Iraq Body Count and Lancet

Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Knucklehead mentioned this press release from IBC refuting the ridiculous claims by Lancet that 655,000 Iraqis had died because of the invasion. Interesting.

If these assertions are true, they further imply:

* incompetence and/or fraud on a truly massive scale by Iraqi officials in hospitals and ministries, on a local, regional and national level, perfectly coordinated from the moment the occupation began;
* bizarre and self-destructive behaviour on the part of all but a small minority of 800,000 injured, mostly non-combatant, Iraqis;
* the utter failure of local or external agencies to notice and respond to a decimation of the adult male population in key urban areas;
* an abject failure of the media, Iraqi as well as international, to observe that Coalition-caused events of the scale they reported during the three-week invasion in 2003 have been occurring every month for over a year.

In the light of such extreme and improbable implications, a rational alternative conclusion to be considered is that the authors have drawn conclusions from unrepresentative data.


Knucklehead said...

650,000 seems to be some sort of magic number lately. I've lost track of the link (I almost certainly saw it somewhere at Strategy Page), but somebody out there is claiming the Israelis left 650,000 unexploded cluster bomblets in Lebanon.

Doing so would have required the total failure of roughly 10,000 cluster delivery munitions or, at normal failure rates, 100,000 or more cluster bearing rounds fired. The claim is, like the Lancet claims, just plain dumb.

Then again... "where are the bodies....?" Maybe those excess Iraqi dead were converted to zombies long enough to haul a cluster bomblet to Lebanon. Hmmmm.... it could have happened!

Knucklehead said...

ut JIC anyone remains interested, Christopher Hitchens has a take on it I haven't seen so fully articulated elsewhere - Epidemiology meets moral idiocy. (ht: Tim Blair who, BTW, has a bit of a photoblog going to document the disgusting and unsustainable burden of the US population explosion).

hillsfritz said...

knuckehead: The magic number carries over from the 650K children who died, according to various NGOs, as a result of the UN blockade against Sadam. The blockade, naturally, was spearheaded by the Great Satan.

Knucklehead said...


This thread is probably long gone cold but do you have any speculation what the magic is about the particular magnitude of 650,000? Has some psych study somewhere placed that as the boundary line for skepticism or somesuch?