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It is good to point out the methodological flaws of the study -- and there are many, but one should also keep in mind that the study was never really meant to be scientifically sound. In my estimation, one should consider it to be more of a religious document than a scientific one.

The number 100,000 seems to hold a fascination for Leftists akin to the biblical affinity for the number forty. Similar, and equally ludicrous, claims about civilian deaths were made by the Left after the first Gulf War. Note also the claims on the Right and Left that "at least" 100,000 civilians were killed during the bombing of Dresden. Thirty to forty thousand weren't enough at Dresden, and 20,000 are not enough for the second Gulf War -- they have to have the mystical figure of 100,000. In the current case, the authors of the study had to resort to a small and skewed sample and dishonestly take a value from the middle of their absurd confidence interval as the figure to quote.

So while more sober thinkers are jumping through hoops demonstrating the inaccuracies of the cited report, the Leftists are gathering in cafes after watching the latest French film and repeating the 100,000 mantra. The number 100,000 stands, it is correct --- it's a matter of faith.

If you can't verify it, Lancet.

Television statistics for a nation of 295,000,000 are derived from a sample size of 5,100 homes. That seems to satisfy the television industry

Even the Left wing anti-war Iraqi Bodycount site

http://www.iraqbodycount.net/

puts the figure at between 22,000 and 25,000. They have a response to the Lancet article but I wont quote it here. Remember these guys were against the war from the beginning and associated with groups predicting "mass murder" and millions of civilian deaths. Now, as far as I can see, they chuck in all the poor Iraqis killed by suicide bombers too, so these arent just deaths caused my military against civilians. Of course they dont report that the health and nutrition is rising or comment on the daily Iraq deaths that took place before the liberation, still giving the impression that there was "peace" and 0 killings before the Bush administration decided to act. And of course there are no values for democracy, free press, human rights and basic freedoms... its just doom gloom and death but still far fewer than Lancet.

100,000 is irresistible because it is such a nice round figure. Look for it to hold steady until it suddenly jumps to 1,000,000.

Again, the focus needs to be on the sample bias, not on the sample size. There was nothing wrong with the sample size of the survey from a statistical standpoint, and it is misguided to focus on that. It doesn't matter if your sample size is large enough if the sample is biased, and that is exactly what is wrong with the Lancet study - the sample is biased. Not only that, but they purposely biased it.

As David said, read it all at my site.

Yank: "Television statistics for a nation of 295,000,000 are derived from a sample size of 5,100 homes. That seems to satisfy the television industry "

Which probably explains why US TV has gotten so lousy. I got rid of my TV in 1991.

Johns Hopkins did a similar study last year and came up with the same numbers but other estimates contradicted them. Nevertheless, on a weekly political show, The McLaughlin Group, John McLaughlin would trumpet the figure. This went on for months through the whole election season, until one of the panelists (Tony Blankley) finally asked what the basis for the figures was. In short order, there was a massive revision downward. There was no explanation but I think some serious challenges were raised because it was such blatant propaganda. Still don't know why they let it go on so long- I sent an email to the show early on but was ignored (the story of my life!)
BTW- infant mortality rates are the single most manipulated statistic in all of demographics. The reason the US always seems to compare unfavorably with countries like, say, Cuba, is that the countries are self-reporting and the US counts premature live births past 25 weeks (approx.); no other country counts babies that premature, or even premature at all.

Hallo, David,
Ihr Blog rockt! (I apologize in advance for my terrible German - ich habe deutsch in der Universitaet vor vielen - vielen- Jahren studiert und ich habe alles vergessen)- anyway, Ihr Blog ist wirklich ein Hauch frischer Luft aus Deutschland - und aus Europa. Wenn ich die wichtigsten amerikanischen Zeitungen lese (warum tue ich dies? gute Frage!) sehe ich nur, dass die Europaeer uns hassen, dass sie unseren Praesidenten hassen, dass sie "unseren" Krieg hassen, usw. Ich muss immer mich fragen, "Haben die Europaeer nichts von ihrer eigenen Geschichte gelernt?"

Beispiele: Was waere geschehen, wenn (wieder schlechtes deutsch - ich meine: "what would have happened, if..."), England und Frankreich 1936 dem Fuehrer gesagt haetten, "Nein! Keine Soldaten! Keine Waffen im Rheinland! Wenn Sie einmarschieren, wird es Konsequenten geben!"... oder, England und Frankreich 1938 dem Fuerher gesagt haetten, "Nein! Kein Anschluss mit Oesterreich, oder es wird Konsequenten geben!"...oder Neville "Friede in unserer Zeit" Chamberlain gesagt haette, "Nein, die Tschaechoslowakei ist ein Soveraenstaat und Sie das Sudetenland nicht ohne Konsequenten nehmen koennen!"

