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Saturday, March 01, 2008

Questioning Deaths: How Many Iraqis Have Really Died - Diane Farsetta

The carnage has escalated (Gaza, Iraq, Afghanistan, NWFP) . And the western media spins and questions. Osterich! To read the full post click on the heading. t

How Many Iraqis Have Really Died?

By Diane Farsetta,

Garfield co-authored a 2004 study, published in the British medical journal The Lancet, that estimated that 98,000 more Iraqis died in the 18 months following the U.S. invasion than would have died otherwise. The recent editorials skewered a 2006 follow-up study that estimated more than 650,000 Iraqi "excess deaths" in the 40 months following the invasion. (Garfield was not involved with the 2006 study; in fact, he co-wrote a critique of it to which the study authors have responded.)

"The truth was irrelevant," fumed the Wall Street Journal's Jan. 9 editorial, adding that the 2006 Lancet study "could hardly be more unreliable," yet its 650,000 figure "was trumpeted by the political left because it fit a narrative that they wanted to believe. And it wasn't challenged by much of the press because it told them what they wanted to hear."

In a more measured column published the previous day, the Washington Times also rejected the Lancet study's 650,000 figure, in favor of the up to 87,000 "documented civilian war deaths" reported by the Iraq Body Count project. The two figures represent "the difference between epochal human tragedy and genocidal madness," opined the newspaper. A similar editorial by conservative columnist Jeff Jacoby ran in the Boston Globe and International Herald Tribune the following week. Other editorials and news articles questioning the Lancet study appeared throughout January.


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