Lanced

There seems to be quite a bit of debate going on about the new Lancet study. Even I got a comment.

A opposed to going into the details here, I simply point my readers to ScienceBlogs. We have Tim Lambert with all these posts and more.  Then there is Mark Chu-Carroll at Good Math-Bad Math discussing the method and the follow-up. Finally, there is  Mike Dunford, with a discussion of the flaws in the study.

I will wait for some of the dust to settle, but my opinion still holds. Why did the both the Washington Post and New York Times bury this story page 12? Even if one takes the bottom end of the error bars (approximately 425 000), the number is scary.

As to my commenters ‘math,’ about bodies piling up, I simply quote the NY Times

The military has released rough counts of average numbers of Iraqis killed and wounded in a quarterly accounting report mandated by Congress. In the report, “Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq,” daily averages of dead and wounded Iraqi civilians, soldiers and police officers rose from 26 a day in 2004 to almost 120 a day in August 2006. [my emphasis]

[…]

The mortality rate before the American invasion was about 5.5 people per 1,000 per year, the study found. That rate rose to 19.8 deaths per 1,000 people in the year ending in June.

Even if one accepts the total number of military, insurgent and civilian deaths to be around 100 000, isn’t that too many ‘extra’ deaths to achieve chaos? And yes, I do count insurgent deaths because, without an American presence, there wouldn’t be an insurgency.

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