Easter Sunday, part II

by Matt

There’s one other exchange of dialogue from the Easter conversation that I wanted to include:

“Plus, hundreds of thousands of innocent people have been killed.”

“No, I don’t think it’s been nearly that many.”

The most comprehensive study of people killed by violence in Iraq was compiled in 2006, by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. It was “examined and validated by four separate independent experts who all urged publication.” It ran in the British Medical journal, Lancet. The Bloomberg study estimated the number, in 2006, at 655,000. President Bush dismissed the study as “politics.”

Maybe that number was too high. The second most comprehensive study is the UN assessment that in the year 2006 in isolation, the death toll was greater than 34,000. But, as one blogger noted that that’s about twice the number murdered in the US, only it occurred among a population one tenth the size. (I suppose it may or may not be useful, and certainly unscientific, to consider that 34,000 times five years is 170,000.)

It seems the unfortunate truth is that no oneknows for sure how many people have been killed in Iraq. Few are trying to keep count, and it seems one of the only ways to collect reliable data is to do the grunt work of collecting figures from the morgues, and the obituaries and so on. The information does not seem to be going to a centralized location on its own with any regularity. So as far as the dyad quoted at the top of the post goes, I guess you have to be the judge of who might be more accurate.