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Old 10-12-2006, 09:25 AM   #16
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But I guess if it's 30,000 then it's OK? Well if you're one of that 30,000 I guess it would kinda ruin your day eh Dubya?
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Old 10-12-2006, 10:12 AM   #17
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
The study is based on 547 deaths, nice extrapolation, and once again in time for the election.


the article had this analysis at the end:

[q]He said the study made "minor departures" from the standards generally used in national surveys for choosing what households to interview. Whether those departures, brought on by wartime conditions in Iraq, introduced a bias in the results is impossible to measure from the data alone, he said.

Frank Harrell Jr., chair of the biostatistics department at Vanderbilt University, called the study design solid and said it included "rigorous, well-justified analysis of the data."

And Richard Brennan, head of health programs at the New York-Based International Rescue Committee, said the study's survey approach was typical.

"This is the most practical and appropriate methodology for sampling that we have in humanitarian conflict zones," said Brennan, whose group has conducted similar projects in Kosovo, Uganda and Congo.

"While the results of this survey may startle people, it's hard to argue with the methodology at this point."

Donald Berry, chairman of the statistics department at the University of Texas' M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, said he believes the study was done "in a reasonable way." But he said the range of uncertainty given for the estimates was much too narrow, because of potential statistical biases in the survey.

While it's impossible to calculate a better range that accounts for that, he said, it wouldn't be surprising if the low end dropped about four-fold to 100,000 deaths. A wider range of uncertainty would make the 655,000 figure less meaningful, he said.

Meanwhile, one of the study's authors said he's confident in the work's conclusions.

If the estimate seems high, it's because the door-to-door survey turned up deaths that are typically overlooked when sought by other means in wartime situations, said Les Roberts, who was with Johns Hopkins when he co-authored the study but has just taken a post at Columbia University.

As for extrapolating a nationwide figure from the sample of the few hundred deaths actually reported, "almost every statistic you've ever heard about health in America comes from a sample," Roberts said. "It may not be extremely precise, but at least it gets us in the right ballpark."[/q]
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Old 10-12-2006, 02:43 PM   #18
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Originally posted by Earnie Shavers


No, not this course anyway. And I don't have the answer, and I've never read or heard of a decent solution, which is exactly why the situation is so fucked. "Stay the course" - heading for disaster. Pull out? Full blown civil war that pulls in half the Middle East - bigger disaster.

This month's Harper's cover story is "The Way Out," by George McGovern and William Polk. Worth the read. Not everything they recommend will be doable, but at least people are coming up with comprehensive exit strategies that are not disasterous scenarios. The important question is: who's listening and what, if anything, is being done about a well planned exit strategy?
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Old 10-15-2006, 08:09 PM   #19
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This is liberal propaganda....They have democracy now, we are heros.
A country torn apart and instabilized. Hundreds of deaths every month caused by insurgent suicide bombers. A quite unsolid government. And a nation controlled by the U.S.

Quite a democracy.
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Old 10-15-2006, 10:27 PM   #20
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^I think Dread was being sarcastic.
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Old 10-15-2006, 11:19 PM   #21
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^I think Dread was being sarcastic.
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Old 10-16-2006, 09:56 AM   #22
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[q]Dozens Of Iraqis Killed in Reprisals
River Towns Trade Sectarian Strikes As Militias Move In

By Ellen Knickmeyer and Muhanned Saif Aldin
Washington Post Foreign Service
Monday, October 16, 2006; Page A01

BAGHDAD, Oct. 15 -- Militias allied with Iraq's Shiite-led government roamed roads north of Baghdad, seeking out and attacking Sunni Arab targets Sunday, police and hospital officials said. The violence raised to at least 80 the number of people killed in retaliatory strikes between a Shiite city and a Sunni town separated only by the Tigris River.

The wave of killings around the Shiite city of Balad was the bloodiest in a surge of violence that has claimed at least 110 lives in Iraq since Saturday. The victims included 12 people who were killed in coordinated suicide bombings in the strategic northern oil city of Kirkuk.

"This has pushed us to the point that we must stop this sectarian government," Ali Hussein al-Jubouri, a Sunni farmer in Duluiyah, said as he searched for the body of a nephew reportedly killed in the violence around Balad.

