Iraqi civilian deaths put at 100,000

Tens of thousands of Iraqis have been killed in violence since the US-led invasion last year, according to public health experts who estimate there were 100,000 "excess deaths" in 18 months. The US-based researchers found that the risk of death from violence in the period after the invasion was 58 times higher than before the war.... [ Mortality before and after the 2003 invasion of Iraq: cluster sample survey ]

[ The LANCET REPORT ] The rise in the death rate was mainly due to violence and much of it was caused by US air strikes on towns and cities: "Making conservative assumptions, we think that about 100,000 excess deaths or more have happened since the 2003 invasion of Iraq," said Les Roberts of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in a report published online by The Lancet medical journal.

"The use of air power in areas with lots of civilians appears to be killing a lot of women and children," Mr Roberts said. Mortality was already high in Iraq before the war because of United Nations sanctions blocking food and medical imports. But the researchers described their findings after the war as shocking. The new figures are based on surveys done by the researchers in Iraq in September 2004.

They compared Iraqi deaths during 14.6 months before the invasion in March 2003 and the 17.8 months after it by conducting household surveys in randomly selected neighbourhoods. Previous estimates based on think-tank and media sources put the Iraqi civilian death toll at up to 16,053 and military fatalities as high as 6,370. By comparison, about 849 US military personnel were killed in combat or attacks and another 258 died in accidents or incidents not related to fighting, according to the Pentagon.

The researchers blamed air strikes for many of the civilian deaths. "What we have evidence of is the use of air power in populated urban areas and the bad consequences of it," Roberts said. "We were not expecting the level of deaths from violence that we found in this study and we hope this will lead to some serious discussions of how military and political aims can be achieved in a way that is not so detrimental to civilians populations," he said.

Before the war the major causes of death were heart attacks, chronic disorders and accidents. That changed after the war. Two-thirds of violent deaths in the study were reported in Fallujah, the insurgent held city 50 kilometres west of Baghdad which has been repeatedly hit by US air strikes. In April 2004, 600 civilians were killed in Fallujah by US bombs and snipers. The recent relocation of British troops to relieve US forces suggests that a renewed ground assault on Fallujah is imminent.

"Unfortunately there will always be, civilian casualties," Senator Robert Hill, "great benefit to future generations of the Iraqi people."

See Also - [ STORY ] [ 37,000 Dead ] [ Information Clearing House ] [ IRAQ BODY COUNT ]

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this is not independent media

mike 29.Oct.2004 22:29

Thank you for getting a feature up about this story. The number 100,000 is simply overwhelming.

But I don't think it was appropriate for to have just copied and pasted this ABC-News story and made it a feature on this website. ABC-News is not independent media. we need to tell this story in our own voices, we should not be using the limited resources of indymedia to be amplifying the the voice of the corporate media who are also responsible for these 100,000 deaths. keep the "indy" in indymedia please.

hey mike

A 30.Oct.2004 09:29

where is your text than?

Also, it's a pressrelease of Reuters, nota abc story and...

this news was mentioned in the journal of Arte like something not important so it's not bad indymedia put's this in spotlight.

and please don't forget how many iraqis were killed in the first gulf war and because of the embrago...


shayne 01.Nov.2004 08:18

Yeah, generally its pretty dodge just to reprint this things , but this is so important.

even the more activist sites where putting it at 16k deaths and the US mil putting it somewhat lower. turns out we where both wrong by an order of magnitude and it was much more bigger.

this is borderline genocide figures. Heads a gotta roll.

The Study

mirgE 02.Nov.2004 09:51

And here you can find the study of the The Center for International Emergency, Disaster, and Refugee Studies (CIEDRS) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health:

and the comment:

both published in "The Lancet"



World Wide Petition against the Escalation iun Iraq

AmigaPhil 04.Nov.2004 08:14

Please sign the petition here and help to spread the word:

Did you even bother to read the report.

Mike 07.Nov.2004 05:40

This is such an extream example of the bad journalism Indy Media is known for. The report put the number between 8,000 and over 100,000. I was not even in favor of the Iraq war but I am sorry this shoddy attempt can not stand. I don't care what the number was I am still against the war but it does little to credit Indy Media by using half truths to support your arguements. Why not simply include the real numbers.