Ich wundere auch....Als die Alliierten von der Endloesung, den KZ Lagern, und der Vernichtigung der Juden, der Zigeuner, der Homosexuellen, usw. gelernt haben, sollten sie gesagt haben (wieder schlechtes deutsch: ich meine, "should they have said...") "Oh well, Deutschland sei ein Soveraenstaat mit einem frei gewaehlten Fuehrer, und wenn sie glauben, dass diese Gruppen von sogenannten Untermenschen ihnen ein Problem praesentieren, koennen sie sie toeten - das ist nicht unser Problem, und das Wichtigste ist, dass wir Frieden in unserer Zeit haben,..." Mein Gott! Wollen wir wirklich in so einer Welt leben???

Aber, es scheint mir, dass die heutigen Europaeer sagen, "Wir sind reich, wir haben gute Sozialhilfe, wir haben sechs oder acht Wochen fuer den Urlaub, wir haben schoen wiedergebaute Staedte and Laender,...und vor allem sind wir GUT,...weil wir den Frieden leiben. Und natuerlich sind wir besser als die dummen Amis, die nur den Krieg machen wollen."

Veilleicht bin ich zu kritisch. Sorry about that! Aber ich will nur sagen, dass Ihr Blog - und die anderen deutschen Blogs die Sie "linken" - sind Prima, wunderbar, ausgezeichnet, und "first class". Danke schoen und Keep it up!

@Seixon
OK. I went and read your analysis of the Lancet survey, and you appear to have pinned the massive bias problem quite well. From an academic standpoint, of course, the authors of the report have little to fear with respect to peer review. The usual game in academia, where nearly all such surveys are rife with bias problems, is for the authors to claim they are aware of the problems, but that the problems don't really matter (as you indicate that the Lancet authors have done). Since everyone does it, no one is going to complain about it, otherwise their entire house of cards will come tumbling down and - God forbid - no one will be able to publish poor research anymore.

I disagree, however, that sample size is not a problem here. Strictly speaking, as long as the samples can be assumed to be normally distributed, which they likely are here, any sample size is superficially acceptable as long as the confidence interval is given. Nevertheless, the sample size here is insufficient in the sense that the confidence intervall is so large as to be nearly useless, and more importantly, the survey results are extremely sensitive to perturbations in the data -- as alluded to in the post. As you note in your analysis, we have no way of knowing that the interviewees did not lie about the number deaths in the household. (For that matter, as far as I can tell, we have no way of knowing that the interviewers didn't simply pad their numbers.) In any event, if the sample had been larger, a little lying and a little padding would not make a big difference. As it is, with just a little lying or padding, the results of the Lancet survey can be driven to just about any number the authors would like --- like maybe a nice number just above the magical 100,000.

Anyway, excellent analysis.

@ Doughnutboy Andy:

Right on target with your comment - they really count all deaths in there, in fact mor than 90% of the deaths reported on their site are due to terror attacks.

I've known iraqbodycount.net practically since it started ( leftist discussion partners brought it up in internet forums I visited back then ):

Three months after the end of major combat actions as announced by Bush, their body count was between 1,600 and 1,800.

What a shame. Kerry would have been "zu klug" for America and would have prevented all of "this".

LOL!

I think the dozens of iraqis who die every week don´t care if there where 60 80 120 thousands before them don´t you think.

I don´t think that anybody has a real solution for the problem. The Bush administation can only continue with their efforts and hope that at some point the situation gets better but i don´t belive that they is a real strategy if you look at the situation after two years.

The troops have to stay there until there is at least some real improvemment that allows the US to return without loosing their face as in Vietnam.
So the killing and dying will continue in the next month and i belive years. it is just a question of time and the way of counting when the 100 thousands will be reached.

Yank said: Television statistics for a nation of 295,000,000 are derived from a sample size of 5,100 homes. That seems to satisfy the television industry

Because there is a sound mathemetical theory backing it. When you randomly draw a smaple in a population of say white balls and black balls the probability of the prportion of white balls in the sample being off by more than say 1% respective to the proportion in the population depends almost entirely of the size of the sample while the size of the total population is
nearly irrelevant (except in the pathologiacl case when the sample is the same size than the population). Ie if you are drawing a sample of 5000 in a population of 100,000 or in a population of a zillion gazillions you will have roughly the same probability of getting a result over 1% off respective to reality. And that can be proved mathematically.

