Remember the study that found George Bush has personally killed one trillion innocent civilians in Iraq? (Okay, it was only 600,000, but don’t think they wouldn’t have said one trillion if they thought they could get away with it.)
Iraq Body Count says there is “considerable cause for scepticism” and has complained that its figures had been misleadingly cited in the The Lancet as supporting evidence.
File that one under “O” for obvious. It’s not good when an anti-war group like IBC debunks your anti-war study.
One critic is Professor Michael Spagat, a statistician from Royal Holloway College, University of London. He and colleagues at Oxford University point to the possibility of “main street bias” – that people living near major thoroughfares are more at risk from car bombs and other urban menaces. Thus, the figures arrived at were likely to exceed the true number. […] Professor Spagat says the Lancet paper contains misrepresentations of mortality figures suggested by other organisations, an inaccurate graph, the use of the word “casualties” to mean deaths rather than deaths plus injuries, and the perplexing finding that child deaths have fallen. Using the “three-to-one rule” – the idea that for every death, there are three injuries – there should be close to two million Iraqis seeking hospital treatment, which does not tally with hospital reports.
“They published a sampling methodology that can overestimate deaths by a wide margin but respond to criticism by claiming that they did not actually follow the procedures that they stated.” The paper had “no scientific standing”.
And that’s just the methodology argument. Add to it the bias factor…
One of The Lancet authors, Dr Les Roberts, campaigned for a Democrat seat in the US House of Representatives and has spoken out against the war. Dr Richard Horton, editor of the The Lancet is also antiwar.
Not that they’d have an agenda or anything.
Professor Burnham says the doctors worked in pairs and that interviews “took about 20 minutes”. The journal Nature, however, alleged last week that one of the Iraqi interviewers contradicts this. Dr Hicks says: : “I have started to suspect that they [the American researchers] don’t actually know what the interviewing team did. The fact that they can’t rattle off basic information suggests they either don’t know or they don’t care.”