655 thousand missing in Iraq October 12, 2006Posted by dorigo in news, politics, science.
A study by a group of researchers of the John Hopkins University in Baltimore, which will be published by the british medical magazine “The Lancet” tomorrow, has produced a disturbing evidence for the aftermath (unfortunately a current-math) of the war in Iraq.
According to the study, which was based on sampling the mortality rate in 1849 Iraqi households before and after March 2003, the number of deaths attributable to causes not present before the US bombing and invasion of the country is a staggering 655,000.
The figure confirms -better say worsens- a former result of the same team, who had evaluated at 112 thousand the casualties in October 2004.
George Bush – who had estimated at 30 thousand the casualties in Iraq in the past- was quick to label the result as “not credible”, and the same did the Iraqi government, through Ali Debbagh, who claimed the results “do not reflect reality” and asked researchers to adopt more precise and clear methods to estimate these sensitive figures.
I must say I have my doubts that the research was conducted in a statistically meaningful and unbiased way – and especially the method used to collect the data appears questionable: if I understood correctly, the mortality rate is computed by polling households for the number of deaths in two periods, pre- and post- March 2003.
However, I will abstain from making further comments on the credibility of the study: I want to read the article first. Besides, if the figures quoted above are correct (or even overestimated by a factor of two or three) they confirm what I have already known since before 2003: that the US action in Iraq, besides being motivated by private interests of oil companies and not by the alleged presence of WMD or ties with Al-Qaeda, was going to be a humanitarian tragedy of huge scale. One that the US and its allies (alas, Italy included) will dearly pay for in the future, in terms of chronicization of the new cold war of the third millennium: that opposing Islamic republics to the West.