You can attack the TV statistics about how the methods for selecting the sample, when they infer about variations who are too small for being statiscally significant (variations of 0.1% when size of sample only allows 3% precision) or if they begin to make analysis on the behavious of substrata who are too small for analysis (eg what when they begin ventilating their 5100 people by states you obtain subsamples who are around 100 and those have HUGE confidence intervals) but not about the "having a panel of 5100 in a nation of 295,000,000

@Frank in Florida: Ich denke nicht, dass Du zu kritisch bist. Eher fürchte ich, dass diese Überlegung hier:

"Oh well, Deutschland sei ein Soveraenstaat mit einem frei gewaehlten Fuehrer, und wenn sie glauben, dass diese Gruppen von sogenannten Untermenschen ihnen ein Problem praesentieren, koennen sie sie toeten - das ist nicht unser Problem, und das Wichtigste ist, dass wir Frieden in unserer Zeit haben,..." Mein Gott! Wollen wir wirklich in so einer Welt leben???"

...tatsächlich das ist, was zumindest tief vergraben im Unterbewusstsein bei einer großen Anzahl an Leuten los ist. Dieses "Nie wieder Krieg" oder "Kein Krieg, nirgends!" heißt nichts anderes als "Wir wissen, von was wir sprechen - nie wieder Bomben auf Dresden!" Die meisten Deutschen hierzulande halten sich nicht für Revisionisten, aber tatsächlich sind sie das. Der "Bombenkrieg" über Deutschland - der Krieg gegen Deutschland überhaupt - wird aus dem Ursache-Wirkung Prinzip herausgelöst und gilt mittlerweile fast als genauso "böse" und "falsch" wie die Verbrechen der Nazis. Genauso wie z.B. die Pershing-Raketen in Westdeutschland den meisten als genauso "falsch" galten wie die Raketen, die von der Sovietunion auf Westdeutschland gerichtet waren.
Ich glaube das liegt daran, dass viele Leute - vor allem Lefties - nicht in der Lage sind, hässlichen Realitäten und Wahrheiten ins Auge zu sehen. Sie wollen damit nichts zu tun haben - obwohl sie mitten drin stecken - also relativieren sie alles und flüchten auf den "moral highground".

@anonymous:
"I think the dozens of iraqis who die every week don´t care if there where 60 80 120 thousands before them don´t you think."

Oh, I think at least those among them who lost family members to the Saddam regime in fact cared about that. You know, I always find it funny when, for example, in the media mostly pessimistic Sunnis are quoted. Of course there are people and groups in Iraq who did well under Saddam, while however at the same time others were less fortunate and ended up getting butchered and gassed by the same man. You will, for example, hardly find any Kurd in Iraq who shares sympathy for the time before the war. In fact, mostly the Kurds are some of the most pro-American groups in Iraq. But for some reason, it seems they don't really count as "Iraqis" for the media and the left. It's like: "Of course they don't count, after all they were surpressed by Saddam." What kind of logic is THAT? I think it's the same as when you would say "most Germans had it good under Hitler, it were just the Jews, Sinti and Roma, gays, democratic forces, etc. who got killed, so there was no moral point to wage a war against Hitler."

"I don´t think that anybody has a real solution for the problem. The Bush administation can only continue with their efforts and hope that at some point the situation gets better but i don´t belive that they is a real strategy if you look at the situation after two years"

I think the Bush admin has one problem in Iraq: In my opinion, it might be neccessary and called for to act in a more decisive, strict or maybe even ruthless manner than what is currently done. This is because, while the US military and Iraqi Police are acting in accordance to certain rules, the enemy doesn't bother about any rules at all. It is very difficult to effectively fight an enemy in that kind of situation. The problem is, the military can't really change that, because as soon as something goes arkward, messy, or against the rules, the media will be all over them.

