Somehow, I never seem to see these stories in the U.S. media. From The Guardian:
This week, the BBC reported that the government’s own scientists advised ministers that the Johns Hopkins study on Iraq civilian mortality was accurate and reliable. This paper was published in the Lancet last October. It estimated that 650,000 Iraqi civilians had died since the American- and British-led invasion in March 2003.
Immediately after publication, the prime minister’s official spokesman said that The Lancet’s study “was not one we believe to be anywhere near accurate”. The foreign secretary, Margaret Beckett, said that the Lancet figures were “extrapolated” and a “leap”. President Bush said: “I don’t consider it a credible report”.
Scientists at the UK’s Department for International Development thought differently. They concluded that the study’s methods were “tried and tested”. Indeed, the Hopkins approach would likely lead to an “underestimation of mortality”.
The Ministry of Defence’s chief scientific advisor said the research was “robust”, close to “best practice”, and “balanced”. He recommended “caution in publicly criticising the study”.
And President Bush says that the Iraqi people should thank the United States.
And then there’s Tal Afar, where Sunni suicide bombers killed scores of people a few days ago, and where a Shi’ite mob, including police, dragged about 100 Sunnis randomly from their homes and killed them in retaliation. Oh, and the Iraqi army went in and detained several Shi’ite police for questioning, only to release them when the local Shi’ite mob protested.
It’s going great! We’re doing great! We should totally be over there in the middle of a religious civil war!
We’re preventing a bloodbath, and we can win, if we only believe!
“Counting the Cost”
March 27, 2007