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Old 10-11-2006, 07:58 PM   #1
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650,000 dead Iraqis

i know this has been alluded to in other threads, but i thought it deserved one if it's own, and i've selected an article that deals with the controversy over the number, not the number itself:

[q]Iraq death toll study has mixed reaction

By MALCOLM RITTER, AP Science Writer

NEW YORK - President Bush says he doesn't believe it. Some experts have a problem with it. But several others say it seems sound. Such was the varied reception for a controversial new study that estimated the Iraq war has led to the deaths of nearly 655,000 Iraqis as of July.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and the Al Mustansiriya University in Baghdad derived that estimate from a door-to-door survey, conducted by doctors, of 1,849 households in Iraq. Taking the number of deaths reported by household residents, they extrapolated to a nationwide figure.

The researchers, reflecting the inherent uncertainties in such extrapolations, said they were 95 percent certain that the real number lay somewhere between 392,979 and 942,636 deaths.

Even the smaller figure is almost eight times the estimate some others have derived.

The new study — which attributes roughly 600,000 of the deaths directly to violence and 55,000 more to other war-related causes — was released Wednesday on the Web site of The Lancet, a respected medical journal. But just how good is its conclusions?

"I don't consider it a credible report," President Bush said Wednesday.

Neither does Gen. George W. Casey, the top American military commander in Iraq.

"That 650,000 number seems way, way beyond any number that I have seen," Casey said. "I've not seen a number higher than 50,000. And so I don't give it that much credibility at all."

And neither does Michael E. O'Hanlon of the Brookings Institution, which also tracks Iraqi deaths.

"I do not believe the new numbers. I think they're way off," he said.

Other research methods on the ground, like body counts, forensic analysis and taking eyewitness reports, have produced numbers only about one-tenth as high, he said. "I have a hard time seeing how all the direct evidence could be that far off ... therefore I think the survey data is probably what's wrong."

However, several biostatisticians and survey experts were supportive of the work.

"Given the conditions (in Iraq), it's actually quite a remarkable effort," said Steve Heeringa, director of the statistical design group at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan.

"I can't imagine them doing much more in a much more rigorous fashion."[/q]
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Old 10-11-2006, 08:06 PM   #2
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The other night I heard General Peay speak at my school, a 4 star general who is currently the superintendent of the Virginia Military Institute...and his thoughts on Iraq were these:

-The parliament needs to more equally represent the Shiites and Sunnis. (Closer to a 45-55 ratio rather than 70-30)
-We need to hand over power to the Iraqi forces, even if they are not fully competent.
-Once power is handed over, get out of there as fast as possible.

This is a guy who commanded the 101st during Desert Storm, was a chief advisor to the Joint Chiefs, he knows what he's talking about. He feels that Tommy Franks should have resigned, had he been in that position he would have resigned.

I take his opinions VERY seriously, he knows more than most in the administration.
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Old 10-11-2006, 08:19 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2democrat
-Once power is handed over, get out of there as fast as possible.
What does he think would happen after that?
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Old 10-11-2006, 09:07 PM   #4
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This is liberal propaganda....They have democracy now, we are heros.
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Old 10-11-2006, 09:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by yolland

What does he think would happen after that?
I don't know, he didn't elaborate.

ETA: I think he would let the Iraqis fight their own civil war.
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Old 10-11-2006, 09:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2democrat


I don't know, he didn't elaborate.

ETA: I think he would let the Iraqis fight their own civil war.
ie, incredibly stupid idea.
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Old 10-11-2006, 09:50 PM   #7
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So is "staying the course" brilliant?
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Old 10-11-2006, 10:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox
This is liberal propaganda....They have democracy now, we are heros.
I screwed up....

Resolution 1441 affirmed by Resolution 6(Insert digits) makes each and every one of these casualties OK.

Is your conscience clear now?
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Old 10-11-2006, 10:21 PM   #9
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Dread
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Old 10-11-2006, 11:57 PM   #10
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Originally posted by U2democrat
So is "staying the course" brilliant?
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.
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Old 10-12-2006, 12:29 AM   #11
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The only way this situation in Iraq will be resloved is if the US gave the Iraqi citizens a week to get the Hell out of there and then the US could bomb Iraq until there was nothing left. But, that's probably not the right thing to do.
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Old 10-12-2006, 02:53 AM   #12
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That's 500 civilians a day?!?!

