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Thursday, November 09, 2006


Once again on Johns Hopkins vs. the world

Once more into the breach, dear friends.

Earlier today, when I wrote about the latest claim that 150,000 Iraqis have died, the AP article linked to didn't mention the numbers from the Johns Hopkins study at all, nor did it clarify who was included in this latest estimate of 150,000, nor did it mention the basis of the estimate.

Now the article has been updated and all three problems are remedied, but not any of the other issues that I raised. And once more I am going to have to clarify for at least my readers, if not for the AP and the rest of the media, that a bowl of apples is not the same as a bowl of apples and oranges. The new estimate, we are told, includes "civilians, police and the bodies of people who were abducted, later found dead and collected at morgues run by the Health Ministry" (and the 150,000 is simply an extrapolation from the "100 bodies/day" brought to morgues and hospitals). But "civilians, police, and dead abductees" hardly covers all the Iraqis who have been killed by this war. There seems to be neither any recognition of that fact, nor any understanding of the fact that the "controversial" Johns Hopkins report ("controversial," apparently, because it "was dismissed by President Bush and other U.S. officials as not credible") measured the mortality rate for all Iraqis, not just those in particular categories.

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