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Saturday, February 24, 2007


AP says Americans underestimate Iraqi death toll and then proves it

The Associated Press writes today that "Americans underestimate Iraqi death toll," informing us that "Among those polled for the AP survey...the median estimate of Iraqi deaths was 9,890." In case it's not clear from the phrase "Iraqi deaths," that means deaths of Iraqis, not deaths of Americans in Iraq (which are, by the way, also underestimated, thanks to the routine omission of the deaths of contractors, conflict-related stateside deaths including suicides and spousal murders, and more, as AP themselves just reminded their readers).

But in reporting on the misinformation among Americans, AP echoes the same problem. Claiming that "Americans...lowball the Iraqi death toll by tens of thousands," AP makes this assertion about the real toll:

Iraqi civilian deaths are estimated at more than 54,000 and could be much higher; some unofficial estimates range into the hundreds of thousands. The U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq reports more than 34,000 deaths in 2006 alone.
The Johns Hopkins study is not an "unofficial estimate"; it's a scientifically-determined number based on a careful study published in one of the most prestigious scientific journals in the world!!! And its result is not "tens of thousands" higher than 9,890, it is hundreds of thousands higher (at least 550,000 by now, and most likely closer to 750,000 - three-quarters of a million Iraqis, and by the way, that estimate does not include "foreign fighters," since it was a survey of Iraqi households only). How preposterous is it to stick to an estimate of 54,000 for the entire war, a period which obviously includes the bloody first few weeks of the invasion, not to mention such "highlights" as the leveling of Fallujah, while accepting a U.N. report of 34,000 deaths for just one year of that war?

Once more into the breech, dear friends, once more into the breech.

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