High Body Count in Iraq?

In recent discussions on MySpace, I have several times been presented with the high civilian death toll in Iraq. First, I should note that the Lancet Study, which posted the oft-cited civilian deaths estimate of 98,000, was debunked in October 2004.
In fact, in May of 2006–well before the Surge began–Iraq had a lower violent death rate (25.71 per 100,000) than several U. S. cities, including New Orleans (pre-Katrina) (53.1, nearly twice that in pre-surge Iraq); Washington, D. C. (45.9); Baltimore (37.7) and Atlanta (34.9). Of course, since the Surge, even those numbers have been decreased by 90%.

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