Robust Findings, general

Goren Cirquegard 06.Sep.2005 22:41

The Lancet "100K Iraqi civilian excess deaths " slogan and report :

The title suggests to calculate an excess death toll from mortality rates obtained from two -different- periods: pre and post invasion.
The invasion , part of the post period , was violent.
But the pre period was also a bit an a-typical period ,wasn´t it ?
Repression and dissent in Iraq was minimal in that pre invasion period. The whole world was watching Iraq close hand,
Iraqis probably were busy shuttling belongings to safe places whatever , wherever to. Anticipation.
Swedish schoolteachers crawled over the screens for all those months.
This was not the time of maimings and slayings : It was the typical "silence before the storm" .
Pre violent periods are extra quiet, have some stats on that.
The pre period might have saved lives.
It is surprising that the Lancet did not do any interpretation of the pre period in their report.
In other words:
If Saddam massacred 5M of his people in 50Y(wars, gassings, lack of babyfood: references 7and 8 , repression),
say 100K a year on average, and he does NOT do that in the pre invasion period, then that 100K dividend is LS&B to the credit of the coming invasion.
With the periods considered in the report, such dividend is turned upside down to blame it to the invasion.
An "average" mortality that reflects Saddams rule would have been more appropriate to compare any cluster sample surveying business against.

In the closing statement of their report the authors declare that they "have no conflict of interest" regarding what they wrote.
However, in several public disclosures after publication ,the authors and editors have acknowledged that theirs was a political statement.
Political statement, politics? That area of human interaction that is all about conflicts, interests, and conflicts of interests?
Contradiction ?
Maybe we should not take that closing line so seriously, I suppose.
As a matter of convenience it would be appreciated if the respectable institutes The Lancet, J Hopkins would point out to their readers which lines ARE to be taken seriously then.

Considering the first and last line, one could wonder wether it is any worth to read the lines between.
And the short answer is : NO, not because of any of the factual contents, but NO because of the lack of it, for this is not a peer reviewed report.
The Lancet publishes medical scientific reports which are peer reviewed, normally.
This means that a lot of the essential information to judge the veracity of its reports is left out to improve readability to its readers.
The implicit agreement hereby is that judging of quality is left to critical reviewers that do get all information. This did not happen for this report.
Scientific peer review in the loaded political context of end 2004 would have meant that also expert statisticians, who are squarely in the pro-invasion camp, would have OKed the report. Or at least would have been allowed to make their logged comments.
If the respectable institutes can not cough up a reasonable proof of critical review, then their readers have been dished up political propaganda as a scientific report.

Politically the report fails: You cannot opinionate and pretend to make valid strategic suggestions
based on cost complaints only. Not since, master Tzu.
The invasion had costs yes.
In any measure also the gains of any operation have to be considered.
To fail to see that obligation and to refuse to acknowledge gains, is to disqualify for credibility.
Loss & Gain: While this has been conjured up before with turning tides, I would have hoped that a report in a medical journal like The Lancet, even if it goes political , would look at all aspects of the Iraq invasion.
How do for example medical reports on strategies for vaccination look like :
Is there only focus on the succombed vaccination victims , without looking if any of the vaccination goals are fulfilled?
What are the goals ? Not just elections in the west.

The mortality rates of the two periods, "post invasion rate" and "pre invasion rate", were estimated with disputable statistical methods,
but in general based on cluster sampling and inference from that.
Inference : from representative samples without bias, one can carefully try to derive conclusions for the whole.
Never mind the The Lancet report´s model/methods look questionable and are largely unexplained, or insufficiently referenced.
Never mind there are very good arguments that suggest that the "pre invasion rate "estimate looks artificially suppressed.
Never mind there are very good arguments the "post invasion rate " looks artificially lifted up.
Never mind the report´s published published empirical data fly in the face of the conclusions presented.
Never mind it looks quite questionable wether this report and its underlying project has produced anything statistically significant
apart from keeping 5 Iraqi MDs from their work for several weeks.
Never mind.
Let´s presume all this rate estimating went perfectly OK , and that the rate estimates are spot on.
To get to the 100K slogan then however, a jump from science to fiction is made:
The two rates from the two different periods are subtracted, and from the difference excess rate the excess death toll is calculated (page 1860).
(when you know the rate, casualties per day, you can calculate the death toll, over a longer period of days)
This looks like simple innocent maths , an innocuous little formula, nothing possibly can be wrong with that?
There is something wrong with that.
The thinking behind is: "we know the excess deaths if we calculate the total real deaths after the invasion,
and subtract from that the total deaths in that same period when there would not have been an invasion."
"WOULD", like in: fictitious , imaginary world..
We do not know the total death toll in Iraq when no invasion would have happened, for this is a fictitious , imaginary world.
What is wanted: "post invasion rate" - "post no-invasion rate" . A tough call to get, that last rate.
Because there is no "post no-invasion rate" available , the authors make an extremely bad guess ,
and use the estimated "pre invasion rate" instead.
The report uses "post invasion rate" - "pre invasion rate", for calculating the excess rate.
Making such guess is an extrapolation and nothing in the whole report justifies to do that.
Nothing in the world justifies that. It is an extrapolation from an a-typical past into an unknowable fictitious world.
Who says that without the invasion the "silence before the storm" would last further on indefinitely?
This is so much pre Popper Platonism, isn´t it ?
Extrapolation can be a valid statistical tool but it certainly is not in this report.
Extrapolation: Out of a cloud of points one can carefully attempt to construct a pattern that
reaches out of the cloud into the unknown.
In this report , I am afraid there are no points and there is only a cloud of words, and none about this extrapolation: Crude shortcuts ,sometimes taken to observe Petri dishes, can not automatically be taken for observing human history.
Extrapolation is something the Doctor warned against explicitally when he passed the medication last time.

