Friday, January 11, 2008


So, a new study by the Iraqi Ministry of Health for the WHO says that the Iraq war has killed an estimated 151,000 Iraqis - only a quarter of the figure from the 2006 Lancet study. So, rather than killing ~2.5% of the prewar population of Iraq, Bush's war has only killed ~0.5%! Allah be praised!

There are reasons to question the new study (people whose family members died fighting the government or its masters are likely to be less forthcoming when questioned by government officials; mass migration from and within Iraq; difficulties properly sampling in Baghdad where most of the deaths occurred) and reasons to support it (more clusters, a good response rate), but either way you look at it, the shocking fact is that the death toll of Bush's war is almost triple the Iraq Body Count figure, and an order of magnitude higher than Bush's "estimate" of 30,000 dead. It's also of a comparable level to the death toll from Saddam Hussein's Al-Anfal campaign, for which several former members of the Iraqi regime were convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity. What does that say about the eventual fate of members of the Bush regime responsible for this obscene war?

The warmongers are already calling this a refutation of the Lancet study (it being easier to defend the murder of 151,000 people than 655,000), but it's worth pointing out that it uses exactly the same methodology they were attacking just a year ago. You can't call a methodology fundamentally flawed when you don't like the results, then rely on that same methodology to overturn them. But somehow, I suspect they will anyway.