The slaughter came as Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Sunday renewed pledges by the Iraqi government to break up the militias, and as al-Qaeda in Iraq and other Sunni Arab insurgent groups declared a new Islamic republic in the western and central parts of the country.

The violence around Balad, a Shiite enclave in a largely Sunni region, began Friday with the kidnapping and beheading of 17 Shiite farmworkers from Duluiyah, a predominantly Sunni town. Taysser Musawi, a Shiite cleric in Balad, said Shiite leaders in the town appealed to a Baghdad office of Moqtada al-Sadr, an influential Shiite cleric, to send militiamen to defend local Shiites and to take revenge. Sadr's political party is a member of a Shiite religious alliance that governs Iraq.

Shiite fighters responded in force, local police said. Witnesses said Shiite fighters began hunting down Sunnis, allegedly setting up checkpoints in the area to stop travelers and demand whether they were Shiite or Sunni.

By Sunday afternoon, 80 bodies were stacked in the morgue of the Balad hospital, the only sizable medical center in the region, physician Kamal al-Haidari said by telephone. Most of the victims had been shot in the head, he said. Other hospital officials said some of the bodies had holes from electric drills and showed other signs of torture. The majority of the victims were believed to be from Duluiyah.

The hospital received calls from residents who said more bodies were lying in the streets, but workers were unable to pick them up, Haidari said. Witnesses arriving at the hospital also reported seeing bodies in the roads, he said.[/q]
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Old 10-17-2006, 01:03 AM   #23
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More Deadly Than Saddam
by Gwynne Dyer


LONDON -- The final indignity, if you are an Iraqi who was shot for accidentally turning into the path of a U.S. military convoy (they thought you might be a terrorist), or blown apart by a car bomb or an airstrike, or tortured and murdered by kidnappers, or just for being a Sunni or a Shiite, is that U.S. President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair will deny that your death happened. The script they are working from says (in Bush's words last December) that only "30,000, more or less" have been killed in Iraq during and since the invasion in March, 2003.

So they have a huge incentive to discredit the report in the British medical journal The Lancet last week that an extra 655,000 Iraqis have died since the invasion in excess of the natural death rate: 2.5 percent of the population.

"I don't consider it a credible report," said Bush, without giving any reason why he didn't.

"It is a fairly small sample they have taken and they have extrapolated it across the country," said a spokesman of the British Foreign Office, as if that were an invalid methodology. But it's not.

The study, led by Dr. Les Roberts and a team of epidemiologists from the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, was based on a survey of 1,849 households, containing 12,801 people, at 47 different locations chosen at random in Iraq. Teams of four Iraqi doctors -- two men and two women -- went from house to house and asked the residents if anybody had died in their family since January, 2002 (15 months before the invasion).

If anybody had, they then inquired when and how the person had died. They asked for death certificates, and in 92 percent of cases the families produced them. Then the Johns Hopkins team of epidemiologists tabulated the statistics and drew their conclusions.

The most striking thing in the study, in terms of credibility, is that the prewar death rate in Iraq for the period January 2002-March 2003, as calculated from their evidence, was 5.5 per thousand per year. That is virtually identical to the U.S. government estimate of the death rate in Iraq for the same period. Then, from the same evidence, they calculate that the death rate since the invasion has been 13.3 per thousand per year. The difference between the prewar and postwar death rates over a period of 40 months is 655,000 deaths.

More precisely, the deaths reported by the 12,801 people surveyed, when extrapolated to the entire country, indicates a range of between 426,369 and 793,663 excess deaths -- but the sample is big enough that there is a 95 percent certainty that the true figure is within that range. What the Johns Hopkins team have done in Iraq is more rigorous version of the technique that is used to calculate deaths in southern Sudan and the eastern Congo. To reject it, you must either reject the whole discipline of statistics, or you must question the professional integrity of those doing the survey.

The study, which was largely financed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Center for International Studies, has been reviewed by four independent experts. One of them, Paul Bolton of Boston University, called the methodology "excellent" and said it was standard procedure in a wide range of studies he has worked on: "You can't be sure of the exact number, but you can be quite sure that you are in the right ballpark."

