Open Letter to UFPJ on Counting Iraqi Dead

Dear friends of Mountain View Voices for Peace,
Dear friends of United for Peace and Justice,
Dear Danny Schechter,
Dear Leslie Cagan,

In the Mountain View Voices for Peace poster for the March 2006 third anniversary of the invasion of Iraq – – there is written 30,000 Iraqis

I found the same poster in United for Peace and Justice’s website – – and in Media Channel’s website –

According to Les Roberts (Center for International Emergency Disaster and Refugee Studies at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, one of the world’s top epidemiologists and lead author of the Lancet report) there might be as many as 300,000 Iraqi civilian deaths (Do Iraqi Civilian Casualties Matter?, By Les Roberts, AlterNet, February 8, 2006)

You may also be interested in reading the last Media Lens Alert – MEDIA ALERT UPDATE: IRAQ BODY COUNT REFUSES TO RESPOND – – and a recent email I sent to the Independent –

A few days ago, the Independent wrote: “But IBC admits that with the increasing inability of journalists to move around and report freely, its method of monitoring civilian deaths is becoming increasingly inaccurate. What evidence has emerged indicates that a widely ridiculed study published in The Lancet in autumn 2004, estimating that at least 100,000 civilians had died violently since the war began, might not be so inaccurate.” (“Iraq: The reckoning” , Patrick Cockburn and Raymond Whitaker , The Independent, 12 March 2006)

In CounterPunch yesterday, Todd Chretien asked “Why is the Left Understating the Carnage?” (Counting the Dead in Iraq, TODD CHRETIEN, CounterPunch) –

In peace, struggle and friendship, I urge you to consider the message that that wrong number (30,000) is sending, to abandon any further reference to the Iraq Body Count’s numbers and to take seriously in consideration the Lancet study and more recent comments and updates by the Lancet study’s Les Roberts.

I urge you therefore to reconsider the use of that poster. The difference between 30,000 and 300,000 can no longer be ignored. Using that poster as well as keep referring to the IBC’s numbers, would be a betrayal of our share ideals and values of peace and justice.

In solidarity,
Gabriele Zamparini

The Cat’s Dream