Aside from my MFA thesis project, this was my most involved and best-developed project from graduate school (2001-2004). I am reposting it in observation of the 5th anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.
Note that total soldier and civilian casualty estimates now range from a conservative 34,000 (President Bush’s estimate) to more than 650,000 (based on a 2006 epidemiological study that also includes deaths due to disease and other non-military violence resulting from war).
On the other hand, there are stories of hope, such as this NPR story that documents a less violent area of Iraq that had formerly been known for unthinkable atrocities.
We can only hope that more stories of hope like this emerge over time, to ensure that all of the war-related deaths did not happen in vain. But with 34,000-650,000 deaths to assuage, it’s difficult to imagine there ever being enough hope or success.