Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Iraq Deaths =72 times 9/11 Deaths

  1. Oct 28, 2004 #1
    http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99996596

    This article in New Scientist today, describes a study of Iraqi deaths in this preemptive war. 100,000 deaths are of women and children, 100,000 are men. With a little simple math it comes to about 72 times the number of dead, in Iraq, vs the number of dead on 9/11; an unrelated event linked by political rationalization. That is a lot of dead people. It is only about 1/3 of what we are calling Saddams genocide. Maybe I have been generous calling his kill number to be 600,000. There had been some numbers stated before the war, regarding one half million children dead from the cost of sanctions. Now, we blame Saddam for those deaths because he diverted the "oil for food" money, to arms buildup.

    Anyway, this represents a huge wound to the nation of Iraq, and this wound has clearly been inflicted by the will of this Administration. This kind of horrific loss will never quiet, an entire generation will be psychically branded from this, and regardless of any good intention, that intention will never be remembered by the living victims of these losses.

    Death and destruction, is never the author of gratitude or good. Is this an example of compassionate conservatism?
    The Karma from this has been placed on the American People. I am reminded of the Golden Rule, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." So if people do unto us, in retribution for these kind of horrific losses, will we lose our freedom, as we militarize to combat threats we made to our own security, by our actions?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 28, 2004 #2

    Hurkyl

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Is it possible to be any more biased? I find this sort of "analysis" entirely worthless; absolutely anything can be made to appear terrible if you pick only the aspects that can be phrased to sound bad.
     
  4. Oct 28, 2004 #3
    Yeah, it's the way he phrased the deaths of 100,000 women and children that made it seem bad.

    To make it seem happier, he should have pointed out that since we invaded Iraq, there are tens of millions of people who haven't yet died. So far, we're doing a GREAT job of NOT killing millions of people.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2004
  5. Oct 28, 2004 #4
    The New Scientist article was biased?

    I have been wondering throughout the duration of this war, just how many of the Iraqi people have died as a result. Until today, I have heard no discussion of this, with the exception of Iraqi forces killed in action as a ratio to US forces killed in action.

    You are missing the point. These figures are brutal, absolutely brutal. 100,000 women and children have died in Iraq as a result of this war.

    We went to this war because of a fallacious link between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaida. The big sell for this war was the death of 2,800 people in the World Trade Towers.
    2,800/200,000 that is a telling ratio. My math may be bad, this is physics and math help, what is the ratio of dead on 9/11 to dead Iraqi citizens? That ratio is really just about 1/72.

    I owe a great debt of gratitude to the Americans in harms way, to the people that answered this governments call to arms. They have put everything on the line. This is where the rIdiculousness of war comes to the fore.

    Draw a line on the ground, on one side is American and Iraqi Combat deaths, is that number 2000? On the other side of that line 200,000 other deaths. Add it up. There was no 9/11 link, No Al Qaida link, no Weapons Of Mass destruction. 202,000 dead/0.

    Let us say that the big number shocked me today, here is your shock and awe.

    I am always amazed at the furor some of my comments raises. That is a BIG NUMBER, GET IT, A BIG NUMBER.
     
  6. Oct 28, 2004 #5
    On a side note, the bumper sticker of the week in my world, was

    WE ARE MAKING ENEMIES
    FASTER THAN WE CAN KILL THEM.
     
