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News :: Human Rights : International : War and Militarism
CNN: Bush denies Iraq's Death Toll Has Reached 655,000
12 Oct 2006
"According to the survey results, Iraq's mortality rate in the year before the invasion was 5.5 deaths per 1,000 people; in the post-invasion period it was 13.3 deaths per 1,000 people per year. The difference between these rates was used to calculate "excess deaths."
U.S. GENERAL TOMMY FRANKS: "WE DON'T COUNT IRAQI CASUALTIES."

Comment: Remember the other study by The Lancet, published two years ago in October 29, 2004? Concerning more than 100,000 Iraqi dead? The study than released in the U.K. by the British medical journal of reference, The Lancet, was devastating, but this one is worse. Devastating is also the knowledge and proof that those war crimes are supported with everything possible by one's own and many other governments. However: the War Crimes Tribunals have started to work already, and the very second law is valid again, the war criminals which escape the rightful revenge by the people in their maltreated and betrayed countries and survive, those criminals will go to jail. With hard labor and for life it's hoped.

George Bush's humanity and intelligence insulting CNN comment and video you'll find below.* - HR

STUDY CLAIMS IRAQ'S 'EXCESS' DEATH TOLL HAS REACHED 655,000

By David Brown - Washington Post Staff Writer

10/11/06 - A team of American and Iraqi epidemiologists estimates that 655,000 more people have died in Iraq since coalition forces arrived in March 2003 than would have died if the invasion had not occurred.

The estimate, produced by interviewing residents during a random sampling of households throughout the country, is far higher than ones produced by other groups, including Iraq's government.

It is more than 20 times the estimate of 30,000 civilian deaths that President Bush gave in a speech in December. It is more than 10 times the estimate of roughly 50,000 civilian deaths made by the British-based Iraq Body Count research group.

The surveyors said they found a steady increase in mortality since the invasion, with a steeper rise in the last year that appears to reflect a worsening of violence as reported by the U.S. military, the news media and civilian groups. In the year ending in June, the team calculated Iraq's mortality rate to be roughly four times what it was the year before the war.

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.

The survey was done by Iraqi physicians and overseen by epidemiologists at Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health. The findings are being published online today by the British medical journal the Lancet.

The same group in 2004 published an estimate of roughly 100,000 deaths in the first 18 months after the invasion. That figure was much higher than expected, and was controversial. The new study estimates that about 500,000 more Iraqis, both civilian and military, have died since then -- a finding likely to be equally controversial.

Both this and the earlier study are the only ones to estimate mortality in Iraq using scientific methods. The technique, called "cluster sampling," is used to estimate mortality in famines and after natural disasters.

While acknowledging that the estimate is large, the researchers believe it is sound for numerous reasons. The recent survey got the same estimate for immediate post-invasion deaths as the early survey, which gives the researchers confidence in the methods. The great majority of deaths were also substantiated by death certificates.

"WE'RE VERY CONFIDENT WITH THE RESULTS," SAID GILBERT BURNHAM, A JOHNS HOPKINS PHYSICIAN AND EPIDEMIOLOGIST.

A Defense Department spokesman did not comment directly on the estimate.

"The Department of Defense always regrets the loss of any innocent life in Iraq or anywhere else," said Lt. Col. Mark Ballesteros. "The coalition takes enormous precautions to prevent civilian deaths and injuries."

He added that "it would be difficult for the U.S. to precisely determine the number of civilian deaths in Iraq as a result of insurgent activity. The Iraqi Ministry of Health would be in a better position, with all of its records, to provide more accurate information on deaths in Iraq."

Ronald Waldman, an epidemiologist at Columbia University who worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for many years, called the survey method "tried and true," and added that "this is the best estimate of mortality we have."

This viewed was echoed by Sarah Leah Whitson, an official of Human Rights Watch in New York, who said, "We have no reason to question the findings or the accuracy" of the survey.

"I expect that people will be surprised by these figures," she said. "I think it is very important that, rather than questioning them, people realize there is very, very little reliable data coming out of Iraq."

The survey was conducted between May 20 and July 10 by eight Iraqi physicians organized through Mustansiriya University in Baghdad. They visited 1,849 randomly selected households that had an average of seven members each. One person in each household was asked about deaths in the 14 months before the invasion and in the period after.

THE INTERVIEWERS ASKED FOR DEATH CERTIFICATES 87 PERCENT OF THE TIME; WHEN THEY DID, MORE THAN 90 PERCENT OF HOUSEHOLDS PRODUCED CERTIFICATES.

According to the survey results, Iraq's mortality rate in the year before the invasion was 5.5 deaths per 1,000 people; in the post-invasion period it was 13.3 deaths per 1,000 people per year. The difference between these rates was used to calculate "excess deaths."

Of the 629 deaths reported, 87 percent occurred after the invasion. A little more than 75 percent of the dead were men, with a greater male preponderance after the invasion. For violent post-invasion deaths, the male-to-female ratio was 10-to-1, with most victims between 15 and 44 years old.

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.

Burnham said that the estimate of Iraq's pre-invasion death rate -- 5.5 deaths per 1,000 people -- found in both of the Hopkins surveys was roughly the same estimate used by the CIA and the U.S. Census Bureau. He said he believes that attests to the accuracy of his team's results.

He thinks further evidence of the survey's robustness is that the steepness of the upward trend it found in excess deaths in the last two years is roughly the same tendency found by other groups -- even though the actual numbers differ greatly.