This is not a political smear job. Johns Hopkins University, Boston University and MIT are not fly-by-night institutions, and people who work there have academic reputations to protect. The Lancet, founded 182 years ago, is one of the oldest and most respected medical journals in the world. These numbers are real. So what do they mean?

Two-thirds of a million Iraqis have died since the invasion who would almost all be alive if it had not happened. Human Rights Watch has estimated that between 250,000 and 290,000 Iraqis were killed during Saddam Hussein's 20-year rule, so perhaps 40,000 people might have died between the invasion and now if he had stayed in power. (Though probably not anything like that many, really, because the great majority of Saddam's killings happened during crises like the Kurdish rebellion of the late 1980s and the Shiite revolt after the 1990-91 Gulf War.)

Of the 655,000 excess deaths since March 2003, only about 50,000 can be attributed to stress, malnutrition, the collapse of medical services as doctors flee abroad, and other side effects of the occupation. All the rest are violent deaths, and 31 percent are directly due to the actions of foreign "coalition" forces.

The most disturbing thing is the breakdown of the causes of death. Over half the deaths -- 56 percent -- are due to gunshot wounds, but 13 percent are due to airstrikes. Terrorists don't do airstrikes. No Iraqi government forces do airstrikes, either, because they don't have combat aircraft. Airstrikes are done by "coalition forces" (i.e. Americans and British), and airstrikes in Iraq have killed over 75,000 people since the invasion.

Oscar Wilde once observed that "to lose one parent . . . may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness." To lose 75,000 Iraqis to airstrikes looks like carelessness, too.

Gwynne Dyer is a London-based independent journalist whose articles are published in 45 countries.
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Old 10-17-2006, 11:08 AM   #24
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The only viable exit strategy is alternative energy & fuel.

Until then, Middle Eastern oil will remain under US control/protection with whatever level of military force is required by instability in Iraq or elsewhere the region and regardless of how many Iraqis, US troops or US civilians in domestic terror attacks die.

30000 or 600000 dead Iraqis at this point won't change that...it may change who sits in Congress next month...but it won't materially change military plans. It can't.

Invading Iraq represented a point of no return in that regard since nation-building in that region by Americans is and always has been virtually impossible.

Necessity is the mother of invention so I really hope (pray) we don't have to see oil at up to $200 a barrel and the global economy in shreds, or parts of the planet in nuclear dust before new technology is discovered and developed for mass use.
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Old 10-17-2006, 11:25 AM   #25
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Originally posted by trevster2k
This study led by Les Roberts is actually nothing new. He did another survey back in 2004 with the same conclusions and of course released just prior to the 2004 elections. Les Roberts is qouted as saying "I was opposed to the war and I still think that the war was a bad idea".

http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/10/29/iraq.deaths/

Notice that after 5 years of war in Afghanistan, Mr. Roberts has yet to do a study there.


The fact is, if such figures were true, the overall Iraqi population would have decreased over the past 3 years, not increased. The report is claiming that about 1% of Iraq's population is being killed every year. You would also have to believe that the coalition is launching airstrikes every day that kill an average of 100 people, every single day. To anyone involved with coalition air sorties, that is just a laughable result. Days can go by without a single strike throughout the country, let alone one that kills any civilians at all. In fact, if the results were accurate at all, every single coalition airstrike would have to kill several dozen civilians given the large drop off in air sorties since the intial 3 week period of the war.


This type of way of estimating deaths is often very inaccurate and has led to grossly inflated numbers in the Israely Palestinian conflict, which are often proven false when forensic teams go in and actually look at the bodies, identify them, and determine cause of death, as opposed to simply just asking someone on the street or in a random house.