This, on one hand, is a good thing. It's what makes the difference between the military under a democracy and the military under a dictatorship. On the other hand however, this will also prolong the struggle in Iraq.
I personally just hate the fact that, while the US military is INDEED trying to stick to the rules, as soon as something is not quite so shining, the media is going on a crusade. I say, hold the military accountable, BUT do NOT forget whom they are facing there in Iraq and what will happen when they LOOSE. Of course, should that happen - God forbid - the media will be out of Iraq and no one on the moral highground will bother anymore...
In other words, we should watch out to not fight against the good guys. Problem is, for the media and the left, "it's all relative", while in reality, it is NOT.

@Alex N

It is clear that this country is devided but that is part of the problem.
The kurds are a good example for this. In the end all that they want is a own state. But this will lead to additional problems in the region of Kirkuk and with Turkey.
nobody really knows or at least nothing gets published what the shiite comunity and their cleric leader really wants.
The sunites needs to be a part of the future government but nothing seems to happen. It needs month and month to form something called a new iraqi government. I don´t see a politicle solution in Iraq or a politilce strategy from the US government. Just to say we will stay until the job is done and we will win is not enough after two years don´t you think.

If you look at the published numbers of dead and wounded US troops you can see that there is no improvement during the last two years and the number of civilian casualties is raising.


"might be neccessary and called for to act in a more decisive, strict or maybe even ruthless manner than what is currently done"

Against whom against the roadsite bombs or the suicide attackers.

"This is because, while the US military and Iraqi Police are acting in accordance to certain rules, the enemy doesn't bother about any rules at all"

So how should the US fight with suicide attacks against sunite cities or what

"It is very difficult to effectively fight an enemy in that kind of situation"

That is very true and i believe very frustrating for the US troops.

@Seixon

Nice Blog, I´ll check again!

"Dr. Les Roberts removed 6 provinces from being in the sample ... This would not have been a problem if they hadn't extrapolated the results to the entire population of Iraq. "

I´m not a statistics whiz, but there seems to be an obvious way to remedy the study: Just forget about this extrapolation and the pairing of governorates and simply regard it as a study on Iraqi casualties in the 11 sampled governorates of Iraq.

Since these 11 provinces account only for 74% of the populace, reversing the extrapolation should lead to 74 000 casualties, merely in the "hotspots" of Iraq. This number is achieved without a sample bias, but it´s apparently still way off.

I read the Lancet study when it hit the blogs and arethmatically challenged as I am, saw the flaws.

But it really is not the point. Return-on-investment measured by body count is ludicrous. The premise here seems to be "Ok, the United States is fighting a war on terror, how many Iraqis does it take to make that war immoral/not beneficial?"

Stupid and obtuse beyond belief. It is not contradictory to say that every innocent killed in this conflict is mourned, but that militant Islam is a threat to civilization that cannot be tolerated, a threat that must be eliminated, by means violent or cultural. This is a war. To recognize it as anything other, e.g., a legal problem is cowardice beneath contempt.

So, Lancet's statistical manipulation is not in and of itself of particular concern. The premise that underlies it is. A refusal to acknowledge, a refusal to address, the true threat.

I'm quite ammenable to closing Gitmo. Frankly, I don't think we should be holding ANY prisoners.
I'm sure you can do the math.

The media bears a lot of responsibility for the continued difficulties in Iraq

Portrayel of the terrorists blowing up Mosques and sawing the heads off of aid workers as "insurgents" is revolting

The homocide bombers and hard core terrorists are mainly from outside of Iraq - mixed with some baathist holdouts

These scum seek power and control and ARE the enemy we need to fight to win the war on terror over the long term

Why does the media portray them as Freedom Fighters half the time

Militants Insurgents Militia !!!

TERRORISTS guys

Can't you media understand


As for the Lancet - taking the median between estimates of 16,000 and 200,000 dead Iraq's may be easy and achieve the result you want - but to publish it makes the Lancet a rag journal - sad to say


As for this whole "its not worth it for the Iraqi's" - let me ask - is there some choice?

Do the head chopping Mosque bombers have some middle group we can meet them on?

Do Iraqi's want THEM to win?

How much worse will life be then for the Iraqi people - with Zarquaie in charge???


Its easy to ponder from afar how the fight for freedom, how the struggle to avoid rule by the terrorists and baathists is "not worth it"

Its not us who will live under that regime if they lose

Maybe they think otherwise

--don´t think that anybody has a real solution for the problem--

Sure there is, kill them and drag the rest of the Sunnis kicking and streaming into the government.

Once they become legit and can provide jobs and pork/graft/corruption again, they'll settle down.

Actually, the Sunnis are getting tired of dying and want to join.

