, they have been low balling since day one.
Americans underestimate Iraqi death toll Americans are keenly aware of how many U.S. forces have lost their lives in Iraq, according to a new AP-Ipsos poll (.pdf). But they woefully underestimate the number of Iraqi civilians who have been killed.
Far from a vague statistic, the death toll is painfully real for many Americans. Seventeen percent in the poll know someone who has been killed or wounded in Iraq. And among adults under 35, those closest to the ages of those deployed, 27 percent know someone who has been killed or wounded.
The number of Iraqis killed, however, is much harder to pin down, and that uncertainty is perhaps reflected in Americans' tendency to lowball the Iraqi death toll by tens of thousands.
Iraqi civilian deaths are estimated at more than 54,000 and could be much higher; some unofficial estimates range into the hundreds of thousands. The U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq reports more than 34,000 deaths in 2006 alone.
Among those polled for the AP survey, however, the median estimate of Iraqi deaths was 9,890. The median is the point at which half the estimates were higher and half lower.
We already know our dear leader views American troop deaths as just a number, 800 civilian contractors are known to have been killed and we still don't know for sure just how many Iraqi civilians have paid the ultimate price for King George's War and probably never will.
So, who's going all the way on American Idol this year?