Don’t forget about those Iraqi civilians

During the last Democratic presidential debate, Barack Obama talked about the cost of the Iraq War,Soldiers noting that thousands of American soldiers have been killed and just as many have been maimed. I hoped he would mention the casualties on the other side, particularly all the Iraqi civilians killed, but he didn’t.

Of course, he didn’t.

Iraqis don’t vote.

Not in the U.S. election, that is. Iraq hasn’t yet been recognized as the 51st state.

Besides, most Americans — not all, thankfully — don’t want to hear about the thousands of innocent people their brave soldiers have killed, whether accidentally or deliberately. They don’t want to hear about the tens of thousands of innocent people who have died since the American invasion.

But here it is anyway: 80,989. That’s a conservative estimate from

It’s a number that keeps growing.

BAGHDAD – The U.S. military said Monday that it accidentally killed nine Iraqi civilians during an operation targeting al-Qaida in Iraq south of Baghdad.

The civilians were killed Saturday near Iskandariyah, 30 miles south of the Iraqi capital, U.S. Navy Lt. Patrick Evans told The Associated Press. Three more civilians were wounded and taken to U.S. military hospitals nearby, he said.

The incident and the events surrounding it are under investigation, Evans said.

The killings occurred as U.S. forces pursued suspected al-Qaida in Iraq militants in the area. Shortly after the incident, American officers met with a Muslim sheik representing citizens in the area, he said.

"We offer our condolences to the families of those who were killed
in this incident, and we mourn the loss of innocent civilian life,"
Evans said in a statement e-mailed to the AP.

I wonder if he included an emoticon in that email. Something like this:  😦

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Stacy L. Pearsall

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through and You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.

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