Thursday, October 12, 2006


* glenn:
"But here it has been quantified -- their war has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of human beings who would be alive today in the absence of their invasion. That number -- 600,000 -- just sounds so mammoth, almost Holocaust-like in magnitude (hopefully, it goes without saying that I'm not to comparing the Iraq war to the Holocaust, but merely pointing out why I think this study prompted such an intense reaction).

Like children who want what they want without having to pay any price for it, these Bush followers refuse to accept the consequences for their war. So with blind irrationality, they insist that this study is false without having any real idea of whether it is, all because they want it to be false, because they are incapable of accepting the consequences (including, perhaps predominantly, the political costs) for their actions. A refusal to recognize unpleasant facts is hardly a new phenomenon for them, but in this instance, the need to deny facts seems particularly acute.

One other observation: if it could be demonstrated that the findings of this study were accurate, would that change the mind of a single war proponent? Would they suddenly stand up and announce that the war was not worth the costs? I don't think there's much doubt about the answer."

* juancole:
"I once warned that a precipitate US withdrawal could result in a million dead a la Cambodia or Afghanistan. Little did I know that the conditions created by the US invasion and occupation have all along been driving toward that number anyway!

This study is going to have a hard ride. In part it is because many of us in the information business are not statistically literate enough to judge the sampling techniques. Many will tend to dismiss the findings as implausible without a full appreciation of how low the margin of error is this time. Second, it is a projection, and all projections are subject to possible error, and journalists, being hardnosed people, are wary of them.
Ironically enough, the same journalists who will question this study will accept without query the estimates for deaths in Darfur, e.g., which are generated by exactly the same techniques, and which are almost certainly not as solid.
I follow the violence in Iraq carefully and daily, and I find the results plausible."

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