This site has been constructed to make easily available the results and analysis of a nationally representative poll of the UK public conducted on May 25th – May 26th 2013 by the well known polling agency ComRes. The Poll asked the UK public to estimate the number of Iraqis killed as a consequence of the invasion and occupation of Iraq since 2003.
“…a majority of women and more than a third of men polled say fewer than 5,000 deaths have occurred. That figure is so staggeringly, mind-blowingly at odds with reality as to leave a journalist who worked long and hard to bring home the reality of war, speechless…”
The idea behind conducting this poll was to attempt to independently gauge the efficacy of the mainstream media in accurately informing the UK public of the likely human toll of the Iraq invasion and subsequent Western occupation over the past decade. There has been huge coverage on all media channels – does the UK public have a reasonable notion of the number of Iraqis killed as a result of Western intervention in the region? Has the press effectively informed people of this most relevant and important consequence of a highly controversial war?
The 10 year anniversary of the Iraq invasion passed on 19th March, 2013. The poll ran 65 days later, after the considerable coverage and in-depth retrospectives of the mainstream had run their course, and other news stories had naturally taken precedence in the headlines.
The poll asked two very simple questions:
- How many Iraqis, both combatants and civilians, do you suppose have died as a consequence of the war which began in Iraq in 2003? Please just give your best estimate.
- Of this total, what percentage do you suppose were civilians? Please just give your best estimate, using a percentage from 1-100.
The results are hosted here for free download for anybody who wishes to read and perhaps make use of them, and analyzed with regard to the controversy over the various narratives regarding the likely death toll of the Iraq War.
The key finding of our poll, unlike the actual body count in Iraq, is fairly clear:
Most of the UK public appear to overwhelmingly underestimate the number of Iraqi’s who have died as a consequence of the war and occupation that began in 2003.
A significant majority appear to have a very unrealistic notion of the consequences and human cost of Western intervention in Iraq.
This site aims to provide commentary & analysis of the controversy over the body count in Iraq, and what the results of this poll could mean as regards the media, the public, and the human cost of war.
~ George Orwell