Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Huge Civilian Death Toll In Iraq Claimed

Apologists for the war are already disputing these numbers.

A team of American and Iraqi epidemiologists estimates that 655,000 more people have died in Iraq since coalition forces arrived in March 2003 than would have died if the invasion had not occurred.

The estimate, produced by interviewing residents during a random sampling of households throughout the country, is far higher than ones produced by other groups, including Iraq's government.

It is more than 20 times the estimate of 30,000 civilian deaths that President Bush gave in a speech in December. It is more than 10 times the estimate of roughly 50,000 civilian deaths made by the British-based Iraq Body Count research group. ...

Of the total 655,000 estimated "excess deaths," 601,000 resulted from violence and the rest from disease and other causes, according to the study. This is about 500 unexpected violent deaths per day throughout the country.

The survey was done by Iraqi physicians and overseen by epidemiologists at Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health. The findings are being published online today by the British medical journal the Lancet. ...

The great majority of deaths were also substantiated by death certificates.

Ronald Waldman, an epidemiologist at Columbia University who worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for many years, called the survey method "tried and true," and added that "this is the best estimate of mortality we have."

This viewed was echoed by Sarah Leah Whitson, an official of Human Rights Watch in New York, who said, "We have no reason to question the findings or the accuracy" of the survey. ...

According to the survey results, Iraq's mortality rate in the year before the invasion was 5.5 deaths per 1,000 people; in the post-invasion period it was 13.3 deaths per 1,000 people per year. The difference between these rates was used to calculate "excess deaths." ...

Burnham said that the estimate of Iraq's pre-invasion death rate -- 5.5 deaths per 1,000 people -- found in both of the Hopkins surveys was roughly the same estimate used by the CIA and the U.S. Census Bureau. He said he believes that attests to the accuracy of his team's results.

It is always easy to argue against scientifically-based assertions, lies require almost no research time or effort.


Anonymous Goran Bernard said...

To throw their oft employed odd-ball logic right back at them - can they prove these numbers are wrong?

But hang on a sec---doesn't Noamsky come from MIT? Heck, that in itself should lay the case against the numbers to rest.

10/11/2006 4:50 PM  
Anonymous GB said... rest as in - the numbers are nutty

10/11/2006 4:52 PM  
Anonymous GB said...

(...which of course they aren't)

10/11/2006 6:30 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...


The numbers sound plausible to me.

10/12/2006 6:31 PM  

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