One Hundred Thousand cont'd
Oh dear, I was waiting. Rebuttal. Thank you Charles WT for providing this valuable opportunity. You can't possibly be telling me you place any faith in all those partisan links? Let me begin with Shannon Love's post. I will use the Q A format, two answers for each question.
Q; Shannon observes; "Most other sources put total combined civilian and military deaths from all causes at between 15,000 to 20,000". Shannon then asks "The Lancet study is a degree of magnitude higher. Why the difference?"
A 1; Most other independent sources do not have the resources to conduct an in depth study to the degree that The Lancet has undertaken. Specifically, most other sources have not recently conducted studies in field. The last in field study was very near the beginning of the conflict. There have been many more occasions for loss of life during conflict since those early days. It is no surprise that the death rate has increased since that first and as far as I am aware only other in field study.
A 2; Most other non-independent sources although possessing the resources to conduct comprehensive casualty studies, do not have the inclination to do so. In fact most other non-independent sources possessing the resources to conduct comprehensive casualty studies have an interest in suppressing such data.
Q; Shannon calculates that; "100,000 deaths over roughly a year and a half equates to 183 deaths per day" and then speculates "With that many people dying from air strikes every day we would expect to have at least one or two incidents where several hundred or even thousands of people died" before asking "Heard of anything like that?"
A 1; 183 deaths per day spread throughout areas of conflict in Iraq does not neccesarily amount to mass incidents of hundreds or thousands of deaths. Let us take six well known areas of conflict in this war.
- Baghdad. Major civilian center subject to air raids.
- Basrah. Another major civilian center subject to air raids.
- Fallujah. Subject to "insurgency containment".
- Tikrit. Saddam's "home town". Subject to severe military "operations" during the hunt for Saddam.
- Mosul. In Northern Iraq/Kurdistan. Subject to notable conflict near the wars beginning.
- Ramadi. Of particular focus in recent planned strikes.
I have mentioned only six areas of conflict and already if one divides 183 by those 6 mentions one has a result of only 30.5. A result of 30 and a half casualties per day spread over only six cities. When one looks at the number of towns marked on this map showing CPA presence in Iraq - oop, map diversion. Take a look at that CPA map. CPA North, CPA South, CPA Central and CPA Baghdad. The whole bloody country is occupied by the goddamn CPA. Is that a map of Iraq or is it a map of some new occupied territory named ah, "CPA"?. But as I was saying. When one looks at the number of towns marked on that map and divides 183 by them all, one can see how incrementally easy 183 deaths per day can accumulate in a war-torn country.
A 2; Well yes Shannon, with that many people dying each day you could expect at least one or two incidents where several hundred or even thousands have died. In fact, you can find those incidences recorded right here, on Iraq Body Counts site. Isn't that good of them to have been so diligently keeping track of things. Sorted by largest entry first, a few Iraq Body Count excerpts;
|19 Mar 2003 -
09 Apr 2003
|-||19 Baghdad hospitals||-||-||1482||
|4 Apr 2003 -
31 Aug 2003
|-||Violent deaths recorded at Baghdad city morgue||-||60 per cent from gunshot wounds||1214|
|20 Mar 2003 -
24 Apr 2003
|-||Municipality of Baghdad||-||-||778||
|20 Mar 2003 -
06 Apr 2003
|05 Apr 2004 -
30 Apr 2004
|-||city of Falluja||'insurgents', incl. those responsible for the killing of four US security contractors||air attacks and ground battles||572||
|20 Mar 2003 -
20 Apr 2003
|-||Hospitals in Najaf, Karbala, Mosul, Samawa, Madain, Diwaniyah, Kut, Tikrit||-||various||484|
|01 Sep 2003 -
30 Sep 2003
|-||Violent deaths recorded at Baghdad city morgue||-||Over 55% by gunfire||362|
Please note these are only a few excerpts from Iraq Body Count. Iraq Body Count provides a minimum and maximum figure where different media sources report different figures. I have quoted the conservative minimum estimate. Larger entries are sourced from hospital morgues. It is reasonable to consider that most dead bodies are buried rather then taken to hospitals, hence it is highly likely that these reports are only an "iceburg tip". A time delay can be expected between the occasion of conflict and the gathering and accumulation of bodies in morgues, hence the date spans on these items. Also worth noting that some hospital casualty records were deliberately confiscated and destroyed early in the conflict. Sorry this sounds so cold and grim but that's the way war is and I see no reason to sugarcoat it.
Oh, one other little thing. With that many people dying each day it is surprising that anyone might be left standing to report such incidences at all. Probably there are a fair few unreported incidences where either a journalist was not present to record it or no one was left alive to report it or someone was left alive but they had getting the hell out of there more on their minds then finding a journo to report too.
Only two paragraphs through Shannon's obviously bogus discourse, and so much more to answer. However, one step at a time. To be continued, probably.