Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Lancet Report on Steroids: Groups Now Claim a Million Dead Iraqis

Here we go again.

Supposedly independent groups issue a "study" claiming wildly inflated death tolls in Iraq and the media dutifully regurgitates it without question.
LONDON (AFP) — More than one million Iraqis have died because of the war in Iraq since the US-led invasion of the country in 2003, according to a study published Wednesday.

A fifth of Iraqi households lost at least one family member between March 2003 and August 2007 due to the conflict, said data compiled by London-based Opinion Research Business (ORB) and its research partner in Iraq, the Independent Institute for Administration and Civil Society Studies (IIACSS).

The study based its findings on survey work involving the face-to-face questioning of 2,414 Iraqi adults aged 18 or above, and the last complete census in Iraq in 1997, which indicated a total of 4.05 million households.

Respondents were asked how many members of their household, if any, had died as a result of the violence in the country since 2003, and not because of natural causes.

"We now estimate that the death toll between March 2003 and August 2007 is likely to have been in the order of 1,033,000," ORB said in a statement.
So just what kind of group is the Opinion Research Business?

Well, Michael Fumento notes them in his current item shredding the Lancet study.
Only one source found higher numbers than either Lancet paper – a poll by the British Opinion Research Business (ORB). It claimed in a September 2007 press release that "more than 1,000,000 Iraqi citizens have been murdered since the invasion took place in 2003." (Emphasis added.) The polling ended in August 2007, and the actual alleged death toll was over 1.2 million.

"Murdered" isn't the language of the staid, neutral polling organization that its defenders claim ORB to be. Yet surely only a hardened cynic would assert that ORB's purpose was to make the Lancet figures seem to be in the ballpark despite all other studies showing otherwise.

Or perhaps it wouldn't take a hardened cynic. "The key importance of the [ORB] poll," claimed one leftist British "media watch" organization, "is that it provides strong support for the findings of the 2006 Lancet study, which reported 655,000 deaths."

Yes, they sound rather impartial.

Interesting how this report was released last September and it's being rehashed once again.

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