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    step up to some high moral ground..., 2006-10-09 07:57:57 | Main | "64% of the Democratic candida..., 2006-10-16 12:22:06

    unsaved lives not included:

    Were it not for the WaPo calling so much attention to the new study in the Lancet I might have missed it. Apparently they've found:

    Of the total 655,000 estimated "excess deaths," 601,000 resulted from violence and the rest from disease and other causes, according to the study. This is about 500 unexpected violent deaths per day throughout the country.


    Gunshot wounds caused 56 percent of violent deaths, with car bombs and other explosions causing 14 percent, according to the survey results. Of the violent deaths that occurred after the invasion, 31 percent were caused by coalition forces or airstrikes, the respondents said.

    That's fucking crazy. But it's not impossible. Rather, it's a statistical fact we need to grasp, rather than summarily discard as outrageous. It shouldn't be so hard to believe, frankly. Understanding a little of how we're being routinely, regularly lied to might help:

    The Ministry of Health has instituted a strict policy for journalists, requiring them to seek permission before visiting the facility. Those allowed in get only a truly sanitized tour; more often than not reporters are barred from entering. But at the gate, guards who have worked at the facility tell a chilling tale. "Last year, I saw maybe 1,000 bodies a month coming into the morgue," says one man who, fearing for his life, requested his name not be published. "Now we're getting nearly 1,000 a week."

    You'll note that that is in line exactly with the four fold increase in mortality estimated by the epidemiological study.

    Makes me wonder if anybody remembers this from December of 2003:

    Dr. Nagham Mohsen, the head of the ministry's statistics department, said the order was relayed to her by the ministry's director of planning, Dr. Nazar Shabandar, who said it came on behalf of Abbas. She said the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority, which oversees the ministry, also wanted the counting to stop.

    "We have stopped the collection of this information because our minister didn't agree with it," she said, adding: "The CPA doesn't want this to be done."

    Which, that was just the civillian count. This report doesn't distinguish.

    The carnage has been on the downlow from the beginning, when figures have been leaked out from the health ministry they've always been shockingly higher than what the administration and US military have divulged in the past, even as they swear they can't do the math themselves.

    So about half a million in the past 2 years. Really anywhere between 426,369 to 793,663, so maybe as many as .8 million. We need some perspective: in theory - were we to defer to Colin Powell's assessment that the sanctions regime was going to fall of its own accord and the constant reassurances that we were on a humanitarian mission - the mortality rate should be steadily falling. The lives that we could have saved simply by ending the sanctions regime - as we legally were required to, having disarmed Iraq - are not included. As it is the baseline was already about double that of 1990. But I suppose the first 655,000 is already too many to comprehend.

:: posted by buermann @ 2006-10-12 12:05:42 CST | link

    go ahead, express that vague notion

    your turing test:

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