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Subject: Iraq and Mid East and African Islamic unrest. rss

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lotus dweller
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Anyone want to try linking in cause and effect whats happening in Egypt and Tunisia etc with the invasion of Iraq?

The US and its brown-nosed allies have left over a million dead in Iraq.
I can see that if the situation was unstable then it was going to go "Bang" eventually. But a million?

So you got a way of linking their lost lives to current pushes for more freedom in the region? Or is the nett benefit still in the future?
 
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I'd say that if we hadn't had the Iraqi invasion, we would now have been reading the same news from Iraq that we're getting from Libya etc. And I think a native Iraqi revolution wouldn't have taken the toll of a million bodies - you wouldn't have had the Great Satan there radicalizing people with their offensive presence. But that's just a guess, of course.

And I don't think Iraqi invasion sparked the native uprisings (the Tunisian cocktail was what it was). So, no net benefits. Ever.
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Mondainai wrote:
And I don't think Iraqi invasion sparked the native uprisings (the Tunisian cocktail was what it was). So, no net benefits. Ever.


Speaking from someone who adamantly opposed the Iraq War, I still don't think there are "no benefits" from the invasion. It's just a matter of who is benefiting.sauron Yeah, that's right. Sauron.
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Koldfoot wrote:
"One million" dead in Iraq?

You mean under Saddam's rule? Since WWI? The number of people who died of natural causes?

What is the meaning of that number?


http://www.projectcensored.org/top-stories/articles/1-over-o...

Note that is dated 2008.

Another fun number: 5,000,000. That's the number of children orphaned in Iraq because of the U.S. invasion. Half of the total children of Iraq.

http://www.uslaboragainstwar.org/article.php?id=15144

That's OK, because we brought them FREEDOM. Freedom from a dictator. Also freedom from their lives, their attached limbs, electricity, plumbing, sanitation, their friends, their families, their communities (over 4 million refugees and counting), their cultural artifacts, etc etc etc.
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wolvendancer wrote:
Koldfoot wrote:
"One million" dead in Iraq?

You mean under Saddam's rule? Since WWI? The number of people who died of natural causes?

What is the meaning of that number?


http://www.projectcensored.org/top-stories/articles/1-over-o...

Note that is dated 2008.

Another fun number: 5,000,000. That's the number of children orphaned in Iraq because of the U.S. invasion. Half of the total children of Iraq.

http://www.uslaboragainstwar.org/article.php?id=15144

That's OK, because we brought them FREEDOM. Freedom from a dictator. Also freedom from their lives, their attached limbs, electricity, plumbing, sanitation, their friends, their families, their communities (over 4 million refugees and counting), their cultural artifacts, etc etc etc.


I don't necessarily have an axe to grind here, but you do know that the ORB survey is only one of many on the subject, and has, by far, estimated a higher number of deaths than any of the other sources. Here is a link to an article which summarizes all of the various estimates:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casualties_of_the_Iraq_War

As you will see, the various sources report deaths from 1,000,000 (the ORB survey) down to 100,000, from Wikileaks. Now, we can certainly say that perhaps even 100,000 dead is 100,000 too many, so I'm not going to argue that 100,000 dead "isn't that bad". However, I just find it a bit much when people wishing to argue a particular point seize upon the most dramatic statistic available (out of many which are out there) and throw it around as though it is undeniable fact. In my opinion, the truth is probably somewhere in between, though I'd bet on the lower (but still troubling) end of the spectrum.

OK, now that this is out of the way, carry on with your argument!
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desertfox2004 wrote:
wolvendancer wrote:
Koldfoot wrote:
"One million" dead in Iraq?

You mean under Saddam's rule? Since WWI? The number of people who died of natural causes?

What is the meaning of that number?


http://www.projectcensored.org/top-stories/articles/1-over-o...

Note that is dated 2008.


I don't necessarily have an axe to grind here, but you do know that the ORB survey is only one of many on the subject, and has, by far, estimated a higher number of deaths than any of the other sources.


You seem to have made a generalized point without addressing the particulars. The only studies that have been done with anything approaching methodologically-sound premises are the ORB and Lancet studies - polling individual households, using scientific data collection methods, etc. Every single other study I am aware of is either based on military stats (verified KIA numbers) or a single report by the Iraqi Ministry of Health based on the number of death certificates applied for. Not only is the US Army obviously a biased party, but KIA data is not the same as an attempt to count the total number of casualties; similarly, a decimated agency for a non-functional government within a warzone counting death certificates is also hardly a source (or a result) I would trust over major polling agencies.

This is the problem with making generalized arguments - what appeals to intuition often doesn't fit the facts.

