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Study: War blamed for 655,000 Iraqi deaths

POSTED: 12:22 p.m. EDT, October 11, 2006

Story Highlights• NEW: President Bush says he does not consider report credible

• Gunfire found to be most common killer of Iraqis; car bombings on the rise

• Study says 2.5 percent of population killed since war; death toll rising each year

• Coalition forces blamed for 31 percent of deaths since 2003 invasion

 

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BALTIMORE, Maryland (CNN) -- War has wiped out about 655,000 Iraqis or more than 500 people a day since the U.S.-led invasion, a new study reports.

 

Violence including gunfire and bombs caused the majority of deaths but thousands of people died from worsening health and environmental conditions directly related to the conflict that began in 2003, U.S. and Iraqi public health researchers said.

 

"Since March 2003, an additional 2.5 percent of Iraq's population have died above what would have occurred without conflict," according to the survey of Iraqi households, titled "The Human Cost of the War in Iraq." (Watch as the study's startling results are revealed -- 1:55 )

 

The survey, being published online by British medical journal The Lancet, gives a far higher number of deaths in Iraq than other organizations. (Read the full report -- pdf)

 

President Bush slammed the report Wednesday during a news conference in the White House Rose Garden. "I don't consider it a credible report. Neither does Gen. (George) Casey," he said, referring to the top ranking U.S. military official in Iraq, "and neither do Iraqi officials."

 

"The methodology is pretty well discredited," he added. (Watch Bush dismiss the report -- 1:33 )

 

Ali Dabbagh, an Iraqi government spokesman, said in a statement that the report "gives exaggerated figures that contradict the simplest rules of accuracy and investigation."

 

Last December, Bush said that he estimated about 30,000 people had died since the war began.

 

When pressed whether he stood by that figure Wednesday, he said, "I stand by the figure a lot of innocent people have lost their life. Six hundred thousand -- whatever they guessed at -- is just not credible."

 

Researchers randomly selected 1,849 households across Iraq and asked questions about births and deaths and migration for the study led by Gilbert Burnham of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland.

 

They extrapolated the figures to reflect the national picture, saying Iraq's death rate had more than doubled since the invasion.

 

Iraqis "bear the consequence of warfare," the report said, comparing the situation with other wars: "In the Vietnam War, 3 million civilians died; in the Congo, armed conflict has been responsible for 3.8 million deaths; in East Timor, an estimated 200,000 out of a population of 800,000 died in conflict.

 

"Recent estimates are that 200,000 have died in Darfur [sudan] over the past 31 months. Our data, which estimate that 654,965 or 2.5 percent of the Iraqi population has died in this, the largest major international conflict of the 21st century, should be of grave concern to everyone."

 

The researchers estimated that an additional 654,965 people have died in Iraq since the invasion above what would have been expected from the pre-war mortality rate. They did not ask families whether their dead were civilians or fighters. (Read the report's appendix, including methodology and charts -- pdf)

 

Violence claimed about 601,000 people, the survey estimated -- the majority killed by gunfire, "though deaths from car bombing have increased from 2005," the study says.

 

The additional 53,000 people who are believed to have been killed by the effects of the war mostly died in recent months, "suggesting a worsening of health status and access to health care," the study said. It noted, however, that the number of nonviolent deaths "is too small to reach definitive conclusions."

 

Other key points in the survey:

 

 

The number of people dying in Iraq has risen each year since March 2003.

 

 

Those killed are predominantly males aged 15-44.

 

 

Deaths attributed to coalition forces accounted for 31 percent of the dead.

 

 

Although the "proportion of deaths ascribed to coalition forces has diminished in 2006 ... the actual numbers have increased each year."

 

The authors said their method of sampling the population is a "standard tool of epidemiology and is used by the U.S. government and many other agencies."

 

Professionals familiar with such research told CNN that the survey's methodology is sound.

 

Information for the survey was collected by Iraqi doctors, and analysis was performed by the faculty of the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in cooperation with the Center for International Studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Death certificates confirmed families' accounts in 92 percent of cases, the researchers said.

 

It has been very difficult to pin down fatality numbers during the Iraq conflict.

 

The private British-based Iraq Body Count research group puts the number of civilian deaths at between 43,850 and 48,693. Those figures are based on online media counts and eyewitness accounts.

 

"The count includes civilian deaths caused by coalition military action and by military or paramilitary responses to the coalition presence (e.g. insurgent and terrorist attacks)," the group's Web site says. "It also includes excess civilian deaths caused by criminal action resulting from the breakdown in law and order which followed the coalition invasion."

 

The latest estimates were released less than a month ahead of U.S. midterm elections that could change the balance of power in the House and Senate, now controlled by Republicans.

