Sunday, 1 March 2009

Iraqi Death Toll in "Tens of Thousands"

Dear Ewen, I hope you are well.

Re: Six years after Iraq invasion, Obama sets out his exit plan

You wrote: "For Iraq, the death toll is unknown, in the tens of thousands, victims of the war, a nationalist uprising, sectarian in-fighting and jihadists attracted by the US presence."

This is something I feel strongly about. Forgive me for saying - I think this paragraph is very lazy, sloppy and vile considering what we now know on the subject of Iraqi mortality. I would never expect you to describe the deaths from 9/11 as 'in the dozens' given the information we have on events that day. So why say in the case of Iraq that the death toll is, "in the tens of thousands"? Can you please tell me what source you used?

Below is some information that shows consensus is actually hundreds of thousands with possibly even over a million people now dead as a consequence of the invasion. I hope you find time to respond.

Iraq Body Count - (Violent deaths only)
Ewen, I suspect you may have used information based on the count provided by Iraq Body Count which as you know is not an estimate but a detailed account of verifiable, violent deaths that have been painstakingly chronicled from cross-checked media reports. This count, of violent deaths, is approaching the 100,000 people mark.

"We've always said our work is an undercount, you can't possibly expect that a media-based analysis will get all the deaths. Our best estimate is that we've got about half the deaths that are out there." __ John Sloboda,IBC.

WHO, NEJM, Iraq Ministry of Health
The WHO study published in the New England Journal of Medicine says that violent deaths for the period of 2003-6 number 151,000. The total excess mortality has been worked out to be approximately 433,000.

Lancet, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
For the same period 2003-6, the Lancet produced a figure of 655,000 Iraqi deaths as a consequence of the war.

Opinion Research Business
Further to the Lancet study, the ORB produced a mortality figure that exceeded 1 million people for the period 2003-2007.

Kind regards

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