In a rare, unscripted moment, President Bush on Monday estimated 30,000 Iraqis have died in the war, the first time he has publicly acknowledged the high price Iraqis have paid in the push for democracy.
There are many, many, estimates that say that is far too low. But taking Bush's statement as generally accurate, it is getting much much worse:
More than 14,000 civilians have been killed in Iraq in the first half of this year, an ominous figure reflecting the fact that "killings, kidnappings and torture remain widespread" in the war-torn country, a United Nations report says.
Killings of civilians are on "an upward trend," with more than 5,800 deaths and more than 5,700 injuries reported in May and June alone, it says.
The report, a bimonthly document produced by the U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq, covers May and June, and includes chilling casualty figures and ugly anecdotes from the insurgent and sectarian warfare that continues to rage despite the establishment of a national unity government and a security crackdown in Baghdad.
On Sunday, I believe it was Newt Gingrich made the analogy of how 8 deaths in Haifa represented a greater impact because Israel is so proportionately smaller than the United States, he then claimed it was the equivalent of the United States losing several times that number. Newt, of course, did not make a similar analogy to Lebanon, which has about 3/5ths of Israel's population.
Well, Iraq has about an 11th of America's population and using Newt's magic method of extrapolation, that's the equivalent of losing more than 150,000 Americans to violence in just the first six months of this year.
I'm sure we'd call it "sectarian violence" as opposed to civil war.