Iraq Megadeath

I think every citizen should familiarize him or herself with the study just released by researchers from Johns Hopkins: Study Claims Iraq’s ‘Excess’ Death Toll Has Reached 655,000.

The estimate, produced by interviewing residents during a random sampling of households throughout the country, is far higher than ones produced by other groups, including Iraq’s government.

It is more than 20 times the estimate of 30,000 civilian deaths that President Bush gave in a speech in December. It is more than 10 times the estimate of roughly 50,000 civilian deaths made by the British-based Iraq Body Count research group.

If you take the time to read the whole article, it turns out that there are some pretty good reasons to believe the estimate is accurate.

Of the estimated excess deaths since the US invasion, 31% were believed to have been caused by coalition forces or airstrikes. Thirty-one percent of 655,000 is 203,050. So even if you don’t count the people killed by the other side, that’s still quite an impressive number.

For certain values of the term “impressive.”

8 Responses to “Iraq Megadeath”

  1. treehugger Says:

    I’m sure that this figure will be quickly discounted by supporters of this war. Too bad though they don’t have a leg to stand on because of the pentagon’s policy of not counting civilian deaths. So to me, this is the most accurate accounting of the death toll yet, because at least there is some scientific methedology behind the study.

  2. TeacherVet Says:

    Let’s see… 650,000 deaths since the invasion – that comes to 512 per day on average for 1,280 days total… 2.6% of the entire population of Iraq. Skepticism, anyone, even among those who oppose the war?

  3. TeacherVet Says: casts every piece of news on the war in the most negative light possible, and regularly posts figures on daily/weekly civilian deaths in Iraq. I can’t remember them ever reporting 512 civilian deaths even in a single week, let alone as a daily average. Of course, the “poll” was funded by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – and, as the saying goes, you always get what you pay for. The resulting numbers are so outlandish that even those who conducted the poll indicate expectations of doubt.

    I don’t have to wonder whether the polling included representative samples throughout the country. Polling was done in the most violent areas, then the figures from those neighborhoods were manipulated to reflect casualties country-wide. It’s no different than the methods practiced by pollsters in the U.S., and they will not disappoint their financing client.

  4. jbc Says:

    You don’t have to wonder, because you routinely choose what you’re going to believe based on your pre-existing belief, without bothering to investigate the facts. At least, you routinely post comments here that give evidence of such an approach.

    Which is fine; to each his own. I’m not interested in engaging you on the subject. But I think the available information makes the study’s results sound much more credible than you believe them to be. They specifically describe having used appropriate sampling. And I’m personally aware of a number of widely-reported incidents involving hundreds of deaths in a single incident — that stampede on the bridge last year (I believe?) involved something like 1,000 violent deaths in one incident. If you don’t remember that, I’d say it’s an indication that your personal recollection provides an insufficient basis for you to evaluate the credibility of the study’s findings.

  5. TeacherVet Says:

    Sorry, I had forgotten about the bridge stampede that justified two days worth of the numbers. Still, I think would have proudly posted about news of 512 deaths per day for 3.5 years. Did you notice that the survey gave credibility to the current numbers because they correlated to the numbers from their first survey? They use their own prior data to verify their current data? How convenient!

  6. treehugger Says:

    Hey TeacherVet,

    What evidence do you have that suggests otherwise? None. Zilch.

    Just spew forth anything. For crying out loud now you’re siding with because you think it suits your beliefs! Incredible!

    Thanks for showing us just how desperate you, and your party, have become.

    And thanks for confirming my first post on this thread, too.

  7. TeacherVet Says:

    treehugger, you’re certainly welcome. Anytime bogus “facts” are presented from a microcosmic survey and generalized on an entire population, you can bet that someone will always question the findings.

    Sources for the daily posting of Iraqi civilian deaths are well-documented on the site. They share your [very justified] hatred of war, and I don’t doubt their “zilch evidence” figures… which contrast greatly with the “survey” sponsored by MIT. They certainly don’t deflate the figures, and would certainly list larger casualty numbers if possible (to further justify their position/goal), but display integrity by using only verifiable sources for their data.

    I happen to generally agree with most of their stances and goals, and wish them success in their efforts. The most glaring difference with their apparent goals and those of the far left: They are anti-war, working with factual information; the extremist left – today’s Democrat Party – is simply anti-administration, working with vague, general accusations and frequent falsehoods to create an environment of hatred.

    The “far left” has overplayed their hand, as always, and I don’t think they even realize they are “shooting themselves in the foot,” destroying their chances of winning the hearts and minds of voters who don’t identify with simplistic hatred in the political arena. They are unwilling to submit an agenda, and the only thing they rely on to meet their only goal (winning) is “bad news.” There is plenty of factual data, if combined with a well-defined plan, to move voters – but they prefer inflated data, an all-negative approach, putdown of the voters they need, discouraging conservative voters, etc. Among other things, I question their intellectual capacity if they expect to win with that methodology.

  8. TeacherVet Says:

    I’ll make my own prediction: I’m sure my statements will be quickly discounted by anti-administration posters. I’ll offer my “thanks for confirmation” in advance.

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