October 12th, 2006

Invasion of Iraq: between 425000 and 795000 dead.

There is good reason to believe (95% confidence) that the United States started a war that caused at least 425,000 deaths. This figure comes from a study by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, published in The Lancet, a peer-reviewed medical journal. The experts who reviewed the article strongly support the quality of the research methods used.

You have three choices.

1) You can accept that it’s probably pretty close to accurate.
2) You can find a real problem with the study. You can’t just say it’s unbelievable — you have to find a problem.


3) You can decide that it would hurt like blazes if you believed it, and just walk away.

If you love this country, if it means anything at all to you, 3 can’t be an option. Loving a nation means being willing to recognize when things have gotten out of control, and taking action.

(Courtesy of John Palmer. Please repost.)

Update: I'll clarify a couple of things about the research methods to counter some of the common criticisms of this report.

One response is "that's a lot of deaths, but a lot of people would have died anyway." Not so: the report counts specifically deaths attributable to the invasion, deaths in excess of the pre-invasion death rate.

Another response is "if they interviewed 10 families on the same street and each family reported, say, 3 deaths, that shouldn't be counted as 30 deaths because they probably all knew the same 3 people who died." Also not so: deaths were recorded only if the decedent had lived in the household continuously for 3 months before the event.