Be sure to follow me on Twitter @leftiblog

Monday, October 16, 2006


Johns Hopkins vs. Iraq Body Count

Lenin has a long post up about Iraq Body Count and its criticisms of the latest Johns Hopkins report (mislabelled, and not just by Lenin, as the "Lancet report," as if Lancet were the authors rather than simply the publishers) of excess deaths in Iraq. American Leftist also explores the issues in depth, as have many others.

I'd like to add one small contribution to the discussion which I haven't seen mentioned before (although, with the quantity of words being published in the world vs. the amount I read, that may not amount to much). And that is this: Iraq Body Count reports on reported deaths - 50 killed in a car bombing here, 25 beheaded there, etc. The criticism of that, from various sources, has been that Iraq is a big place, reporters are very restricted, and not all such deaths go reported. Certainly true. But there's another factor. When 20 people are killed in a car bombing, 40 more are injured. That much is often reported. But when those 40 people head off to hospital (or to their homes), it may well be that 5 die the next day, and 5 more the next week from their injuries. Are those ever reported? Never as far as I can tell. Not once have I seen a report that "5 people died in a Baghdad hospital today from injuries received in a car bombing (or an American aerial bombing) yesterday."

And while we read frequently that American fatality rates are much lower than in previous wars, as injured soldiers can much more often be prevented from dying of their wounds, I think it's safe to say the same does not apply to wounded Iraqis. So, unless I'm missing something, this is one potentially huge death count that is totally missed in the IBC numbers, but included in the Johns Hopkins study.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours? Weblog Commenting by HaloScan.com High Class Blogs: News and Media