May 16, 2005

Dartblog responds, still wrong

Joe Malchow has an update addressing an email he recveived which pointed him to my post below. Malchow gets the link to this post wrong, and also seems oblivious to his initial error, or at least cursorily dismissive of the error, as he remarks,

John Tepperman e-mails in, directing my attention to this post- "Dartblog Distorts Lancet Study"- and adds, "Ouch." Not quite.
While the Lancet Study does take the difference in pre- and post-war deaths, it is still wrong in terms of magnitude. It still counts deaths not related to war violence.

Yes, quite. You can't just shift the terms of your criticism away from the obviously false characterization you made originally, to a fact about the Lancet Study that is well known. Furtermore, the Lancet Study is excellent and interesting precisely because of the latter fact: its methodology is a scientific attempt to track the total civilian deaths caused by the US invasion, not just the number of civilians killed directly by US bombs and bullets. This straightforward numerical analysis is used universally by economists, statisticians, etc. to identify the ceteris paribus effect of an event on a population.

I can't begin to describe how disturbing this kind of quick and uninformed dismissal of the possibility -- statistical likelihood, really -- of about 75,000 more dead Iraqis is. This is the extent of how so many of the people who "support the War in Iraq" actually care about Iraqi people.

Again, I hope Mr. Malchow will respond to this post and re-evaluate the facts.

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