 

CNN's Jomana Karadsheh contributed to this report

 

Source:

 

(www.)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_www.cnn(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/2006/WORLD/meast/10/11/iraq.deaths/index.html"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_www.cnn(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/2006/WORLD/meast/10/11/...aths/index.html[/url]

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PropellerAds

I was listening to NPR today. They had the Iraqi deputy PM being interviewed, and he says that the numbers are a massive overstatement

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Casualty estimates vary based on the religion of the victim. If the victims are Muslim, multiply by 5. If the victims are Jews, divide by 100.

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:D

 

Why is that that some americans have soo much trouble dealing with the truth. It seems like if they dont agree with some data, no matter how authentic it is, they will will simply make up some exuse for not beliving it. Yet they seem to have no problems swallowing data that supports their notion of the world, no matter how ludacris it is (Iraqi WMD).

 

 

By the way one of the employees who did that survay was intervied on CBC here in Canada an said that the method they used was strictly scientific and is the same method used by anyone doing a serius survy on a population. So if you want to dispute their numbers then you must also dispute all other numbers where are given in regards to a population, including the 6 million jews killed in WW2.

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Just putting down an opposing viewpoint, Omar. If you look at the other post just like this one you will see that I have backed off a bit.

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Why is that that some americans have soo much trouble dealing with the truth. It seems like if they dont agree with some data, no matter how authentic it is, they will will simply make up some exuse for not beliving it. Yet they seem to have no problems swallowing data that supports their notion of the world, no matter how ludacris it is (Iraqi WMD).

You're making quite an assumption, here. My point was, this estimate far higher than any other casualty estimate I have seen. Muslims will believe this one, without question. Yet, there are muslims who claim the Holocaust did not happen.

 

By the way one of the employees who did that survay was intervied on CBC here in Canada an said that the method they used was strictly scientific and is the same method used by anyone doing a serius survy on a population. So if you want to dispute their numbers then you must also dispute all other numbers where are given in regards to a population, including the 6 million jews killed in WW2.

Of course he's going to say they used a scientific method. What is he supposed to say? They guessed? He'd be a fool to say that.

 

The actual number of Jews killed in the WWII is debatable.

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Peace,

 

I see no reason why the study would be anything other than reflective of actuality.

 

Why is that that some americans have soo much trouble dealing with the truth. It seems like if they dont agree with some data, no matter how authentic it is, they will will simply make up some exuse for not beliving it.

 

Haha deja vu. :D

 

(www.)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/15_03_04_iraqsurvey.pdf"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/bsp/hi/pd..._iraqsurvey.pdf[/url]

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:D

 

There's an (www.)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/daniel_davies/2006/10/how_to_not_lie_with_statisticshtml"]article[/url] at The Guardian explaining the statistics. It's worth reading, if in doubt.

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You're making quite an assumption, here. My point was, this estimate far higher than any other casualty estimate I have seen. Muslims will believe this one, without question. Yet, there are muslims who claim the Holocaust did not happen.

 

I don't think its an assumption, it is a statement based on my observation of your society/culture.

For example, it is more convenient for americans to belive that global warming does not exist (despite the massive amount of scientific evidence that says it does) so they will come up with absolute absurd argument against it and then go on cnn and all the other "news" networks and present their argument against global warming as fact, despite the fact that they are grossly underqulified on the subject.

 

I am sure it just slipped your mind, but you forgot to mention that alot of westerners also dont belive that the holocost did not exist and that both groups of people are in the minority opinion.

you need not worry I will correct your oversight.

 

 

Of course he's going to say they used a scientific method. What is he supposed to say? They guessed? He'd be a fool to say that.

 

The actual number of Jews killed in the WWII is debatable.

 

 

You know when a person say that they used a scientific method, and then goes on to descibe that method (which by the way checks out) I have a feeling that he is telling the truth and not spewing hot air to help some corporation or government.

 

but by all means if it convenient for your sence of the world and your country, continue to ignore hard scientific numbers.

(science always seems to get in the way of how Americans percive the word any ways :D )

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Peace

 

i dont see why it matters HOW many people have died... what should matter is that People HAVE died.

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It's not unusual for these sort of surveys to give exaggerated figures but that should make no difference . The undeniable fact is that far too many have died directly or indirectly as a result of the invasion of Iraq and sadly more will die .

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Omar786, how much time have you spent in the US?

 

:D

I live in Canada

Edited by Omar786

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:D

 

I am not sure if you ralize this, but canada is located just north of America, and since most Canadians have this new fangled automobile, we are easly able to cross the border and are free to comunicate with Americans.

So Its not really a strech for a Canadian to go to America and judge the actual people themselves.

 

 

Also these "loudmouth braggarts" are on TV becuse people listen to them.

If Americans did not watch their programs, they would not be on the tube.

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