If you'd like to split the Lancet and ORB numbers, we can call it a. 800,000 as of almost three years ago, with continued bloodshed in the meantime. If it wasn't 1,000,000 then, it's probably close now. In the end, as you say, the specific number is moot.
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wolvendancer wrote:
desertfox2004 wrote:
wolvendancer wrote:
Koldfoot wrote:
"One million" dead in Iraq?

You mean under Saddam's rule? Since WWI? The number of people who died of natural causes?

What is the meaning of that number?


http://www.projectcensored.org/top-stories/articles/1-over-o...

Note that is dated 2008.


I don't necessarily have an axe to grind here, but you do know that the ORB survey is only one of many on the subject, and has, by far, estimated a higher number of deaths than any of the other sources.


You seem to have made a generalized point without addressing the particulars. The only studies that have been done with anything approaching methodologically-sound premises are the ORB and Lancet studies - polling individual households, using scientific data collection methods, etc. Every single other study I am aware of is either based on military stats (verified KIA numbers) or a single report by the Iraqi Ministry of Health based on the number of death certificates applied for. Not only is the US Army obviously a biased party, but KIA data is not the same as an attempt to count the total number of casualties; similarly, a decimated agency for a non-functional government within a warzone counting death certificates is also hardly a source (or a result) I would trust over major polling agencies.

This is the problem with making generalized arguments - what appeals to intuition often doesn't fit the facts.

If you'd like to split the Lancet and ORB numbers, we can call it a. 800,000 as of almost three years ago, with continued bloodshed in the meantime. If it wasn't 1,000,000 then, it's probably close now. In the end, as you say, the specific number is moot.


Having read the background to the ORB report, I'd have my questions about the "scientific" nature of the data gathering. It should be noted that the ORB study has been severely criticized as poorly done, via peer review:

http://w4.ub.uni-konstanz.de/srm/article/viewArticle/2373

Here is the abstract of the paper:

Conflict Deaths in Iraq: A Methodological Critique of the ORB Survey Estimate
Michael Spagat, Joshua Dougherty


Abstract


In September of 2007 ORB, a British opinion polling firm, released an estimate that 1.2 million Iraqis had been killed in the conflict, subsequently lowering its estimate to 1 million. We compare three ORB polls and find important irregularities in ORB's mortality data in four central governorates of Iraq that account for more than 80% of the estimated deaths. These internal validity checks indicate that the ORB mortality data are not credible and would suggest a much lower estimate than ORB has published. We also analyze a number of specific error sources in the poll. Systematic errors, which include non-coverage and measurement errors, mostly point toward overestimation. Variable errors are also substantial but they are difficult to quantify in part due to incomplete disclosure of methodological details by ORB. External validity checks, including comparisons with two much larger and higher quality surveys, reinforce the conclusion that ORB has overestimated the number killed in Iraq by a wide margin. Thus, our paper answers a challenge facing the field of survey methodology, to explain how different surveys have produced such divergent mortality estimates for Iraq.


In any case, the reason for my initial post questioning the use of the "1,000,000 dead" figure is that it is not at all universally accepted, and by using it here, without reference to that fact, or reference to the range of numbers that have been produced on the subject, the objectivity of any positions being posited here that are at least in part being supported by that figure, are called into question. Put another way, casually using questionable figures in a political post calls into doubt the efficacy of the post. Speaking for myself, I know I'm less inclined to listen to what someone is saying when they insert a "whopper" into their speech, even if, on balance, what they are saying may make sense.

As for the question at hand, I can't say if anything that has happened in Iraq has had a part in what is now happening across North Africa and the Gulf. I don't know enough about how people live in Iraq today to know whether or not Iraqis now Twitter their buddies in Egypt saying, "this democracy stuff is great! U got to have it!". Frankly, for any of us sitting here to try and state authoritatively what role Iraq is playing in the current situation seems ridiculous to me, unless some of us are in direct personal contact with people in both Iraq and Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, ect. I suspect that the Iraq situation is not playing a central role in the situation, but I have nothing to go by to say that.
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Mondainai wrote:
I'd say that if we hadn't had the Iraqi invasion, we would now have been reading the same news from Iraq that we're getting from Libya etc.


And then we'd be reading about thousands of people being killed by Saddam's security forces as they ruthlessly quashed the protests with tanks, machine guns and high explosives

Seriously, these Tunisian and Egyptian bleeding heart "dictators" aren't even in the same league as Saddam when it comes to internal repression. Protests only work when the dictator and/or army hesitate at the prospect of killing every man woman and child involved
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Libyan jet fighters land in Malta and the pilots claim political asylum. Meanwhile their former colleagues are bombing Tripoli suburbs.

Incredible.
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We thought Tanks were the end-all in crushing protests, but apparently bombing protesters is even more effective.