  7. Oct 28, 2004 #6

    Gokul43201

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

  8. Oct 29, 2004 #7

    plover

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    A few points:
    • This is a scientific study published in The Lancet, Britain's leading medical journal. (The paper is available free, but you have to register at The Lancet's site.)
    • The authors of the paper are from Johns Hopkins, Al-Mustansiriya University (in Baghdad), and Columbia.
    • The method of the study is a "cluster sample survey", which, from the bits of the paper I've read so far sounds like the standard method used for many public health surveys. I don't know if there are methodological drawbacks to applying this method to zones of violent conflict.
    • The paper mentions the Iraq Body Count site that Gokul pointed out and a BBC report as sources for casualty estimates arrived at by different means (e.g. Iraq Body Count is based entirely on press reports, which, as the paper notes, are unlikely to be complete).
    • The breakdown that Dayle gives in the original post does not really accord with the numbers in the linked New Scientist article. The description there states that the estimate comes out to about 100,000 civilian casualties for Iraq excluding Fallujah with another 100,000 possible civilian casualties in and around Fallujah, and while the description indicates that the majority of victims are women and children, no numerical breakdown is given. I haven't looked at the original paper closely enough though to know if Dayle's numbers come from that context.

    The overall conclusion of the paper is that the current leading cause of death among Iraqi civilians is aerial bombardment by coalition forces, and that evidence is strong that the number of civilian casualties is much higher than previously thought.
     
  9. Oct 29, 2004 #8
    I read it twice, at first I thought there were only 100,000. But the second read revealed that 100,000 are women and children, and 100,000 are adult males. That makes 200,000 and they felt this was a low estimate. So if you add the 1,100 American dead, and the now increasing number of coalition soldiers then this is a really big, stark number. If 10 people are personally aggrieved by the loss of each person, than those intensely personally affected number 2,002,000 or so. It is a big wound, all around.
     
  10. Oct 29, 2004 #9

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    The worst estimates from the worst anti-America propaganda sites were on the order of 12-16,000 civilian deaths (thanks Gokul).

    The fine print at the end of th article:
    ...and the bias for all to see:
    I'm not inclined to trust this report.
    No, the study was biased - the report is just regurgitating what the study says.

    Edit: correction, the "Lancet"'s editor provides a political commenatary on the study. The "Lancet" is also biased.
    No furor, just incredulity. That BIG NUMBER, just doesn't add up. GET IT?
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2004
  11. Oct 29, 2004 #10

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    200,000 - 500,000 are in line with comments made at the daily Pentagon briefings during the war; which I watched every day at 4:00 AM. Of course, most of those killed were first victims of Saddam, and then victims of George Bush. Bush's idea of freeing people is to, first, kill a few hundred thousand of them. The bunker busters buried the bodies very nicely.

    According to the Pentagon at the war's end, 6 divisions of 60,000 - 80,000 troops were unaccounted for. When this was announced, the entire press room fell silent.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2004
  12. Oct 29, 2004 #11
  13. Oct 29, 2004 #12
    In short:

    "This war of yours costs billions," Ahmed said. "Are we not worth more than a few thousand?" Just as troubling is that the US military has rejected 5,700 of the 11,300 claims processed. Of the 5,600 cases where claims have been paid, the total payout has been $2.2 million. That is an average of $393 per Iraqi victim.

    The families of American victims of 9/11 are receiving an average of $1.8 million per victim.

    Military officers in Iraq admit that the payouts can seem random, without reason. A Newsday piece featured Wafa Abdul Latif, the mother of a 12-year-old boy who was shot by US soldiers. Because of a curfew, US troops blocked an attempt by neighbors to rush the boy to the hospital.

    The boy died in the car. A US military official apologized for the shooting. The family was denied compensation.

    "When the Americans first came, Mohammad and my other children watched them with joy in their eyes," Latif said. "Now we hate them."

    Newsday and the Los Angeles Times reported on bizarre cases where people received more cash for damaged automobiles than for dead relatives. The family of Husham Sami was denied compensation despite the fact that the unarmed Sami was killed point-blank at his house by US soldiers who did not understand he was trying to desert Saddam's army. Sami's brother Kamel received $2,500 for his US-wrecked, 15-year-old car.

    "It is a strange form of justice," Kamel Sami said.

    Strange justice is a natural result of a strange and unjust war. At Fort Campbell, Bush said Iraqi civilians are seeing "the good heart of America." In the comfort of soldiers, he felt it was fine to inject some levity into his speech. He quoted a US female soldier who said she is one of the best shots in her battalion: "But hey, I'm a redneck, what do you expect?"

