Leading public health experts from around the world have condemned the US and British governments’ refusal to count Iraqi war casualties as “wholly irresponsible”.
One of the signatories, David Hunter, is professor of health management and policy at Durham university and chair of the UK Public Health Association. He said, “The attention invested in finding WMD and the amount of resources put into that was out of all proportion to the attempts to find out about casualties, which has been treated somewhat cavalierly.
“If people knew the scale of the casualties and how they had occurred, that might change people’s perceptions of the war and whether it was justified.”
The statement says the inadequacy of government policy was highlighted by a study in the Lancet medical journal. The study estimated that the war had killed around 98,000 Iraqis. The government tried to rubbish the Lancet figures, but the public health experts say the “obvious answer” would be to commission a larger independent study.