Then they'll collectively get really, really upset w/the syrian, KSA/paleo splodydopes and push back harshly.

Great piece on the "torture" at Gitmo

http://www.lileks.com/screedblog/05/05/051305.html

See if you can read this and still consider any of these charges seriously

I must correct myself. The brain isn't what it used to be. This is what I wrote to George @ seixon:
I'm going back on to MedienKritik because I misremembered- J.Mc. always inflated casualty figures-his were usually 2x official and 30+ percent higher than the next highest estimate. The week before October 29 he said 20,000 civilian deaths then jumped it to 100k on October 29. This is a portion of the 10/29 transcript:
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Excuse me --

MS. CLIFT: With 100,000 dead Iraqis, we have created a generation --

MR. BLANKLEY: Oh, now you've taken --

MS. CLIFT: -- we have created --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: All right, will you create a rump session and carry this out out there?

MS. CLIFT: -- a generation of bin Ladens.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The human toll: U.S. military dead in Iraq, including suicides, 1,107; U.S. military amputeed, wounded, injured, mentally ill, all now out of Iraq, 29,550; Iraqi civilians dead, 100,000 -- a Johns Hopkins University study just released, an independent and conservative estimate.

(mg 10/29) Yes, conservative. That's what the man said.
I also wish to point out that the study was published in Lancet on 28 October 2004, 5 days before the presidential election. No, I don't see any agenda here. None whatsoever.

Doughnut boy,
Just echoing your thoughts. IraqBodyCount is pretty much universally acknowledged as the only reasonable extimate. 100,000. The worst of it is that Human rights watch estimated that 50,000 kids a year were dying from oil for food.

Even from the pacifistic perspective this war has saved lives, why does the antiwar crowd have sucha problem admitting that?

Frank - to that crowd its simple

War is bad - people die

Except WW2 and maybe the Civil War

Hm... I still have to make up my mind on George Gooding's analysis, but one claim made here is definitely false: IraqBodyCount.net is a useful source, but it relies on press accounts on civilians who have died in Iraq. That means that, if you assume that this site has produced "the only reasonable estimate", you also have to assume that at any time when a civilian dies, a reporter is somewhere around the corner and reports on it. Now, this is a quite irrational assumption and the actual number of civilian deaths is probably much higher than 20,000.
Moreover, the Washington Post reported last year that "acute malnutrition among young children in Iraq has nearly doubled since the United States led an invasion of the country 20 months ago, according to surveys by the United Nations, aid agencies and the interim Iraqi government". This also indicates that the assertion that the infant morality rate has declined might be wrong.

I think that if you guys read the rest of my coverage on the Lancet issue, you'll see that the UNDP has released their own study, and the Iraqi government has also put out their own numbers.

UNDP had 24,000 war-related deaths from invasion up until May 2004. The Iraqi government has 12,000 civilian deaths from January 2004 until May 2005. Those obviously have some overlap, and the Iraqi government figure doesn't include insurgent/soldier deaths, but the Iraqi army deaths is around 2300.

I have concluded that the most accurate number then is 40-50,000 Iraqis total, civilians, insurgents, soldiers, everything.

That is half of what Lancet came up with, and it has almost been a year since the Lancet team (Johns Hopkins actually) did their survey in Iraq.

Anonymous - you also have to assume that all these reporters are doing great work there

Or do they report what they hear - fearing ( correctly ) for their lives

@Seixon
have concluded that the most accurate number then is 40-50,000 Iraqis total, civilians, insurgents, soldiers, everything.

Ahem. Not directed to you specfically, but to all who focus on whether or not the numbers are accurate and on the methodology used to reach the numbers.

Do any of you have any idea that this is a red herring that you chase at your peril?

"How to Lie With Statistics" is a very good book written back in 1954. I see that some have leaned the lessons well.

Wonder how many Frenchmen died during the effort to liberate them from Hitler?

Imagine the press back then reporting constantly on the innocent dead in Caen and ignoring the progress made by the Allies in Normandy

@Niko: If you want some sarcasm how about that: 40-50,000 deaths equals about 6-8 days in the US (with 2.4 million dying each year - just like that) or, for that matter, 13-16 September 11ths - without one gunshot being fired! But then again, thats way too sarcastic, isn't?...

Or maybe both your and my comparisons are just taste- and pointless, or what do you want to say with that? That 40-50,000 dead Iraqis aren't that bad and that the French suck?

