12 October, 2006

John Howard rejects Iraqi death toll survey

A short time ago in Canberra, the Prime Minister joined the US President George Bush in dismissing this latest estimate of Iraqi deaths.

JOHN HOWARD: "Well, I don't believe that John Hopkins research, I don't. It's not plausible, it's not based on anything other than a house-to-house survey. I think that's absolutely precarious.

It is a… an unbelievably large number and it's out of whack with most of the other assessments that have been made.

There are continuous reports or continual reports out of the United States about a reassessment. The latest advice I have is that there's no fundamental reassessment going on".

I believe that John Howard has a duty to explain exactly what method of assessment of Iraqi civilian casualties would be 'acceptable' to him. His usual dismissive comments can only indicate that he has no regard for the loss of Iraqi lives - it is as unimportant to him as it is for the war criminals in Washington with whom he is working.

New study in British based The Lancet medical journal reveals 655,000 Iraqis killed by US war in Iraq.

A study published on the website of the British medical journal The Lancet on Wednesday reveals that an estimated 655,000 Iraqis have been killed as a result of the US invasion and occupation of Iraq since the spring of 2003.

The study supervised by Iraqi and American public health researchers said that deaths in Iraq rose sharply after the American invasion.

“Deaths are occurring in Iraq now at a rate more than three times that from before the invasion of March 2003,” the lead author of the study, Dr. Gilbert Burnham, said in a statement quoted by the American Associated Press. Burnham is a researcher at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Western supporters of the American occupation expressed disdain for the study because it revealed a death toll far in excess of the numbers they have been claiming.

The AP reported that Burnham said that the estimated death toll was much higher in this study because it was derived from a house-to-house survey, rather than on the basis of body counts and media reports which are notoriously incomplete.

For The Lancet study, researchers gathered data from a sample of 1,849 Iraqi households with a total of 12,801 residents from late May to early July 2006. The sample was used to extrapolate the total figure and therefore covers deaths only up through July 2006.
Major funding for The Lancet study came from the American Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Source http://www.albasrah.net/en_articles_2006/1006/iraqiresistancereport_111006.htm
See http://www.thelancet.com/webfiles/images/journals/lancet/s0140673606694919.pdf for full article