Friday, October 13, 2006

98% chance than 400,000 killed in Iraq

Les Roberts, Co-author of the Lancet study on civilian mortality in Iraq since the invasion, was on Democracynow:

First of all, you know, I’m not so surprised that entities that monitor newspaper reports or groups that are looking at official government statistics think that it’s ten times lower than the real number.

We have gone and looked at every recent war we can find, and only in Bosnia did all governmental statistics add up to even one-fifth of the true death toll. And in Bosnia, the rate was 30 or 40 percent, with huge support for surveillance activities from the UN. So it’s normal in times of war that communications systems break down, systems for registering events break down.

And in Saddam’s last year of his reign, only about one-third of all deaths were captured at morgues and hospitals through the official government surveillance network. So, when things were good, if only a third of deaths were captured, what do you think it’s like now?

And another thought is that -- quite unrelated -- if someone said in the 9/11 attacks, “I think only 200 or 300 people really died,” we would be really, really upset. And I think in the long view, the danger of discarding this study, if it’s correct, is that, at a moment when we as a society should be showing contrition, our leaders have essentially expressed indifference to an extraordinary level of suffering. And that’s just the wrong message in terms of either our long-term security or peace in the Middle East.
And when we reported this, we didn’t say it was 655,000 deaths. We said it was 655,000 deaths, and we’re 95% sure it’s between about 400,000 and 950,000... So there is less than a 2 percent chance that the number is well below 400,000.

1 comment:

«—U®Anu§—» said...

Earlier in the year I copied an article about the Lancet study in my group putting the number of Iraqis killed at between 100,000 and 700,000. A few people I spoke with acted like that number was out of line--which just goes to show you how hypnotized by the Bush administration people are.

Another figure I question is how many Americans have been injured and killed in the wars. I earnestly believe that number is 10 or 20 times the official count as well. Of course, Bush doesn't want you to know. It gives him a giant boner because filling graves is his business.