As this is probably just a detail however, I would just like to ask the honourable respectable institutes, or the many statisticians that have approved the report, if they have taken their back-to-the-future crystal ball in any way into account when they derived their robust 95% confidence intervals ?
And how so?
We, the morons, we still want to know.

All this has been shvd under the eyes of the concerned a few times in the past, but they tend to run then for the ophtomalogy.
This will never go away: We will supply the spectacles if needed.

Kind regards,
Goren C.

All this whining about written lines, formulas, confidence intervals, moronity.
Life is complicated and we need simple tangible concepts to handle it,in order to move forward:
-A lot of people obviously died in Iraq: We got overwhelmed with the images.
-We certainly cannot trivialise or downplay the sacrifices of the Iraqi peole in their ordeal.
-The Lancet is versed in Statistics and is in the business of publishing unrefutable stats reports.
-An irrefutable The Lancet report / slogan was published claiming 100K US bombed Iraqi civilians .
That is hard, but life goes on : Tomorrow is work..

Why pamper life’s complexities when the leather runs smooth on the passenger seat ?
Apparel issues aside, everybody has to make a living, and I happen to be now in the niche industry of patching reports. Candles a stink, and this Lancet report is just too good to let pass , whatever the Doctor claims.

Soo, I take the little The Lancet Report, and add the below lines at the mentioned page.

The guessing of the Lancets "post no-invasion rate" can be better.
Instead of the "pre invasion rate", I suggest something better.
There is all reason to be more pessimistic then the The Lancet authors, regarding that fictitious world:
In my opinion, when the invasion would not have happened, there would have been 30K more deaths in the period afterwards,
as compared to what The Lancet thinks. This due to all the risks in the region.
30K more succomb in the imaginary.
This is reasonable? It is an imaginary world anyways.

That´s it.
I only need to adapt the slogan now: "70K US bombed Iraqi civilians died in the real post invasion world".
A fresh new report ! And irrefutable, for its all the Lancet´s words, a notch better.
With a catchy slogan , to be broadcast a million times by all the media in the world.
Produced at a fraction of the cost.
This was easy. Everybody is happy. My invoice is already in the mail: The sun is shining.
Even the Iraqi´s should be happy, there is 30K more of them now, somehow .
Life is good.
I only wonder what happened to the graves? Because a moment ago there were 100K US bombed Iraqi civilians ?
The Lancet´s original was the perfect estimate to violent USbombed graves ? What happened to those graves then now?
Ah well, 30K happily live Iraqis gently float down from the heavens and walk out of the curtains.
I look at the new report . 8 pages of statistical mumbo jumbo .
If they were mine I would be sceptical about the thing. But its The Lancet´s words ? It is unrefutable.
I just improved it ?
Somebody counted graves double along the way.
Why stand still with the good news. The invoice should proceed, no doubt about that.

So far so good in the movie.