    There was laughter and applause. In Iraq, there is no yahoo laughter or applause in homes reddened by the blood of civilian victims of the invasion. In those homes, there are the perturbations of hate.

    Bush never fails to remind the rest of the world that 3,000 innocent Americans were killed on 9/11. Yet America refuses to count civilian casualties in Iraq. Bush still rails about a Saddam Hussein who "tortured children in front of their parents." Yet America stiffed thousands of Iraqis who watched family members burn and bleed to death because of our invasion.

    Bush says that unlike the terrorists, "We believe in the values that uphold the dignity of life." Yet the value America places on American victims of foreign terrorism is 4,580 times more than the average compensation for Iraqi victims of premeditated American violence. That gap and the ease with which Bush made redneck jokes with his soldiers is a stunning clue why he found it so easy to invade Iraq.

    Bush never put a human face on Iraqi civilians. That makes the invasion and occupation a failure, on face value.
     
  14. Oct 29, 2004 #13

    plover

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    Last edited: Oct 29, 2004
  15. Oct 29, 2004 #14
    Its an election trick defeated by the truth.
     
  16. Oct 29, 2004 #15

    Gokul43201

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    And I suppose you have proof of this truth, which you are withholding merely for your entertainment ?
     
  17. Oct 29, 2004 #16
    One Scientist stated his aim is strictly a public health issue, and the protection of civilians in wartime, advanced as a public health strategy.

    One Scientist said that his aim, releasing this before the election, was so that BOTH CANDIDATES would see the numbers, and have a chance to openly pledge to protect civilian lives, as this conflict progresses, or resolves or whatever it does.

    Where is the political trick in recognizing the extremely high death toll, in this conflict?

    We are engaged in payback for 9/11, the death toll 2800 or so. This number will help everyone understand, the war we face there. I have been lulled into thinking that the combatants we face are just suicidal religious fanatic mujahadeen, but the fact is the number of normal citizens taking up arms is bound to increase, when the civilian death toll is so high.

    This is a no brainer, and we have been lulled into thinking that this was somehow an antiseptic situation with our smart weaponry, and the news and spew simply implies that this is a religious war we are fighting to free the middle eastern region from "THE FUNDAMENTAL NATION OF ISLAM". I have heard perfectly rational, sophisticated Americans espouse this doctrine. But, our actions have had grievous consequences for innocent populations, so grievous, that the war we now face is for the right to live, and for revenge for their losses. This is bad for our armies there, since they were sent for untrue reasons, and kept there with shellac and push pins, and prayers.

    This isn't bleeding heart me, this is me saying that the news emphasizes a couple of Class A Terrorists, and asks us to focus on the war on terrorism. The fact is that we have killed so many Iraqi innocents, that we are no longer innocent. I hate sending anyone into that, and it will be very difficult to mend the situation.

    Think about Columbine High School, or the shootings at Kent State, or the victims of 9/11 now multiply those events by their relative ratios, and you will see the human expense of this war. Three years have passed since 9/11 did everyone get all better yet? The whole middle east is going to share their pain, Muslims do tend to stand together once they are finished tearing each other apart.

    I remember some famous quote, "We have only begun to fight". I maintain that we have only begun to die. This will be a direct consequence of failure to understand the message in these numbers. Failure to factor in the negative social energy potential, glossing this over, ignoring this in public policy statements, will not keep us in good stead with the world.

    Some sort of Ostrich movement won't serve the ground troops, won't serve any peace process, won't serve to heal the wounds we have inflicted on top of grievous wounds already present. This isn't any annoying fact, a cloying fact, a little bo peep, bleeding heart anthem, it is liken unto a huge cache of explosives that we overlooked in defensive strategy sessions.
     
  18. Oct 29, 2004 #17

    jcsd

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I'm trying to see exctly ewhat your problem was, the research was carried out by one of the world's premier research organistaions and it was published in one of the world's premier peer-revied jornual - the Lancet.

