|The Lancet, one of the oldest and most respected peer-reviewed medical journals in the world has just published a report on the casualties produced by the war in Iraq to date.
It was authored by the Jhons Hopkins School of Medicine, the School of Medicine of the University of Bagdhad and the Center for International Studies at MIT.
Some highlights include:
- The total death toll to date is 655,000 people
- That comes to an average of 500 people/day
- The death toll has has been increasing steadily since march 2003
- The data reflect only deaths above the normal death rate
Here are links to CCNs story about this, the report itself (pdf format), the Lancet's site, and entries regarding the Lancet in wikipedia:
This comes on the heels of the July report by UN Assistance Mission for Iraq, which reports that an average of over >100 iraqui civilians were being killed every day. See
The UN figures were obtained from the records from the Bagdhad morgue, and hence excluded large segements of the population (those killed outside of Baghdad, those who were not brought to the morgue after being killed, those kidnaped then killed, those killed then buried by their families, those buried in rubble, etc.)
The reaction from the Administration, predictably, has been one of flat denial.
Bush himself opined that "The methodology is pretty well discredited", despite the fact that:
1- Randomized large-scale household sampling is the 'gold standard' methodology used by modern epidemiology to track anything from flu epidemics to the results of natural disasters and armed conflict. The Lancet's implementation of this methodology was absolutely impecable.
2- The results are fully coherent with comparable conflicts (Vietnam, Congo, East Timor...) in terms of both the development pattern and the total death toll, roughly 2.5% of the population.
3- The Lancet has been around since the 1820's and is arguably *the* most respected medical Journal in the world (along with the New England Journal of Medicine).
4- This comes on the heels report by the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq on July 18th. That report, based on Baghdad morgue records, found that over 100 civilians are killed daily in Baghdad alone - and that's only counting those brought to the morgue as opposed to just being buried by their families.
The only alternative Bushie had to offer was a 30,000 figure he pulled out of his hat last December, and is absolutely laughable. For your amusement, here's the clip of George Jr he-hawing and giving research methodology pointers to The Lancet:
When the hell are we going to start getting even a minimal degree of realism from this administration? You can agree or disagree with their policies - that's democracy and it's just fine.
I would have much less of a problem with it if they came out and said "this is the reality but we still feel the invasion was the right thing to do"
However, this flat-out denial of reality is simply not respectable. It's 'steadfast', it's 'not staying the course', its not inspiring and it's not respectable.