Friday, October 13, 2006

655,000 dead Iraqis

Lindsay in full:

Innumerate cowards recoil from the facts: 655,000 dead Iraqis

The right wing noise machine is clanking and shuddering. They're outraged about this study, published in the Lancet. The study estimated that 665,000 more Iraqis have died after the US invasion than would have been expected based on pre-invasion death rates. (I discuss the study in more detail here)

Here are today's talking points. Or should we say talking flails? There aren't many actual points here:

1. 655,000 is an awfully big number. That would mean that this war killed a whole lot of people. (Jane Galt) (Stone Court provides critical perspective.)

2. If 770 extra people were dying in Iraq every day, why don't we hear about them on the news? (Gateway Pundit)

3. The study was published before the election. (Instapundit) (Political Pitbull)

4. The peer-reviewed paper must be bogus because the editor of the Lancet goes to anti-war rallies. (Anti-Idiotarian Rotweiler)

5. The pre-invasion death rates are too low. Surely, Saddam was filling mass graves two months before the invasion. (Chuck Simmins)

6. Those peacenik scientists just wish there were more dead Iraqis. ("When the statistics announced by hospitals and military here, or even by the UN, did not satisfy their lust for more deaths, they resorted to mathematics to get a fake number that satisfies their sadistic urges," Omar Fadil.)

7. I just know the study's wrong, but I can't figure out how. Math people? (Michelle Malkin)

8. Sure the study's methodology is standard for public health resesarch. But don't forget that public health is a leftwing plot. (Medpundit)

9. These "statisticians" say that you can take a small sample from a large population and learn a lot about the whole population. As if. I'll believe those 665,000 Iraqis are dead when they tell me so. (Tim Blair)

Cowards, all of them. They own this war, but they won't face up to the fact that their little adventure helped kill over half a million people.


White House Rejects Medical Study’s 650,000 Iraq Toll
The Bush administration is dismissing a new medical study that says as many as 650,000 Iraqis have died as a result of the US-led invasion. The study was conducted by American and Iraqi researchers and published in the British medical journal The Lancet. President Bush was asked about the findings Wednesday at the White House.

  • President Bush: "No, I don't consider it a credible report. Neither does General Casey and neither do Iraqi officials. I do -- I do know that a lot of innocent people have died, and that troubles me. And it grieves me."

Bush: Iraqis Willing to “Tolerate” Violence
Bush went on to say he stands by the figure of 30,000 dead Iraqis that he cited last year. The President also said Iraqis are willing to “tolerate” the country’s ongoing violence because they yearn to be free.

Top US General Can’t Cite Source of Iraq Death Toll Estimate
At the Pentagon, General George Casey, the top US military leader in Iraq, was also asked about the Lancet study.

  • Gen. George Casey: "I have not seen the study. That 650,000 number seems way, way beyond any number that I have seen. I've not seen a number higher than 50,000. And so I don't give that much credibility at all."
  • Reporter: "What's the 50,000 number? Where did you see that from?”
  • Gen. Casey: "I don't remember, but I've seen it over time."
  • Reporter: "Is that the U.S. military estimate?"
  • Gen. Casey: "I don't remember where I saw that. It's either from the Iraqi government or from us, but I don't remember precisely."
Meanwhile, one of the nation’s leading pollsters is backing the study’s findings. In an interview with CNN, John Zogby of Zogby International said he believes the researchers’ methodology is sound and their conclusions accurate.

You can see the CNNI report here

Note the Aussie talking head:
HOLMES: Right. That (40,000) was always a nonsense figure.
Would you see the same thing on CNN?

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