March 09, 2006

250,000 Dead Iraqis

I have always been (stupidly) hesitant to quote the old 100,000 DEAD IRAQIS statistic, given the frenzied controversy with which that figure was met. Life is too short to get bogged down in stupid arguments over exactly how many dead innocents it takes for the US invasion of Iraq to qualify as a war crime.

But now a new study published in the Lancet Medical Journal says the U.S. invasion has been responsible for the deaths of over 250,000 civilians in Iraq:
The report in the British journal is based on the work of teams from the Johns Hopkins University and Columbia University in the U.S., and the Al-Mustansiriya University in Baghdad.

A similar methodology was used in the late 1990's to calculate the number of deaths from the war in Kosovo, put at 10,000.

The information was obtained as Iraqi interviewers surveyed 808 families, consisting of 7,868 people, in 33 different "clusters" or neighbourhoods spread across the country.

In each case, they asked how many births and deaths there had been in the home since January 2002. That information was then compared with the death rates in each neighbourhood in the 15 months before the invasion that toppled president Saddam Hussein, adjusted for the different time frames, and extrapolated to cover the entire 24.4 million population of Iraq.

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