BTW: I agree with you that the Lancet study is not to be taken seriously, but if I remember correctly, the majority of German media reported from the beginning that it has some serious statistical flaws (i'm pretty sure that at least the Süddeutsche did so) - please correct me if i'm wrong (yes, i know about the Stern article, but everyone I know takes Stern just as seriously as Bild - which is, not at all).

@Niko
>>Not that I want to sound too cynical, but that casualty rate equals, uhm, 4 to 5 French summers. Without a single gunshot fired.

Good lord, the world is a much better place because of you and your ilk..........

Regarding Iraqi Body Count, their "methodology," if it deserves the name, is not credible and seems designed to result in inflated casualty numbers.

1. They rely on reporting of incidents from major media sources, claiming that their accuracy rests on the credibility and internal fact-checking of these news agencies. As noted above, their sources include some, such as al-Jazeera, whose objectivity and credibility are questionable.

2. Even assuming the credibility of the media sources, IBC misrepresents their reporting. I analyzed the underlying news reports on several incidents IBC noted. In many cases, the news report stated only that a particular number of civilians were alleged to have been killed, but offered no independent verification. Nevertheless, IBC used these second or third-hand numbers in their database as having been vouched for by the media. Thus a CNN story from April 2003 reporting Saddam Hussein's Information Minister claiming a US attack killed 30 civilians, "corroborated" by a Reuters story saying a hospital official claimed 20 people were killed, becomes in the IBC database 20-30 killed, source: CNN, Reuters.

3. Note in the above example that the casualty range is a minimum of 20 and a maximum of 30, even though no independent corroboration of any casualties had actually been provided. IBC throws a further bias into their methodology by refusing to set a minimum of 0 deaths unless a source explicitly says "0 deaths."

4. IBC also fails to adequately distinguish the status of persons killed in the news reports they use. If a report says a suicide bomber blew himself up at a checkpoint, killing 2 civilian passers-by and 2 soldiers, this becomes 2 deaths in their database. But if a report simply states that a hospital claimed 5 dead after a suicide attack, this becomes 5 deaths in their database.

IBC's system is not methodologically sound. It is clear from the incidents I analyzed that for reported incidents IBC's "body count" is inflated. It may be that actual casualties are higher than IBC estimates, due to unreported deaths. Or it may be that they are fewer, because the number of deaths in unreported incidents does not exceed the overestimation of reported incidents. But there is simply no way, based on their so-called metholdology, to verify this one way or the other.

Niko, it's been hours and I'm still laughing. I'm trying to think of a bumper sticker.

"How many French summers does it take to kill 100,000 innocent Iraqis?"

Don't worry, I'm armed. Tasteless, but armed.

It is interesting to note this from an commentary (http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140673604174515/fulltext#back-aff1)accompanying the Lancet article in question:

"...[C]ertain limitations were inevitable and need to be acknowledged right away. The number of population clusters chosen for sampling is small; the confidence intervals around the point estimates of mortality are wide; the Falluja cluster has an especially high mortality and so is atypical of the rest of the sample; and there is clearly the potential for recall bias among those interviewed... To have included more clusters would have improved the precision of their findings...

The author then points out that even if the numbers are wrong (inaccurate but nevertheless relevant argument), it remains important to note that:

"...[T]he central observation—namely, that civilian mortality since the war has risen due to the effects of aerial weaponry—is convincing. This result requires an urgent political and military response if the confidence of ordinary Iraqis in the mostly American-British occupation is to be restored."

"...Democratic imperialism has led to more deaths not fewer... But this report is more than a piece of academic investigation."

Indeed, this study is to be used--in the eyes of the commentary--to influence policy. Nowhere does the author discuss the lives saved over the long term by the removal of Saddam and his thuggish followers.

89 post-invasion deaths out of 7630 residents in 548 days.
That is 1 death in 46980 person days.
According to this report average lifespan is about 128 years POST-INVASION.
It seems there is a very healthy environment in Iraq!

It's a pity this blog never participated in debunking the WMD myth.

The Lancet study:
--Was blown to pieces on the website
www.chicagoboyz.net
as soon as it was published.
--Was refuted by the UNDP´s "Iraq Living Conditions Survey 2004". The statistical quality of this study is much better than that of the Lancet study.
This is what "The Times" wrote:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,7374-1610143_1,00.html
"The survey for the UN Development Programme, entitled Iraq Living Conditions Survey 2004, questioned more than 21,600 households this time last year. Its findings, released by the Ministry of Planning yesterday, could finally resolve the debate over how many Iraqis were killed in the war that overthrew the regime of Saddam Hussein in April 2003.

