Monday, November 01, 2004

The myth of the 100,000 grows

This time Scott Ritter is claiming -
Last week's estimate by investigators, using credible methodology, that more than 100,000 Iraqi civilians - most of them women and children - have died since the US-led invasion is a profound moral indictment of our countries
Of course the deeply flawed study does not maintain "that more than 100,000 Iraqi civilians died". But hey, it's lying for a good cause.

I recall some pundits a while back quite rightly pointing out that many on the pro-war side paid too little attention to the human cost of their views. My reaction was that the anti-war movement spent no time considering the price of their alternatives and also that for them the civilian deaths issue has become devalued to just another rhetorical device, just as with Ritter.

UPDATE: the lads at Crooked Timber aren't impressed with some of the criticism of the Lancet study.


Blogger Greyshade said...

The Lancet study is hardly "deeply flawed". Imprecise cerainly but it is hard to see how it could be done better under the circumstances. The study indicates that a substantial number of Iraqis have died as a result of the war and that many of them were civilians. The number may well have been 100,000 or higher but we cannot say for sure. Looking at the 1 sd limit (and considering IBC which is a lower limit and includes only documented violent civialian deaths we could concluded that there is a very good chance that the excess deaths will be at least 50,000. To quibble too hard over these numbers is to adopt the moral position of the holocaust defender who said "Six million. Huh! Four million, tops. If they were lucky."

2 November 2004 at 10:30 AM  

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