Last week, The Lancet published a paper with an estimate of Iraqi deaths caused by Coalition forces since the invasion:
We estimate that as of July, 2006, there have been 654,965 (392,979 - 942,636) excess Iraqi deaths as a consequence of the war, which corresponds to 2.5% of the population in the study area. Of post-invasion deaths, 601,027 (426,369 - 793,663) were due to violence, the most common cause being gun fire.
Clayton decides these figures need a "reality check", so he looks at figures from WWII.
Official figures claim 250,253 Germans died during as a result of Allied carpet-bombing between 1/1/43 and 1/31/45. Post-war estimates are closer to 305,000 killed. This works out to 400 deaths per day, on average.
The equivalent number for Japan, including the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs, is 913 per day, on average.
If The Lancet's figures are correct, then people have been dying from gunfire at the rate of some 550 per day, on the average.
Here's a piece from Iraq Body Count, which is not known for its pro-occupation (or indeed, pro-Bush) stance:
The Iraqi mortality estimates published in the Lancet in October 2006 imply, among other things, that:
1. On average, a thousand Iraqis have been violently killed every single day in the first half of 2006, with less than a tenth of them being noticed by any public surveillance mechanisms;
2. Some 800,000 or more Iraqis suffered blast wounds and other serious conflict-related injuries in the past two years, but less than a tenth of them received any kind of hospital treatment;
3. Over 7% of the entire adult male population of Iraq has already been killed in violence, with no less than 10% in the worst affected areas covering most of central Iraq;
4. Half a million death certificates were received by families which were never officially recorded as having been issued;
5. The Coalition has killed far more Iraqis in the last year than in earlier years containing the initial massive "Shock and Awe" invasion and the major assaults on Falluja.
If these assertions are true, they further imply:
* incompetence and/or fraud on a truly massive scale by Iraqi officials in hospitals and ministries, on a local, regional and national level, perfectly coordinated from the moment the occupation began;
* bizarre and self-destructive behaviour on the part of all but a small minority of 800,000 injured, mostly non-combatant, Iraqis;
* the utter failure of local or external agencies to notice and respond to a decimation of the adult male population in key urban areas;
* an abject failure of the media, Iraqi as well as international, to observe that Coalition-caused events of the scale they reported during the three-week invasion in 2003 have been occurring every month for over a year.