Wednesday, October 11, 2006

655,000 additional Iraqi deaths?

Of course, the U.S. holds life (at least non-American life) pretty cheap. However, even by our own low standards, the latest figures from Iraq are pretty shocking:
655,000 more Iraqis died in the 40 months since the U.S.-led invasion than died during previous 40 months under Saddam Hussein. This is about 2.5% of the population of Iraq.

This number comes from a report in The Lancet, a leading British medical journal. The authors are members of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Pre-invasion mortality rates were 5·5 per 1000 people per year (95% CI 4·3–7·1), compared with 13·3 per 1000 people per year (10·9–16·1) in the 40 months post-invasion...

Of post-invasion deaths, 601 027 (426 369–793 663) were due to violence, the most common cause being gunfire.
See also this report and this commentary in the Guardian.

A "beacon of democracy," indeed! No wonder they want us gone.

[Other Sources]

Update: Added question mark to title. It seems that the methodoogy of the study is suspect. See following comment.

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Comment by Blogger Jim Horning:

Cameron Wilson has directed my attention to a commentary by Steven E. Moore in the Wall Street Journal that provides a strong critique of the methodology of the study.

"After doing survey research in Iraq for nearly two years, I was surprised to read that a study by a group from Johns Hopkins University claims that 655,000 Iraqis have died as a result of the war. Don't get me wrong, there have been far too many deaths in Iraq by anyone's measure; some of them have been friends of mine. But the Johns Hopkins tally is wildly at odds with any numbers I have seen in that country. Survey results frequently have a margin of error of plus or minus 3% or 5% -- not 1200%."

Perhaps I should not have relied so much on the Lancet's refereeing process as an indicator of accuracy.

Of course, even the lowest estimates are still pretty horrific.

2:11 PM  
Comment by Blogger Jim Horning:

A new Iraqi report sets the figure at merely 155,000.

8:43 PM  

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