January 9, 2008

Lancet Iraq Death "Study" Lanced Again

JUST A FEW DAYS AFTER the National Journal gave the lie to the infamous Lancet Iraq Death report of 2006 with Data Bomb (01/04/2008) yet another study has appeared that puts it deeper into shadow: Iraqi war death toll slashed by three quarters - New Scientist.

"The death toll in Iraq may be far lower than previously claimed, according to a team working for the Iraqi Ministry of Health.

The researchers estimate that the number of violent deaths in Iraq between the US-led invasion of March 2003 and the end of June 2006 to be between 104,000 and 223,000.

This loss of life is described as "massive", but is well below the figure of 600,000 violent deaths claimed by a team of Iraqi and US scientists in autumn 2006 (The Lancet, vol 368, p 1241)."

I recall discussing the obviously fraudulent claims of the Lancet with credulous liberals at the time, and in 2004 when the original balderdash was put out. They would cite the "stature" of The Lancet ( ancient, peer-reviewed, British, etc.) as their "reason" for believing the publication's tissue of lies. ('It's got to be good science....').

My response ran along these lines, "Six hundred thousand dead people? Where are the funerals? Don't you think that with the level of coverage this war is getting by media not exactly friendly to the Bush administration that 600,000 funerals would get some play in the days news? We know the instant an American soldier dies. We know the second instant when the animals we're fighting blow up 100 Iraqis. How has this great and grinding media machine missed 600,000 Iraq wide funerals that would all seem to the the FAULT of George Bush?"

I never got a decent answer to this question. Come to think of it I never got any answer at all. Because there was none other than, "Humm, maybe this widely touted study is just one large lump of lying crap after all."

Data Bomb revealed the baldly political motives and the shoddy and quasi-criminal lies behind the study. Now this study drives the point home even more strongly. Will any of the con-men behind this study suffer any consequences at all? Don't hold your breath. It is now more than crystal clear that large swathes of "the scientific community" seem to have decided that it is all right to lie if the lie is in the service of "the truth." Their "truth."

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Posted by Vanderleun at January 9, 2008 8:50 PM | TrackBack
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

This new study is fully available at the New England Journal of Medicine's web site. January 10 issue.

It actually validates some of the methodologies, results, and conclusions of the Lancet studies.

Most importantly, although its estimate of deaths is considerably lower than the Lancet group's, it's much higher than the regular sources' counts (like Iraq Body Count's).

And even more important, the deaths of Iraqis is worth paying attention to.

Posted by: J at January 10, 2008 4:47 AM

I STILL don't buy the new study either, and here's why:

The methodology of the Lancet study WAS NOT valid, and if the New England Journal study used a similar methodology, it too is not valid.

How does taking a "census" of a sampling of Iraqis and extrapolating that to the full nation valid when large sections of Iraq had almost no violence most of the time? Also, since violent deaths as a result of bombs and other armed conflict are either glaringly obvious when they happen, or leave stupendously obvious evidence of themselves in the aftermath ("Hakim, here's some more headless bodies behind this house"), there is little need to go around asking random samplings of Iraqis to determine whether some of them may have lost loved ones due to violence.

It seems that the most valid method of determining deaths by violent conflict comes from military sources, government sources, hospitals, etc. Duh! Deaths "unreported" by people "afraid to come forward" also leave their own evidence -- just as "Hakim" from above.

I think the IBC count is probably much closer to the truth then either "medical science" study. The IBC is an anti-war organization with the integrity to stick to reality.

Remember, these "scientists" are the same type of cretins who insist on calling gun-related deaths a "disease."

Posted by: Roderick Reilly at January 10, 2008 10:25 AM
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