Jim Lindgren agrees with me that the ILCS supports the Lancet study. He also raises some concerns about some of the numbers in Lancet study:
I find it somewhat odd that heart attack and stroke deaths are up 64% in the later period, and accidental deaths are up more than 3-fold. And live births are up 33% in the later (War & Post-War) period, even though post-War pregnancies would not lead to live births until 9 months had passed, so the rate of having children would likely have to have jumped substantially more than 33% in the last half of the later period. Further, household size jumps from 7.5 in the earlier period to 8.0 in the later period.
None of these increases seem unlikely to me. While the number of births was 33% higher the time period after the war was longer, so the birth rate only increased by 10%. For this to happen, there would only have to be a 20% increase in the last nine months and it seems that the overthrow of Saddam might make people more optimistic about bringing another child into the world. The increases in heart attacks could be caused by an increase in stress because of the war and the decline in medical services. The increase in car accidents could be caused by the breakdown in law and order and fear of crime. (For example, driving through intersections at high speed to avoid ambush by robbers.) Finally, the increase in household size seems to be an inevitable consequence of the number of births and deaths recorded.
Of course, Lindgren’s suggestion that people are forgetting to mention some deaths that happened before the invasion may still be correct, indeed, the ILCS found evidence that infant deaths were being under-counted and went back to do some re-interviews.
Shannon Love claims that the ILCS disproves the Lancet study finding of a large number of deaths in Falluja. He’s completely wrong. The ILCS fieldwork started in March 2004, before the heavy fighting in Falluja. It neither confirms nor denies the Lancet’s findings about deaths in Falluja.
John Quiggin notes that Tim Blair has now accepted an estimate of tens of thousands Iraqis dead from the war and wonders if Blair will correct an earlier post denying that the war had killed that many. Blair, of course, declines to make the correction.
Tim Worstall wonders why more attention has not been given to the ILCS and hints that this might be due to anti-war bias in the media. However, the news about Iraq in the the report is not good: living conditions are bad, the war made them worse and killed 24,000 Iraqis in just the first year.