From the http://www.iraqbodycount.net/ website:[quote]Iraq Body Count only includes reports where there are feasible methods of distinguishing military from civilian deaths (most of the uncertainty that remains in our own count - the difference between our reported Minimum and Maximum - arises from this issue). Our count is purely a civilian count.[/quote]
The Iraq Body Count is conservative. They use just the facts as reported in the media, though they try to analyze the media to get the most accurate figures in their judgement. So to assume that there have been about 20000 or so civilian deaths reported in newspapers and other media since the Iraq invasion would be correct.
This would not include any Iraqis killed in aerial strikes, as aerial strikes are targeted at militants, unless the US/media was very sure that the US had made a mistake in choosing its target.
In addition, the Iraq Body Count subtracted from the actual body count all the people who died before the invasion. This is to “correct” the death count by taking into account the fact that people do die naturally. The Iraq Body Count counted how many people had died on average before the invasion, and subtracted that average from the civilian death count reported in the media.
What we are attempting to provide is a credible compilation of civilian deaths that have been reported by recognized sources. Our maximum therefore refers to reported deaths - which can only be a sample of true deaths unless one assumes that every civilian death has been reported. It is likely that many if not most civilian casualties will go unreported by the media. That is the sad nature of war.
So according to Iraq Body Count itself, it is likely that many if not most civilian deaths went unreported in the media.