Originally published 4/25/07:
The landmark Iraq casualty study by the Johns Hopkins crew (Dr. Roberts et al) is still not given the respect it deserves among politicians. Here is the most recent defense of the study for the layman from the New Scientist:
The New Scientist magazine has an interview with Lancet Iraq mortality study author Gilbert Burnham:
Winning the war for Iraq’s dead
Counting the dead in war zones is what epidemiologist Gilbert Burnham and his team do for a living. But last year when they said 600,000-plus Iraqis had been killed in the war, the US, UK and Iraqi governments furiously attacked their figures for being far too high – though it turns out that UK experts agree with Burnham. Celeste Biever caught up with him recently
BY: Celeste Biever
There were already estimates of the dead in Iraq. Why did you decide to go ahead with your survey?
Our intentions were not political. Our centre is for refugee and disaster studies and this is simply the kind of thing we do. Other counts, such as the Iraq Body Count, which consists of volunteer academics and activists based in the UK and the US, rely on reports of deaths in the English-language press, but the press is in the business of producing news, not statistics. The IBC uses news reports mainly written in English, by people who can’t leave a very narrow area of Baghdad, while violence is worse in the Al Anbar and Diyala provinces. Mortuaries provide figures but a lot of bodies don’t make it there. Also press accounts and mortuary numbers record violent deaths, but people die in war from many causes.
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