    The point is that the US led invasion has probbly led to the death of over 100,000 Iraqi civilains both directly and indirectly, make of it what you will. Infact this should not be a great suprise as this was around the level that was forcast by humanitarian organisations before the war.
     
  19. Oct 29, 2004 #18

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Plover, that link makes it fairly clear: the numbers are backwards:
    No report I've ever seen has put the number of Iraqi military deaths at 6,000. As Ivan said, the US military has been quite open about the likelyhood that we killed several hundred thousand Iraqi military personnel. It is obvious to me that the study is counting military deaths as civilian deaths (intentionally or not).

    Incidentally, Ivan, I think you missed the point: no one is arguing that we didn't kill several hundred thousand Iraqi military personnel (well, except for that absurd 6,000 number someone pulled out of the air). The study alleges 100,000 civilian deaths.

    The study mentions the possibility of a "memory bias" but dismisses it. I think they are wrong to do so: since the vast majority of Iraqi military personnel were conscripts, it wouldn't be unreasonable to expect their families to report them as having been civilians.

    Several other things about the report don't jive: the report says that most of the deaths were from aerial bombardment - but we didn't do any aerial bombardment that could have caused 100,000 civilian deaths - especially not in different, widely separated cities. Are we to believe that all these people traveled to the small handful of cities where aerial bombing took place and then left no physical evidence of their deaths? Its absurd. We didn't bomb all that many cities and we didn't cause that many civilian casualties in the ones we did bomb. 100,000 people is a lot of people to not have any physical evidence of their deaths. It was all over the news when we killed half a dozen or more even in large cities (where the largest attacks were). Where were these other people?

    klusener, I happen to disagree with the opinion presented in that Op-ed, but the facts are the facts that are accepted by reputable sources: ~10,000 civilian deaths. And the fact that we are paying reparations (I didn't know we were) is unbelievable. No one ever does that. But hey, I guess that's the type of people we are.
    Dayle, you said it in your previous sentence and the commentary that followed the report says it in the title: the report, the study itself, and their timing are politically motivated.
    The basic problem is that the study relies on witnesses - the most unreliable of all forms of evidence. The previously accepted numbers that we have are based on physical evidence, ie. actual dead bodies. I'm much more inclined to believe reports based on actual physical evidence and I think the bias openly admitted in the report and the study makes it clear that the study found what it was looking for and made no effort to reconcile that with conflicting evidence.

    edit: Another flaw I just thought of. Since most of the places we bombed were cities, most of the civilian deaths were in cities. As a result, the study is biased toward a higher number of civilian deaths than is representative.

    edit: More flaws (I'm reading the study now). The study includes 11 cities. Of them, Anbar shows a "crude mortality rate" of near zero before the war and about 200 since. The other 10 show rates from 5-15 for both before and since the war. Anbar is clearly an aberration and its rate is sufficiently high to vastly affect the national rate. With it included, the average is around 30, without it, the average is around 10 (which, if I understand the concept, is about value you should expect). It should also have been discarded from the study(or been treated separately). Also, the wide range of mortality rates even in the other cities, some rates unreasonably low (as few as 1 or 2 per 1,000), indicates a severe sampling error in the study.

    Also, looking at the data, the number of women killed and the number of children killed doesn't correlate, as you would expect it to if they died violently, together.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2004
  20. Oct 29, 2004 #19

    jcsd

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Russ we a re talking about a scientifc study here conducted by experts not a bucnh of yahoos who just decided it would be a lark to interview people in Iraq, these things are taken into account.

    I'll also point out that the number 16,000 deaths is only based on deaths as a direct result of violence that have been reported by the press. We should expect the number to be much higher than that.
     
  21. Oct 29, 2004 #20

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    If you'd like to discuss the flaws in the report, please do...
    Why?
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Iraq Deaths =72 times 9/11 Deaths
  1. US death squads in Iraq? (Replies: 43)

  2. Death Penalty (Replies: 31)

  3. Death and tax planning (Replies: 0)

Loading...