What the reader should know now , is that in yet another honourable respectable institute in the Avalon,
in an institute ,concerned in the recent past with polar bugs, something has happened .Surprise, surprise.
500 savant professors from the institute, versed statisticians themselves, just completed a hefty tome
regarding the Iraq post no invasion world.
The 500 sages "predict", describe an ideal land of milk and honey for the fictitious Iraq.
The sages claim that without the invasion Iraq would have blossomed up without parallel.
The mortality there would have gone down a lot.
Those sages´ claims are to be reckoned with: They have time; they have the resources.
And they claim , get this, to have stats software , a version more recent then even The Lancet´s ! ?
Clearly they were using the force when compiling the tome.Or the samba, the bossa nova took them there.
But still nothing unusual so far. This is what respectable institutes do nowadays, in the A.: Dreaming Up STuff.
No bad feelings there; This is ,rightfully so, The Essence.
It is the right of the sages to dream along, and when you bo.-no. ,there is no holding.
But now something regrettable happened.
One of the sages, a hearing one, overheard of my little trick. Hearsay on the street, again.
So they got busy with a copier and a word processor, and now claim a fresh new unrefutable report of their own !!
Unrefutable because they just improved The Lancet´s.
They have a new slogan for the media to mill around!
"200K US bombed Iraqi civilians in Iraq in the real post invasion period".
500 sages swagging the streets, waiving their tome and their patched The Lancet report and mourning the new found genocide.
The bombings went too far, it is now crystal clear.
"Robust Findings ! ", the most dangerous-looking one hisses, his face Apple-Red.

My invoice ?!? This is not correct .This is not serious anymore.
What is going on?
Iraq ? Not just hanging gardens, but wild oscillating graveyards ? Because of reports?

Maybe, the usual tactful communication will bring solace this time, to get us out of this grave enigma:
"OK nitwits, the joke is over. I want to see now your 100K fresh new graves u hear ? Just show me one then. I want the story with it . When the guy was bombed, what his name was, before he evaporates off again, what was the serial of the bomb. And why did The Lancet not mark this one off before" , I try.

"You certainly can not. you didn´t get it again, did you moron?
These graves are all over the place. They are shattered in places that are difficult to reach because of security . The Lancet they did not mark graves btw, they just made estimates , by interviewing people. moron". I get this reply ?

"How convenient again ! shattered into places where no one can come and count them? Weren´t these bombs supposed to clutter? There can only be that many graveyards and bombs can there ? Whatever The Lancet did , it was unrefutable, you cannot deny that one. The Lancet talks graves, you show me the graves"

"The onus is on you as well , moron. You show us your 30K freshly vacated plots now.", the greyest one shouts, his eyes wrinkled with deep-thought.

"Oh yeah? you want me to show you vacant plots now? Look around in the place. It is all sand. Plenty of opportunity there for you . Just start digging Einstein!"

"you want to look at graves , moron ? What do you think you will find? The Lancet (and consequentually our unrefutable report), they made an estimate of mortality for the whole poulation. You look at any excess grave you will find any type of casualty, even people dying of old age",
the biggest sage trumpets.

"Oh yeah, why don´t you start by reading your own Mumbo, Dumbo ? Have it spelled out to you aloud if u cannot read. The Lancet they conclude on casualties , mostly because of US bombs, mostly children and women. Who are you to refute that?"

"moron, you."
"dressed chimps, you"

I had to back off, charming but also a bit scary those d.c-´s ...

Maybe , now you think it is the time to talk confidence intervals, "CI"-s.
But this does not help you see?
Because the whole report shifts to the left, to the right. Depending on what is concluded from fictitious worlds.
A report is thrown, irrefutably, somewhere on the line, on a big round number.
Then one TO THE LEFT, then one TO THE RIGHT irrefutable even more so.
But in the graves ?In the graves we have eternity. E-TER-NITY.
The numbers themselves do not matter that much, but the gravity now is in the conclusions .
Or not ? Fringe groups are allready working on new ones. It is a wave of reports / worlds.

Maybe, there is only one fictitious post no invasion world, and we just need to find out about it ?
Like in the real Now, whenever options keep lingering , the Earths Avatar will eventually come along and cut the Knot:
The dreamers worlds will then collapse, as we all know. The dreamers will fall down, like er the fist-fighter, down to the floor.
Reality proceeds, blown further by the collapses. When the chemistry is right.
The Avatar is likely allready too busy to handle also imaginary worlds´ downfalls .
The imaginaries keep going on: Look at the opinion pages in newspapers.
Or maybe not ?

There is a simple solution at hand for the chaos.
The European track: We have to control this independant thinking. A bit of fog, and a form to be filled out here and there. We could wrap it all up in red tape a bit, all this what people might think up about the unrealised futures..
Therefore, from now on : Only the Lancets fictitious post no invasion period can be accepted, is the only true one.
The Lancet.
The Lancet becomes our standard in fictitious worlds.

But tonight, in bed, the Lullabies past..What will I think? What will the sages think?
And tomorrow , the Wind in a turn, will it 2mrw rain Iraqi civilians, dark & blond?

platoes lingering numeracy skills

urgur 10.Sep.2005 15:15

lights will ignite your bones
lights will ignite your bones