That seems high.
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Old 10-12-2006, 05:09 AM   #13
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The study is based on 547 deaths, nice extrapolation, and once again in time for the election.
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Old 10-12-2006, 08:46 AM   #14
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Quote:
Army Plan Has Troop Levels Steady Until 2010

Associated Press, October 12, 2006
BY ROBERT BURNS


WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Army has plans to keep the current level of soldiers in Iraq through 2010, the top Army officer said Wednesday, a later date than Bush administration or Pentagon officials have mentioned before.

Gen. Peter Schoomaker, the Army chief of staff, cautioned against reading too much into the planning, which is done far in advance to prepare the right mix of combat units for expected deployments. He noted that it is easier to scale back later if conditions allow, than to ramp up if they don't. ''This is not a prediction that things are going poorly or better,'' Schoomaker told reporters. ''It's just that I have to have enough ammo in the magazine that I can continue to shoot as long as they want us to shoot.''

Even so, his comments were the latest acknowledgment by Pentagon officials that a significant withdrawal of troops from Iraq is not likely in the immediate future. There are now 141,000 U.S. troops there. The top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. George Casey, said that as recently as July he had expected to be able to recommend a substantial reduction in U.S. forces by now. But that plan was dropped as religious violence in Baghdad escalated. While arguing that progress is still being made toward unifying Iraq's fractured political rivalries and stabilizing the country, Casey also said the violence amounts to ''a difficult situation that's likely to remain that way for some time." He made no predictions of future U.S. troop reductions.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said he was studying how the military might keep up the current pace of Iraq deployments without overtaxing the Army and Marine Corps, which have borne the brunt of the conflict. Rumsfeld said one option is to make more use of the Air Force and Navy for work that normally is done by soldiers and Marines.

In recent months the Army has shown signs of strain, as Pentagon officials have had to extend the Iraq deployments of two brigades to bolster security in Baghdad and allow units heading into the country to have at least one year at home before redeploying. The Army is finding that the amount of time soldiers enjoy between Iraq tours has been shrinking this year. In the case of a brigade of the 3rd Infantry Division, its deployment to Iraq was delayed by about six weeks because it otherwise would have had only 11 months to prepare instead of the minimum 12 months. As a result, the unit it was going to replace has been forced to stay beyond its normal 12-month deployment.

In separate remarks to reporters, Gen. Richard Cody, the Army vice chief of staff, said soldiers need more than 12 months between deployments to Iraq so they can do a full range of combat training and complete the kinds of educational programs that enable the Army to grow a fully mature officer corps. That kind of noncombat experience is necessary "so that we don't erode and become an Army that only can fight a counterinsurgency," Cody said. He added that North Korea's announced nuclear test "reminds us all that we may not just be in a counterinsurgency fight and we have to have full-spectrum capability."
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Old 10-12-2006, 09:17 AM   #15
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Well, it's just a level of violence that they tolerate

From press conference yesterday

Q Thank you, Mr. President. Back on Iraq. A group of American and Iraqi health officials today released a report saying that 655,000 Iraqis have died since the Iraq war. That figure is 20 times the figure that you cited in December, at 30,000. Do you care to amend or update your figure, and do you consider this a credible report?

THE PRESIDENT: No, I don't consider it a credible report. Neither does General Casey and neither do Iraqi officials. I do know that a lot of innocent people have died, and that troubles me and it grieves me. And I applaud the Iraqis for their courage in the face of violence. I am amazed that this is a society which so wants to be free that they're willing to -- that there's a level of violence that they tolerate. And it's now time for the Iraqi government to work hard to bring security in neighborhoods so people can feel at peace.

No question, it's violent, but this report is one -- they put it out before, it was pretty well -- the methodology was pretty well discredited. But I talk to people like General Casey and, of course, the Iraqi government put out a statement talking about the report.

Q -- the 30,000, Mr. President? Do you stand by your figure, 30,000?

THE PRESIDENT: You know, I stand by the figure. A lot of innocent people have lost their life -- 600,000, or whatever they guessed at, is just -- it's not credible. Thank you.
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