Thursday, October 19, 2006

What some other Iraqis think about the Johns Hopkins poll


Iraq Body Count -- a nonpartisan outfit that keeps track of Iraqi mortality figures -- has also issued a devastating critique of the Lancet/Johns Hopkins survey. It points out that the study implies that a thousand Iraqis died violently every day in the first half of 2006, with fewer than a tenth of them being noticed by "public surveillance mechanisms" and the press, as well as "incompetence and/or fraud on a truly massive scale by Iraqi officials in hospitals and ministries." It adds that death totals of the Lancet magnitude "are unnecessary to brand the invasion and occupation of Iraq a human and strategic tragedy."

Of course, the latter is precisely the agenda of the majority of those trumpeting the Lancet findings. Their goal isn't merely to nail the Bush Administration for incompetence in failing to achieve a sustainable victory in Iraq. They also, and perversely, want to discredit the war as a moral enterprise by suggesting there's no difference between Saddam Hussein's now well documented mass murders and the violence taking place today.

Omar Fadil, who with his brother writes from troubled Baghdad at, has no doubt that the Lancet figure is a gross exaggeration. "All they want is to prove that our struggle for freedom was the wrong thing to do," he writes. "This fake research is an insult to every man, woman and child who lost their lives."

Source: WSJ Editorial