"Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons." Bertrand Russell

Monday, March 20, 2006

Give or take 260,000

Today's Six One news reports that the death toll in Iraq as a result of invasion is estimated at between 34 and 38 thousand. Presumably these figures were obtained from the organisation IraqBodyCount. However they are arrived at by recording only the deaths reported by English language news sources. Therefore it can in no way be considered to reflect a conclusive account of Iraqi deaths caused or resulting from the continuing war.

In future, if you are reporting the Iraqi death toll please refer to the survey published in British medical journal The Lancet. The report estimates approximately 100,000 excess deaths in the first 18 months of the invasion alone, it also excludes data from Fallujah where deaths were unusually high. Les Roberts lead author estimates that the toll could now be as high as 300,000.

It was also noticeable in the report that coalition casualties were given precedence over Iraqi casualties even though the non-military Iraqi deaths dwarf that of the coalition. Would neutral reporting not require that the greater non-military casualties be given precedence? Ireland is (still claiming to be) neutral.

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