The 370-page report said that it was 95 per cent confident that the toll during the war and the first year of occupation was 24,000, but could have been between 18,000 and 29,000. About 12 per cent of those were under 18.

The figure is far lower than the 98,000 deaths estimated in The Lancet last October, which said that it had interviewed nearly 1,000 households. But it is far higher than other figures."

Grüße von F. Hoffmann

Its great though that we didn't let the Unwichticks of the world achieve their goal of keeping Saddam in power

These sorts don't care at all how many sand-niggers, as unwichtick considers such sub-humans of course, are killed as long as they are not directly and imminently threatened in a very personal way

Better to bitch and moan about some other place- always some other place - where the USA should do this and that

How typical

"It's a pity this blog never participated in debunking the WMD myth."

It did debunk the media´s WMD myths.

1) That WMD was the only war aim.

This was debunked many time on this weblog by using many Whitehouse speeches and quotes.

2) That only the USA and Britain believed in WMD

Again this has ben debunked many a time. Almost all of the international community believed that Saddam had WMDs and over a long period times and differing politically inclined governments. Yes that has been debunked many times over.

3) The myth that the war would only be legally justified if WMDs were found

Another media classic but again easily debunked. It was up to Saddam to show that he had destroyed his WMDs or take the serious consequences as the UN agreed. He chose the consequences.... and is now in prison waiting to be tried.

4) That there was no WMD program and the USA should have known that

This has also been debunked. Although no WMD were found there were suspicious stuff found there taht could easily have lead to this suspicion if not actually prove that a program was in preparation or in production. Some Iraqi soldiers have also reported that they were convinced themselves that WMDs were available and were to be used, having being equipped with gas marks and medicines.

5) That WMDs existence and its threat are the same thing

Of course this is a rubbish argument but it has been often used and has been debunked easily. With Saddams posturing, refusals and threats the only way to know was surely to find out and inspections werent going to manage that. Especially as the governments (and UN) of the countries who were morally opposed to the war just seem to have been involved in a Oil for Palaces scandal that was making sure that Saddam stayed in power and the oil flowed with backhanders.

6) That the Iraqis are pissed that WMDs werent found

Haha This hasnt been debunked here but there are enough great Iraqi blogs that voice their opinion on that one everyday.

Thanks for your interest Unwichtig but just check the archives for the arguments, facts and sources. Dont Panic. Medienkritik has it all in control!

Or was there a myth that we forgot to debunk here on WMDs?

Perspective and the truth are never kind to the "progressive" side of the conversation.

Since the liberation the coalition has, so far, uncovered approximately 350,000 sets of remains. That breaks down to approximately 30-35 people a day being murdered as a systemic policy of the criminal hussein regime.

Iraqi Interior Minister Bayan Jabr released statistics last week showing that in the last 18 months approximately 12,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed by the "insurgents!" This breaks down to approximately 22 people a day.
Thusly, fact #1 is: What a certain ilk in the west is calling "Chaos," a "quagmire" or being
"bogged down," is on its face a 1/3 reduction in the daily murders that are still being carried out by the same group of people with the international assistance of al qaeda's terrorists. A small success? Let's ask an Iraqi citizen.
The inconvenient difference now being it is no longer done below the screen or behind the walls of Abu Ghraib (there are videotapes of saddams days of running it ~ for those who want to see the horrors of real torture) where polite leftists could ignore it and not be made to feel uncomfortable or bad about it because they could plausibly deny it was taking place.
The inconvenient difference between then and now is that we are seeing on our televisions what has been going on in Iraq since the beginning of the criminal hussein ba'athist regime. Our progressive brothers hope to wish it back to the way it was, hope to wish this ugly genie back into the bottle so they don't have to feel bad about themselves and don't have to feel responsible for doing anything about it.

Interesting though not at all surprising, the overwhelming majority of those murdered have been Iraqi Shiites, indicating that what what the "peace and love" crowd in the west, Al Jazeera and it's fellow travellers in the medias, and all to many "progressive" democrats in America call the "resistance," is in fact a jihadist and residual Ba'athist criminal attack against the countries emerging representative (democratic) government.
My "progressive" German friends can never answer even simple questions like; "
- "If these guys are the righteous Iraqi resistance, what is their desired endstate?
- Since there has been an election shouldn't they have to work within the political system?
- Why are they killing the newly formed police force?
- Why are they trying to kill all the female politicians?
- What do they gain by having their homicidal bombers blowing up people queing at the hospital?
- What will they put in place if they kick the coalition out and depose the newly elected government?"

