More Good News From the Front!
Posted on October 12th, 2006 by Mike
The Lancet, one of the most prestigious medical journals in the world, has just published a study on mortality rates in Iraq since the 2003 US-UK invasion. The same authors published a study in 2004 which estimated deaths since the invasion to be in the range of 100,000 at that time. Despite its rigor, that study was attacked with much vitriol by defenders of Western imperial aggression. The new study, which is based on a larger (and hence more reliable) sampling of Iraqi households, finds that the rate of violent death is continuing to rise: “We estimate that as of July, 2006, there have been 654,965 (392,979 – 942,636) excess Iraqi deaths as a consequence of the war, which corresponds to 2·5% of the population in the study area. Of post-invasion deaths, 601,027 (426,369 – 793,663) were due to violence, the most common cause being gunfire.” The 654,965 figure is considered to have a 95% confidence level.
The actual study is available online. It’s only eight pages long, no complicated equations. Go ahead, read it, I double dare you.
Like the earlier study, the new one will be dismissed by those responsible for the invasion because it extrapolates from a sample to the whole population, and that’s sort of sciencey and can be scoffed at. The research team gathered data from “1849 households that contained 12,801 individuals,” asking who had lived there before the invasion and who lived there now, and accumulating all the explanations for the difference: migration, births, deaths from natural causes, deaths from violence. Death certificates where examined for 92% of the reported deaths.
And on that cheery note, we’re off on tour!