How can we get a less hyperbolic assessment of the state of the world? Certainly not from daily journalism. News is about things that happen, not things that don’t happen. We never see a reporter saying to the camera, “Here we are, live from a country where a war has not broken out”—or a city that has not been bombed, or a school that has not been shot up. As long as violence has not vanished from the world, there will always be enough incidents to fill the evening news. And since the human mind estimates probability by the ease with which it can recall examples, newsreaders will always perceive that they live in dangerous times.
Whatever one's opinion of its possible limitations, the 2006 Iraq mortality survey produced epidemiological evidence that coalition forces have failed to protect Iraqi civilians... If, for the sake of argument, the study is wrong and the number of Iraqi deaths is less than half the infamous figure, is it acceptable that "only" 300,000 have died? Last November, with no explanation, the Iraqi Ministry of Health suddenly began citing 150,000 dead, five times its previous estimate. Is that amount of death acceptable? In January, the United Nations reported that more than 34,000 Iraqis were killed violently in the last year alone. Is that acceptable?Regarding The Number, the result of what one of the study's authors calls an episode more deadly than the Rwandan genocide... [more within]
...Would it surprise you to learn that if the Johns Hopkins estimates of 400,000 to 800,000 deaths are correct -- and many experts in the survey field seem to suggest they probably are -- that the supposedly not-yet-civil-war in Iraq has already cost more lives, per capita, than our own Civil War (one in 40 of all Iraqis alive in 2003) ? And that these losses are comparable to what some European nations suffered in World War II ? You'd never know it from mainstream press coverage in the U.S. "Everybody knows the boat is leaking, everybody knows the captain lied," Leonard Cohen once sang. The question the new study raises: How many will go down with the ship, and will the press finally hold the captain fully accountable ?Iraqi Death Rate May Top Our Civil War -- But Will the Press Confirm It ?
See also Debating the Body Count in Iraq
See also Deaths in Iraq: how many, and why it matters
See also The Science of Counting the Dead
See also How the Media Covered The Lancet’s Iraqi Casualty Study
See also More deadly than Saddam
The Iraq Coalition Casualty Count has breakdowns of the casualties of the Iraq War and Occupation, by home city of record, name, branch of service, rank, and cause of death, and other statistics such as ethnicity, as well as a printable list of all fatalities to date. [previously mentioned here,here,here, and here.]
The Iraq Index is a statistical compilation of economic, public opinion, and security data. An extensive collection by the Brookings Institue of indicators outlining the security situation, the economy and quality of life, as well as polling and politics data. (One downside is that it is a pdf file). Also from the same source is a comparable compilation for Afghanistan
Prayers for peace. I'm agnostic and my feelings on the current Iraq crisis are confused. However, one thing is almost certain: many innocent people will die in the following weeks (months, years), most of them relegated to statistics. The future is uncertain.
Not just selfcentered, but warmongers too. SUV owners are more likely the the general populous to support the war in Iraq (60%). When small SUVs are eliminated, the figure jumps to (80%). Probably not a causal relationship, but interesting none the less.
Hubbert's Peak: the impending oil shortage Is this the REAL reason behind the push to invade Iraq? In 1956. M. King Hubbert, a respected petroleum geologist, predicted - to within a year! - the peak in US oil production: 1970. US oil production has declined every year since. Using the same statistical methods, others now predict a world peak in oil production within a decade or even as early as 2006.