Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Making Up The Death Count

By Cernig

Reuters reports an Iraqi Interior Ministry announcement of a dramatic drop in deaths in Iraq.
Interior Ministry spokesman Major-General Abdul-Karim Khalaf told reporters that there had been a 70 percent decrease in violence countrywide in the three months from July to September over the previous quarter.
Which leads some cheerleaders to suggest the war is won.

But that 70% figure is BS.

Iraq Body Count, as reported by the BBC, says that they have confirmed figures for approximately 6400 Iraqi deaths in the quarter from April to June. The Iraq Body Count confirmed totals for July and August so far amount to approximately 3750 - 58.6% of the previous quarter's total. The August total is expected to rise. In September, IBC have already tallied 873 reported deaths and that total will also rise considerably. Back when I went to school 4,600 was nowhere near 30% of 6400.

IBC has already tallied far more deaths for the quarter than the Iraqi Interior Minister's "70% decrease" says have occurred.

This is why the Interior Ministry makes these pronouncements, but has for some time now refused to make either the raw data or methodology public. It's something they hold in common with General Petraeus at MNF-I, who also hasn't released the basis for his infamous Congressional graphs yet. There's lies, damned lies, statistics - and "official" casualty counts in Iraq.

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