Michael Moore's "minute men?" "Resistance" to U.S. occupation? Or simply residual ba'athist thugs pissed that they no long drive the gravy train and reacting with a western ghetto mentality that requires them to ruin or destroy anything they can't have?

But that all of these "concerned" and
"compassionate" progressives could find it in their more moral and ethical hearts to sympathise or empathise with anyone in this great big world . . . when it doesn't provide a dull blunt club to bash the bad ol' U.S.A. with.

Tyranno

PS: Since the liberation of Iraq 18 months ago the U.S. death toll has topped 1,700. Slightly over half the total incinerated in the blink of an eye on that devastating moment, Sept 11, 2001.
Is it worth it? You bet!

Let me beat the horse just to make sure I am not misunderstood.

The unproven (unprovable?) notion of 100,000 dead is a wonderful extrapolation and a fun argument point to pull out of your bag of free floating verbal polemic factoids over a latte at Starbucks.
Conversely the Coalition has 350,000 little bags of bones from numerous mass grave sites that it is working to identify, return to the families, and provide a proper (muslim) burial for.
The tangible verses the hypothetical.
The truth verses the convenient strawman argument.
True freedom loving people verses the modern
"progressive" left.

Tyranno

PS: I don't believe the left has changed. It has simply been outed as the "useful idiot,"
"fellow traveller" it has always been !

@Doughnut Boy Andy

You are justifying the WMD myth, not debunking it.

@ Unwichtig

"You are justifying the WMD myth, not debunking it."

No I just debunk the myth that there is a myth apart from those I mentioned.

What exactly are you justifying though?

@Doughnut Boy Andy

This is the WMD myth: "Iraq has chemical and biological weapons which could be activated within 45 minutes."

@ Unwichtig

"Iraq has chemical and biological weapons which could be activated within 45 minutes."

Surely thats more an issue for UK German relations than US German relations?

But if my local footy team played against Brazil and you asked me who would win then Id say Brazil. Every time. If my team won then its surely not a myth that Brazil were most likely to win. Surely intelligence reports are no more than that?

Perhaps Im just justifying again but still the question remains: What are you jutifying?

Perhaps the answer truly is Unwichtig.

@Doughnut Boy Andy

Following your argumentation, "100 000 Deaths" isn't a myth either. It's just a study.

In fact, "100 000 Deaths" and "45 minutes" are both myths, from opposing camps. I understand you are from camp 2 and wouldn't question myth 2, and that you downplay myth 1 because it's from camp 1. Fair enough.

@ Unwichtig

Now thats just where your logic starts to collapse.

Both the "100,000" and the "45 Minutes" were studies. I agree.

The "45 Minutes" was an intelligence report following standard sources and is to be seen as a prediction. It also fitted roughly,at least the WMD bit, with other international sources. The "45 Minutes" study was at least according to the current evidence wrong. I think it was wrong personally. Its not a widely held belief and can hardly be called a myth.

The "100,000" was a medical study following irregular methods and was meant to be forming a rough estimate of actual deaths. It does and did not fit with other international sources (400% more than IBC). According to current evidence it is wrong. It is however still a widely held belief and is used still as a genuine figure by anti-war groups and some journalists. It can then IMHO be called a myth.

But again the WMD aspect was one of many mentioned by the USA. This is a weblog here on US German relations and media portrayal. The "45 Minutes" claim was I believe made by the UK. I think the UK intelligence sources have questions to answer.

If, from your analogy, I am in "camp 2" then its worth noting that my camp has admitted to actual real facts that the prediction of 45 Minutes was wrong and those that believed it (I personally found it dubious from the start) have accepted this as fact. "Camp 1" however still, despite all evidence against, including those from their camp, to continue to hold to this. That tells you a lot about the camps perhaps?

Cheers,

@Doughnut Boy Andy

Like I said, you are from camp 2 and you are trying to justify myth 2. Why don't you justify myth 1 for a change. Give it a try. How about this:
- 100,000 may seem a little exaggerated, but 20,000 is still a catastrophe. And this isn't a myth (see Iraq Body Count).
- As for the 45 minutes, if you expand them to 45 hours or even 45 days, it's still untrue.

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