I read your ad in the Manchester Union Leader today and I have a couple of observations:

1 You folks included a quote from a resident of Baghdad. When did the residents of Baghdad acquire the right to freely speak their minds? If Neda had asked for the American army to come and liberate her from Saddams tyranny, she would have been dragged off to Saddam's torture chambers and killed, probably after enduring rape and brutal torture. Why should I trust what any resident of Iraq has to say under the current circumstances?

2 Economic sanctions have killed exactly no one in Iraq. If anyone has died it is because Saddam has diverted oil revenue away from humanitarian needs into his nuclear, biological and chemical weapons programs as well as his collection of opulent palaces. Saddam has even been caught selling food aid abroad that was intended for the Iraqi people.

3 How can anyone reliably count the number of dead Iraqi civilians in Gulf War 1? It is after all a dictatorship, and Saddam has a vested interest in inflating the body count. The Iraqi government can issue any figures it wants and there is no reliable way for any outsider to verify the numbers.

4 You guys are claiming that 100,000 Iraqi civilians were killed in Gulf War 1 which lasted over six weeks but that the coming war, which will probably last three weeks and will be fought with a far higher percentage of precision guided weapons that are designed to reduce collateral damage, will kill just as many or maybe more? That claim is absurd on its face but I looked up some civilian casualty figures from World War Two for comparison: (my figures come from The World War Two Multimedia Database: http://www.worldwar2database.com/html/frame1.htm)

England had 92,673 civilians killed and 213,919 civilians wounded. That's lower than your claim of civilian deaths in Gulf War 1 and about twenty five percent less than your estimate of civilian casualties in the coming war despite the fact that Germany deliberately targeted civilian populations and the fact that the war lasted for 6 years.

In four years and eight months of war including the carpet bombing of all but a small handful of it's major cities and the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Japan suffered 672,000 civilian dead and 810,000 civilians wounded but you folks are trying to tell me that Iraq is about to suffer twenty nine percent of Japan's civilian casualties in a matter of days? Twenty nine percent may not sound like much but if you average out the number of casualties per week and assume that Gulf War 2 will last three weeks we would still have to inflict about 67 times as many casualties per week in the coming war as the allies inflicted on Japan in World War 2 to reach twenty nine percent! In six years of war including the carpet bombing of all of it's major cities, (over 80 in all) and the conquest through hard fought, bloody combat of all of it's territory by the allied armies Germany suffered 780,000 civilian deaths and 3,400,000 civilians wounded but you folks are trying to tell me that Iraq is about to suffer ten percent of Germany's civilian casualties in a matter of days? Ten percent doesn't sound like much but if you average out the number of casualties per week and assume that Gulf War 2 will last three weeks we would still have to inflict about 94 times as many casualties per week in the coming war as the allies inflicted on Germany in World War 2 to reach ten percent. 94 times as many while using our most advanced technology to avoid harming civilians. The numbers you quote just don't make sense!

Clearly you guys are getting your figures from the same place as the people who predicted millions of deaths in Afghanistan in 2001, out of thin air!

War is terrible and unfortunately innocent people die but it is sometimes the lesser of evils. I once read that 60,000 French men, women and children were killed by allied bombing raids in World War 2, Have you ever heard a Frenchman denounce his liberation from Nazi Germany? I haven't.

Civilians are being slaughtered every day inside Iraq by their own government. If you really want to help the people of Iraq, liberate them!

Steve Guarino
Manchester, NH

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