An independent group of researchers and biostatisticians based in England produces the Iraq Body Count. It estimates that there have been 44,000 to 49,000 civilian deaths since the invasion. An Iraqi nongovernmental organization estimated 128,000 deaths between the invasion and July 2005.

The survey cost about $50,000 and was paid for by Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Center for International Studies.

[andend] - Staff researcher Madonna Lebling contributed to this report - The Washington Post Company.

BUT US FÜHRER GEORGE BUSH DOESN'T BELIEVE IT...

BUSH: IRAQIS WILLING TO TOLERATE VIOLENCE

By Evan Derkacz

October 12, 2006 - From Amanda Terkel at ThinkProgress, comes the transcript of Bush's press conference that ended moments ago (clip right):

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN: Thank you, Mr. President. Back on Iraq, a group of American and Iraqi health officials today released a report saying that 655,000 Iraqis have died since the Iraq war. That figure is 20 times the figure that you cited in December at 30,000. Do you care to amend or update your figure and do you consider this a credible report?

PRESIDENT BUSH: No, I don’t call it a credible report, neither does General Casey and neither do Iraqi officials. I do know that a lot of innocent people have died and it troubles me and grieves me. And I applaud the Iraqis for their courage in the face of violence. I am, you know, amazed that this is a society which so wants to be free that they’re willing to — you know, that there’s a level of violence that they tolerate.

Well, one of the researcher's associated with the study, MIT's John Tirman, wrote an impassioned defense of the study's findings here on AlterNet, noting that "those who publicly dismiss the findings must offer an alternative."

And considering the fact that this particular dismissal comes from the Commander-in-Chief of a military that doesn't do body counts, well, you do the math.

As for the Iraqi officials and the ability of the Iraqis to "tolerate" the violence; in a feature story earlier this week, our very own Josh Holland wrote (emphases mine):

One of the biggest problems in Iraq is that its fledgling government has little legitimacy, and a large part of that problem comes from a widespread perception that it remains subservient to U.S. commanders. According to a recent poll by the Project on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA), Iraqis, by a 5 to 2 margin, thought that a U.S. commitment to withdraw would "strengthen the Iraqi government." Three out of four believe an American withdrawal would make the various factions in Iraq's parliament more willing to cooperate with one another.

Eight out of ten Iraqis believe the U.S. military presence is "provoking more conflict than it is preventing," and they're in the position to know best. Just 14 percent said the U.S. forces were having "a positive influence on the situation in Iraq."

Of course it has nothing to do with "tolerance," as the Iraqi people had nothing do with the invasion. Had they asked for an invasion and were they to support our continued presence, sure, that'd make the president a credible speaker. As for the Lancet study: whatever problems the president and others have with it, the fact remains: when you don't do body counts, you leave it to others to do them....

Evan Derkacz is an AlterNet editor. He writes and edits PEEK, the blog of blogs.

2006 Independent - Story online at Url.: http://www.alternet.org/bloggers/evan/42872/


FPF - RELATED:

* Washington Post (PNAC) story at Information Clearing House - Url.: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article15266.htm

* The Independent (UK) - 655,000: The toll of war in Iraq - Url.: http://news.independent.co.uk/world/politics/article1842559.ece

* October 29, 2004 - 100,000 Iraqi dead--THE LANCET Report - The new study released in the U.K. this morning by the British medical journal of reference, THE LANCET, is devastating. - Url.: http://direland.typepad.com/direland/2004/10/100000_iraqi_de.html

* 100,000 Iraqi Dead. So Where's the Media? - by Peter Ryan - Url.: http://middleeastwindow.com/node/988
 
* Google selection FPF/HR - Web Results 1-10 of about 39,900 for "Henk Ruyssenaars" +Iraq - Url.: http://images.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&ie=ISO-8859-1&q=%22Henk+Ruysse

* "It's dangerous to be right when your government is wrong." - Voltaire

* CHANGE THE US WAR REGIME? - Url.: http://tinyurl.com/zoora

* US LEGALIZES TORTURE OF AMERICANS AND COLLABORATORS - Url.: http://tinyurl.com/eom7k

* US "Death Squad Protection Act" - Url.: http://tinyurl.com/6xdfw

* British MP George Galloway stated totally correct: ''Blair, Olmert and Bush are murderers'' - Url.:http://beirut.indymedia.org/en/2006/08/5072.shtml

*Throw out war propagandists like the BBC, FOX, CNN etc.! - Url.:  http://www.cemab.be/news/2006/07/1632.php

* RELATED: MORE HOLOCAUSTS - If after checking a factual error is found, pls. send an email so it can be corrected. - Url.: http://tinyurl.com/fhln9

* The Dutch author this far has lived and worked abroad - never in an English speaking country - for more than 4 decades for international media as an independent foreign correspondent, of which 10 years - also during Gulf War I - in the Arab World and the Middle East. Seeing worldwide that every bullet and every bomb breeds more terrorism!

* FPF-COPYRIGHT NOTICE - In accordance with Title 17 U. S. C. Section 107 - any copyrighted work in this message is distributed by the Foreign Press Foundation under fair use, without profit or payment, to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the information. Url.: http://liimirror.warwick.ac.uk/uscode/17/107.html

FOREIGN PRESS FOUNDATION
Editor: Henk Ruyssenaars
http://tinyurl.com/gpr4j
The Netherlands
fpf (at) chello.nl

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See also:
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article15266.htm

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