Is Bush the new Saddam? We got rid of one brutal dictator, by using methods that are equally brutal or that created opportunities for equally brutal forces. This number will continue to climb, and one wonders how many people died as a result of indirect causes, such as lack of medical supplies and shortage of electricity. I also read that about 40% of Iraq's middle class have fled, which obviously can't be good for the economic stability of the country. http://abcnews.go.com/International/IraqCoverage/wireStory?id=2797594 Nearly 35,000 civilians were killed last year in Iraq, the United Nations said Tuesday, a sharp increase from the numbers reported previously by the Iraqi government. Gianni Magazzeni, the chief of the U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq, said 34,452 civilians were killed and 36,685 were wounded last year. Iraqi government figures in early January put last year's civilian death toll at 12,357. When asked about the difference, Magazzeni said the U.N. figures were compiled from information obtained through the Iraqi Health Ministry, hospitals across the country and the Medico-Legal Institute in Baghdad. "Without significant progress in the rule of law sectarian violence will continue indefinitely and eventually spiral out of control," he warned.