Do Lybians have an equivalent of the second amendment, so that they can use their handguns against the planes?
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What is going on in Libya is much closer to what would have went on in Iraq in the case of the local revolt against Saddam - with the added proviso that the Libya does not have extra issues of sectarian (Shia vs Sunni) and ethnic (Kurd vs Arab) tensions.

I am first to agree that US screwed up royally in Iraq - but if anyone things that local uprisings end up cleaner and less bloody then foreign invasions - or tend to end in the more just and "democratic" outcomes - they are about as wrong as someone can be in their view of the world.

Also, while I totally agree that the Mubarak was a thief and a thug - he did exist on a wholly different plane from Quadafi and Saddam - as the current events (and those in the aftermath of the first gulf war) show rather vividly.
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wolvendancer wrote:
desertfox2004 wrote:
wolvendancer wrote:
Koldfoot wrote:
"One million" dead in Iraq?

You mean under Saddam's rule? Since WWI? The number of people who died of natural causes?

What is the meaning of that number?


http://www.projectcensored.org/top-stories/articles/1-over-o...

Note that is dated 2008.


I don't necessarily have an axe to grind here, but you do know that the ORB survey is only one of many on the subject, and has, by far, estimated a higher number of deaths than any of the other sources.


You seem to have made a generalized point without addressing the particulars. The only studies that have been done with anything approaching methodologically-sound premises are the ORB and Lancet studies - polling individual households, using scientific data collection methods, etc. Every single other study I am aware of is either based on military stats (verified KIA numbers) or a single report by the Iraqi Ministry of Health based on the number of death certificates applied for. Not only is the US Army obviously a biased party, but KIA data is not the same as an attempt to count the total number of casualties; similarly, a decimated agency for a non-functional government within a warzone counting death certificates is also hardly a source (or a result) I would trust over major polling agencies.

This is the problem with making generalized arguments - what appeals to intuition often doesn't fit the facts.

If you'd like to split the Lancet and ORB numbers, we can call it a. 800,000 as of almost three years ago, with continued bloodshed in the meantime. If it wasn't 1,000,000 then, it's probably close now. In the end, as you say, the specific number is moot.


Gee... for this number to have any relative meaning you would have to compare it to the number of people who died under the old regime.

The Documental Centre for Human Rights in Iraq has compiled documentation on over 600,000 civilian political executions in Iraq under Hussein.

Human Rights Watch reported that in one operation alone, the Anfal, Saddam killed 100,000 Kurdish Iraqis.

Another 500,000 Iraqis are estimated to have died in the war with Iran. (plus uncounted Iranians)

So over the 24 years somewhere between 70 and 125 civilian deaths per day plus then add military deaths and you find a lot of people died directly from the previous regime's policies.

This doesn't count any extra deaths from the poorer diet or restricted medical care or other oppressive conditions people like the Kurds faced for being on the regime's "want them to die" list.

Or the kids Saddam's policies orphaned.

So "death tolls" since the invasion without comparative context don't give a balanced picture.
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desertfox2004 wrote:
.... However, I just find it a bit much when people wishing to argue a particular point seize upon the most dramatic statistic available (out of many which are out there) and throw it around as though it is undeniable fact. In my opinion, the truth is probably somewhere in between, though I'd bet on the lower (but still troubling) end of the spectrum. ...
The ORB figures are straight in line with the previous Lancet figures. Nothing singularly dramatic about them at all. Undeniable fact? As far as anything epidimologically based can be? Yes.
 
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Meerkat wrote:

So "death tolls" since the invasion without comparative context don't give a balanced picture.
You seem to be missing how the ORB and Lancet studies were done.

They are epidemilogical studies.

They looked at two death rates of the Iraq population; before and after the invasion.

The death rate increased dramatically after the invasion.
To that the extent that by 2008 1,000,000 extra deaths above those expected with a steady state of "no invasion".

Obviously any change from Sadam's rule to greater freedom was likely to produce some deaths. But, as I asked before, a million?

(International law places the responsibility on the occupiers for the well-being of the people of the occupied country.)
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Koldfoot wrote:
"One million" dead in Iraq?

You mean under Saddam's rule? Since WWI? The number of people who died of natural causes?

What is the meaning of that number?


yes i had read that too.
and in my case the source was the lancet (english medical journal)

EDIT.. (OOPS, i should have read further down the post)
 
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bramadan wrote:

I am first to agree that US screwed up royally in Iraq - but if anyone things that local uprisings end up cleaner and less bloody then foreign invasions - or tend to end in the more just and "democratic" outcomes - they are about as wrong as someone can be in their view of the world.



big call.

in 5 years we can compare iraq, still struggling with it's sudden gift of freedom


to iran, who have been edging froward to what their people want over the last dozen years. much slower, but i'm guessing less painful.
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