This paper explores the science and politics of counting excess Iraqi civilian casualties of the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq. The exact number of Iraqi civilian deaths as a result of the war is not known, and perhaps will never be known. The deaths of nearly one million Iraqi civilians remain disputed by governments and non-governmental organizations worldwide. The first part of this paper analyzes the reasons behind this dispute, and argues that the counting of excess Iraqi civilian casualties has not been treated as an unbiased scientific endeavor, but rather, as a means of reinforcing political agendas. The dispute over deaths is further adding to the injustice already experienced by the Iraqi people. Therefore, the second part of this paper calls for greater accountability by states to civilian populations during war to prevent a repeat of such injustice from occurring to civilian populations of future wars. The aim of this paper is not to provide practical suggestions for improving counting methodologies. Rather, this paper takes a broader view of the issue and calls for greater accountability by the US and its allies is response to Iraqi civilian deaths as a result of the 2003 invasion.
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