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More on Lancet's bogus "650,000" study

Iraq Body Count has a lengthy, detailed rebuttal to that ridiculous Lancet study claiming 650,000 Iraqi war deaths. It's the best and most complete commentary on the study and its methods that I've seen, and definitely worth a read if you have the time.


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When people hear my libertarian, even liberal, views on many topics such as the environment and the drug war, they often ask how I can support the Republicans more than the Democrats. That's easy: I distrust the Republicans less than I distrust the Democrats.

What was the Lancet thinking with this? Every rational person has been "dismayed" (to put it mildly) with the bloodshed in Iraq. What was the purpose of advancing fantastic numbers that were certain to be debunked almost instantly.

Popular media is a bit misleading. Actually, the best commentary on the study, which is certainly not bogus and doesn't claim more than it says, though as usual it has been misrepresented by the media, comes from the study itself, as follows:

All that has been firmly documented as a result of the Lancet study is that some 300 post-invasion violent deaths occurred among the members of the households interviewed. This information, and the demographic and causative breakdowns presented in the study, are significant additions to the detailed knowledge that is painstakingly being accumulated about the individual victims of this conflict, and the tragedies that have befallen them. These 300 may be added to the roster of some 50,000 others for whom this level of detailed knowledge is available. In some -- but still far too few -- cases we know the name, ages, occupation, and exact circumstances of death. Information presented at this level of detail is the only way to arrive at once-for-all certainty, in a way that does justice to the victims, honours their memory, and provides the closure that only a full list, or census, can do satisfactorily.

Do the American people need to believe that 600,000 Iraqis have been killed before they can turn to their leaders and say "enough is enough"? The number of certain civilian deaths that has been documented to a basic standard of corroboration by "passive surveillance methods" surely already provides all the necessary evidence to deem this invasion and occupation an utter failure at all levels.

On 9/11 3,000 people were violently killed in attacks on the USA. Those events etched themselves into the soul of every American, and reverberated around the world. In December 2005 President George Bush acknowledged 30,000 known Iraqi violent deaths in a country one tenth the size of the USA. That is already a death toll 100 times greater in its impact on the Iraqi nation than 9/11 was on the USA. That there are more deaths that have not yet come to light is certain, but if a change in policy is needed, the catastrophic roll-call of the already known dead is more than ample justification for that change.

It is remarkable that people that have no idea about epidemiology criticize an epidemiological study performed in one of the best universities in the country and published in one of the top medical journals, based simply on their "gut feeling". Or the counts of an Iraqi goverment that is in dissaray.

But even if we accept that the study is flawed, and that the source that you quote (Iraqi body couunt) is correct, there are 48,000 civilians killed so far because of the Iraq war. That's the estimation of the "Iraq body count". It still raises the same question. Who is responsible for such massive loss of innocent civilian life?

"48,000 civilians killed DOES NOT EQUAL 48,000 innocent civilian lives lost," UNLESS one asserts that "ALL such civilians are non-combatants."

Of course, such a stance asserts that since there are no uniformed jihadists, ALL jihadists, all terrorists must also be counted as "innocent civilians."

I'm sure anyone who reads that understands that logic as Lynne Stewart-inspired (yes, Lynne Stewart has asserted exactly that) pro-terrorist, anti-American propaganda.

The West is at war with Sharia-based Islam, NOT "radicalized Islam." The Latter is far too narrow a term.

Moreover, it is NOT an optional war.

That is, it is not a war we can negotiate our way out of.

In the eyes of Sharia-based Islam, the West IS hopelessly decadent, the West IS a force for evil (at least anti-Muslim sentiment, so far as our current mores - the equality of women, sexual liberation, etc. offend the basic tenets of Islam and Muslim sensibilities), thus in the eyes of Sharia-based Islam, there are no innocents in the West.

I agree completely with the Islamacists on this one point - there is no other option except war between the West and Sharia-based Islam.

Their's is a war for the very survival of their faith, ours is basically a war FOR commercial consumerism spread across the planet via the "new global economy."

Without question, BOTH sides are fighting for their lives, for their very survival, sadly it seems that only the adherants of Sharia-based Islam KNOW they are fighting for their survival, many in the West don't accept that stark reality at all.

Over the past year I've come to believe that perhaps the West can move on without winning the WoT, but certainly NOT without changing its basic culture to become less offensive to Muslim values and mores.

That would certainly mean, at the very least, the eradication of "women's rights," any public acceptance of homosexuality or other sexual deviancies, the eradication of our over-sexualized electronic entertainment (the complete eradication of the pron industry), the shuttering of any & all strip clubs etc and a far broader use of Capital punishment, in short the eradication of everything the Western Left holds dear.

Now I could happily live in such a world (OK, minus any religious overtones), I might even prefer it, as my initial gut reaction to the likes of Lynne Stewart is very similar to the reactions of your average Sharia-based Muslim to say a Westerner desecrating the Koran - "Ayyeeeeh!!!!" as we run toward the infidel of our choice, with sword drawn.

It is possible for the West to draw an uneasy truce (not a "peace," but a truce) with Sharia-based Islam, but the above, without any exaggeration is, if anything, somewhat less than the full cost of such a truce.

Is it possible for the West to lose the WoT?

In my opinion, yes, since merely not winning = losing for the West.

So while folks like you, Blue, worry about all those "innocent Muslim citizens" being killed, Jaffir and Abdul worry about the logistics of setting off a suitcase nuke in some American city.

That's because one side in this war realizes they're fighting for their very lives, while a significant segment of the other side (ours) apparently does not.

3,000 dead Americans in a terrorist attack is no big deal. That's only 0.001% of our population.

Between Afaghanistan and Iraq we have without a doubt killed 200,000 or so muslim idiots. That is 0.02% of all muslims. But it took us another 3,000 soldiers, so that is 0.002% for 0.02%, or a tenfold return.

I certainly hope Bush has done better than that. 600,000 would give us a 30 to 1 return. Now those are winning numbers. Given the way they breed, and how cheaply and uncaringly they raise offspring, 10 to 1 is not enough.

I say we drop a few nukes and get it up to 1,000 or 10,000 to 1. That's the type of war they don't want to fight. Bush doesn't have the balls to do it, though.

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