Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Once again, The Lancet publishes a study about deaths in Iraq based on interviews just before an American election. This time the headline number of "but for" deaths is 600,000, rather than 100,000.
Whatever the base credibility of The Lancet's editors, their propensity to publish these things in October of even-numbered years makes them look like partisan hacks.
This is no different than the Centers for Disease Control reporting on gun crime in Morbity and Mortality Monthly Report. They act as if the gang bangers have some disease that can be identified and treated. The disease they've identified is manufactured by Smith and Wesson, Baretta, Glock, and others.
I don't know anything about Lancet, but if they have researched and believed that evidence shows US policy is causing greater deaths and part of their mission is to protect life, then it makes a great deal of sense to me to politicize it - they probably wish to influence policy. More power to them, as long as their research is not made up - and I have heard no one ever suggest that it is.
More power to them, as long as their research is not made up - and I have heard no one ever suggest that it is.
At the risk of sounding sarcastic -- a risk I'm more than happy to take -- let me just say: "Their research is made up."
Notice also that the study identifies excess deaths -- those above and beyond the norm under the beneficent regime of Saddam Hussein -- so the raw total would actually be much higher. And these victims aren't being bulldozed into the ground either. So where are all the excess funerals? The fat cat funeral home directors? Ginormous Hillenbrand profits?
OK, part of that article says the highest monthly death toll in Iraq was 3590 in July 2006. The war has been going on 3 years. Even if the highest number died every month of that time period,which didn't happen, the number of deaths would be 3590X36, or 129,240. So what are they talking about? It's made up.
"Whatever the base credibility of The Lancet's editors, their propensity to publish these things in October of even-numbered years makes them look like partisan hacks."
It doesn't make them look like partisan hacks - it reveals them to be partisan hacks.