Most of the violence in Iraq is concentrated in the four Sunni majority provinces. To randomly use figures from these area's and then extrapolate them over the country is ridiculuos. At a minimum, you would want to do a study for each individual province, but once again, simply interviewing people is not going to produce and accurate result.
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Old 10-17-2006, 04:35 PM   #26
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650,000 is a hell of alot of people.
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Old 10-17-2006, 07:29 PM   #27
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Originally posted by Dreadsox

Ohh okay, sorry Dreadsox.
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Old 10-19-2006, 10:08 AM   #28
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A post from Riverbend (an Iraqi female blogger, first post since August and many feared something had happened to her)

http://riverbendblog.blogspot.com/
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
The Lancet Study...
This has been the longest time I have been away from blogging. There were several reasons for my disappearance the major one being the fact that every time I felt the urge to write about Iraq, about the situation, I'd be filled with a certain hopelessness that can't be put into words and that I suspect other Iraqis feel also.
It's very difficult at this point to connect to the internet and try to read the articles written by so-called specialists and analysts and politicians. They write about and discuss Iraq as I might write about the Ivory Coast or Cambodia- with a detachment and lack of sentiment that- I suppose- is meant to be impartial. Hearing American politicians is even worse. They fall between idiots like Bush- constantly and totally in denial, and opportunists who want to use the war and ensuing chaos to promote themselves.
The latest horror is the study published in the Lancet Journal concluding that over 600,000 Iraqis have been killed since the war. Reading about it left me with mixed feelings. On the one hand, it sounded like a reasonable figure. It wasn't at all surprising. On the other hand, I so wanted it to be wrong. But... who to believe? Who to believe....? American politicians... or highly reputable scientists using a reliable scientific survey technique?
The responses were typical- war supporters said the number was nonsense because, of course, who would want to admit that an action they so heartily supported led to the deaths of 600,000 people (even if they were just crazy Iraqis…)? Admitting a number like that would be the equivalent of admitting they had endorsed, say, a tsunami, or an earthquake with a magnitude of 9 on the Richter scale, or the occupation of a developing country by a ruthless superpower… oh wait- that one actually happened. Is the number really that preposterous? Thousands of Iraqis are dying every month- that is undeniable. And yes, they are dying as a direct result of the war and occupation (very few of them are actually dying of bliss, as war-supporters and Puppets would have you believe).
For American politicians and military personnel, playing dumb and talking about numbers of bodies in morgues and official statistics, etc, seems to be the latest tactic. But as any Iraqi knows, not every death is being reported. As for getting reliable numbers from the Ministry of Health or any other official Iraqi institution, that's about as probable as getting a coherent, grammatically correct sentence from George Bush- especially after the ministry was banned from giving out correct mortality numbers. So far, the only Iraqis I know pretending this number is outrageous are either out-of-touch Iraqis abroad who supported the war, or Iraqis inside of the country who are directly benefiting from the occupation ($) and likely living in the Green Zone.
The chaos and lack of proper facilities is resulting in people being buried without a trip to the morgue or the hospital. During American military attacks on cities like Samarra and Fallujah, victims were buried in their gardens or in mass graves in football fields. Or has that been forgotten already?
We literally do not know a single Iraqi family that has not seen the violent death of a first or second-degree relative these last three years. Abductions, militias, sectarian violence, revenge killings, assassinations, car-bombs, suicide bombers, American military strikes, Iraqi military raids, death squads, extremists, armed robberies, executions, detentions, secret prisons, torture, mysterious weapons – with so many different ways to die, is the number so far fetched?
There are Iraqi women who have not shed their black mourning robes since 2003 because each time the end of the proper mourning period comes around, some other relative dies and the countdown begins once again.
Let's pretend the 600,000+ number is all wrong and that the minimum is the correct number: nearly 400,000. Is that better? Prior to the war, the Bush administration kept claiming that Saddam killed 300,000 Iraqis over 24 years. After this latest report published in The Lancet, 300,000 is looking quite modest and tame. Congratulations Bush et al.
Everyone knows the 'official numbers' about Iraqi deaths as a direct result of the war and occupation are far less than reality (yes- even you war hawks know this, in your minuscule heart of hearts). This latest report is probably closer to the truth than anything that's been published yet. And what about American military deaths? When will someone do a study on the actual number of those? If the Bush administration is lying so vehemently about the number of dead Iraqis, one can only imagine the extent of lying about dead Americans…
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Old 10-20-2006, 11:27 PM   #29
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George W. Bush is the biggest terrorist in the world.
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Old 10-20-2006, 11:28 PM   #30
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I miss Bill Clinton.
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