It seems that war supporters with actual knowledge of statistics aren’t willing to criticise the new Lancet study, leaving the field to folks who don’t know what they are talking about.
Well, I don’t believe that John Hopkins research, I don’t. It’s not plausible, it’s not based on anything other than a house-to-house survey. I think that’s absolutely precarious.
It is a … an unbelievably large number and it’s out of whack with most of the other assessments that have been made.
Surveys are the best way to measure these things. The other assessments that are lower such as IBC are based on media reports. There aren’t reporters everywhere or even in most places in Iraq.
Human flesh is abundant and all they have to do is call this hospital or that office to get the count of casualties, even more they can knock on doors and ask us one by one and we would answer because we’ve got nothing to be ashamed of.
They did knock on doors and ask one by one.
They shamelessly made an auction of our blood, and it didn’t make a difference if the blood was shed by a bomb or a bullet or a heart attack because the bigger the count the more useful it becomes to attack this or that policy in a political race and the more useful it becomes in cheerleading for murderous tyrannical regimes.
They did distinguish between the different ways people died as well reporting the total. I think it is better to know the truth even if it does hurt Omar politically.
When the statistics announced by hospitals and military here, or even by the UN, did not satisfy their lust for more deaths, they resorted to mathematics to get a fake number that satisfies their sadistic urges.
Given Omar’s previous statement about the political effect of high death numbers, there is good reason to expect folks in hospitals and military bases to report much lower numbers than what really happened. So if you want an accurate figure you have to go out and knock on doors as Omar suggested earlier in his post. Omar does not provide any evidence that the number is “fake” other than “they resorted to mathematics”.
When I read the report I can only feel apathy and inhumanity from those who did the count towards the victims and towards our suffering as a whole. I can tell they were so pleased when the equations their twisted minds designed led to those numbers and nothing can convince me that they did their so called research out of compassion or care.
Omar continues in this vein, making vicious and unfounded attacks on the people who conducted the study. He’s obviously boiling mad because of the all bloodshed, but shouldn’t his anger be directed at those responsible rather than at those who have merely reported what is going on?
Next we have Seixon. Seixon claimed that the first Lancet study was incorrect because he claimed that the sampling was biased. Well the new study does the sampling the way Seixon said that the first one should have, so I would have thought that he would accept the new study but I am surprised to find that he has not:
it seems that the Johns Hopkins has largely rectified all the problems they had with their previous survey which I summarized last year. Yet even so, the result of this study is simply absurd, which gets us back to what Bush said. Does a cluster sample provide reliable results when used to estimate mortality in a war zone?
If it’s done correctly, yes.
Using the findings of the study just released, can you extrapolate how many death certificates were published in the post-war period?
How do you think that will match up with Iraqi government records?
Government figures will be much lower. As noted in the appendix:
Even with the death certificate system, only about one-third of deaths were captured by the government’s surveillance system in the years before the current war, according to informed sources in Iraq. At a death rate of 5/1000/year, in a population of 24 million, the government should have reported 120,000 deaths annually. In 2002, the government documented less than 40,000 from all sources. The ministry’s numbers are not likely to be more complete or accurate today.
And if you look at Omar’s comment above, there seems to be strong incentives for the government to understate the numbers.
Next, Tim Blair:
It is a larger number than were killed in Germany during five years (and 955,044 tons) of WWII bombing
Since only a small fraction of the deaths were caused by bombing, this is hardly relevant. If you want a WWII comparison: Yugoslavia suffered 1.3 million civilian deaths from a population much smaller than Iraq’s is today.
Blair also offers this:
Remember: Lancet came up with this via a survey that identified precisely 547 deaths (as reported by the New York Times).
Yeah, that’s how random sampling works. Apparently he’s willing to reject the entire field of statistics if it comes up with a result he doesn’t like. Glenn Reynold endorsed Blair’s argument.