Just happened across this report at Iraq Body Count from May of 2010 – remember back when Bush was President our liberals were on fire about the Lancet report which alleged a million civilian deaths in Iraq because of Bush’s criminal war for Halliburton/Likud/Oil/WhatHaveYou? Well, time has gone on and there is now a liberal Democrat in the White House, so the truth can be told:
…Iraq Body Count (IBC) applied an early and so far unanswered set of reality checks2 to the Johns Hopkins survey published in the Lancet in October 2006, a paper which has recently been comprehensively discredited in a new study by Prof. Michael Spagat of Royal Holloway University. Even among the generally inexact survey results for deaths in Iraq the “Lancet estimate” was an extreme outlier, asserting 450,000 more deaths from violence than the much larger WHO-funded study that estimated 151,000 such deaths by July 2006. The only evidence that appeared to support the Lancet finding was published by a polling company, Opinion Research Business (ORB), which estimated 1 million violent Iraqi deaths by August 2007.
In a meticulous and detailed analysis of ORB’s survey, IBC researcher Josh Dougherty and Spagat have laid to rest any notion that ORB’s massive estimate is even nominally sound, let alone capable of providing validation for another outlier…
Tip of the hat to the people at IBC for looking in to the data and debunking a rather horrific myth about Iraq. Of course, any deaths in war are terrible and 1 or 100,000 is bad – but it was a dis-service to the people and to the truth to have crazed announcements on the left about the cost of the war which were not based upon facts. All that was accomplished was to feed enemy propaganda.
Some who pressed the story, no doubt, did so for malicious reasons – most probably just passed it along because it fit the pre-conceived notion. That there might have been some sincere motives about it doesn’t help the soldiers and civilians killed in the heavy fighting which followed on such propaganda victories for the enemy. The lesson to be learned here is to not jump to conclusions – and mostly not to assume that numbers of dead or other bad things greatly exceed US military estimates. Remember, the only people under orders not to lie in Iraq were the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines…taking one thing with another, it was more likely they were telling the truth than anyone else on the ground.
War is a nasty, dangerous business and it isn’t helped at all that some people will outright lie about what is going on. Next time, liberals, have a little more respect for your military and your country. It’ll make the blood cost lower.