Chart of the day

M2RxI

(via)

We may as well call this an open thread.






111 replies
  1. 1
    Silver says:

    Dead brown people is a feature of American foreign policy, not a bug.

  2. 2
    Corner Stone says:

    Who actually counts brown as “people”?

    Besides, as our Lord and Savior Bobby Gates recently said, “The SURGE in Afghanistan worked”.

    So, this chart is beside the point ISTM.

  3. 3
    Culture of Truth says:

    That chart does not appear to properly weigh American lives vs all those others

  4. 4
    cleek says:

    that’s gonna be one hell of a Freedom omelet!

  5. 5
    Redshirt says:

    Does put things in perspective, don’t it? Too bad all of our “pro-life” fellow Americans can’t be bothered with anyone else dying.

  6. 6
    Kryptik says:

    Holy christ.

    I can’t even joke about it. It’s just….good fuck all, that’s sobering.

  7. 7
    geemoney says:

    Dude, it’s not that hard. Fight them there, or fight them here.

  8. 8
    jrg says:

    They hate us for our freedom.

  9. 9
    Earl Butz says:

    This chart points our our dismal policy failure in Afghanistan since Dr. Utopia usurped the presidency.

    That line for “Afghan Civilian Casualties” should be much, much longer.

  10. 10
    Erik Vanderhoff says:

    It’s their fault for not choosing American parents when they were born.

  11. 11
    Joshua says:

    It wouldn’t surprise me to learn the Iraqi civilian casualties are understated on that chart.

    Remember the hay the wingnuts made when the Lancet released that study claiming something like 100,000 civilians died? That was weird. And gross. And remember how the Lancet’s second study, which said something like 600,000 died, came out and nobody cared? That was just depressing.

  12. 12
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    I see many before me have pointed out that brown people do not count as “people”.

    Amazing that so many have this perception. I wonder why this is?

  13. 13
    Adam Lang says:

    Incidentally, 1M is almost certainly a dramatic undercount.

    Just sayin’.

  14. 14
    Zifnab says:

    Thank god we killed all those potential future terrorists. Now we can rest assured that no one in Iraq will ever again hate us for our freedoms (or the military bases we have scattered across their nation).

  15. 15
    Carol says:

    Am I the only person who’s skeptical about O’Donnell’s sudden million dollar windfall? Delaware isn’t so large a state that such a sum would be needed immediately. California, maybe, where the costs to simply do mailings would exceed that, and where retail campaigning simply isn’t that practical. But in a state like Delaware you could get a lot of media up for far less and take advantage of free media that automatically blankets the state just because it’s so small.

    Nor would such a sum be needed for travel either.

    Not only that, but it’s a pretty large money sink for a candidate who is unqualified by any reasonable standard to even sit on a city council as the “eccentric” who finally manages to get a place. No amount of money can cover up the lunacy and idiocy of that woman or give her any Senatorial Gravitas. Not only that, but anyone qualified to really help available now? Even if she seemed the type to take advice (her kind is usually to arrogant and stupid to do so) the kind of professional help needed for a Senatorial race is already helping other people. Her campaign manager “boyfriend” has no skills and probably no real control in any event, and no self-respecting professional (most likely retired, at this point the only available) wants to sign on to what looks like a clear trainwreck of a candidate and a clear trainwreck of a campaign.

    Personally, I expect an implosion pretty quickly. People are starting to make fun of her instead of treating her like the oracle of God she’s used be being treated as. Not only that, but voters are far less deferential and likely to ask pointed questions about everything from what she thinks of taxes to specific questions about issues. And they aren’t always going to be polite about it either. Even worse, she’s taking advice from Sarah Palin who’s never had to run a real campaign either to campaign on “Fox” alone. Sarah doesn’t realize that the only reason it works for her is that she isn’t running for anything. So she doesn’t have to answer questions she doesn’t want to answer, like a celebrity who can send uncomfortable questions to her publicist, knowing full well that her fans will support her no matter what.

    Elections don’t work that way. People want candidates who can “confront” on any issues, and anyone who doesn’t isn’t seen as someone who can adequately represent their interests.

    I give her a month.

  16. 16
    Kryptik says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Because they’re ‘not like us’, of course.

    That and we have way too many George Carlin fans around here, I presume.

  17. 17
    Bullsmith says:

    Okay so on the one hand America is and always has been a Christian nation and on the other hand Muslims are the only ones killing people. I guess the reasoning is those aren’t casualties, they’re recipients of freedom?

  18. 18
    DougJ says:

    Freedom isn’t free.

  19. 19
    liberal says:

    Dude, put up the “War on the Unborn.” It will blow everything else away!!one!

    ;-)

  20. 20
    Corner Stone says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I see many before me have pointed out that brown people do not count as “people”.
    __
    Amazing that so many have this perception. I wonder why this is?

    Because if they did then the next time a drone strike was reported to kill 5 “insurgents” in Pakistan people would sit up straight in their La-Z-Boys and ask who the fuck exactly got killed and why.

  21. 21
    Carol says:

    What I fear is the long “tail” of these casualties. Long after most of America has forgotten the atrocities, people who are suffering from the deprivation may decide to get even against people who weren’t even born when the war occurred. This is a part of the world where “forgive and forget” is not always considered a virtue, especially where honor is concerned.

  22. 22
    Ajay says:

    All thanks to Pro-Life party.

    I used to shocked, really shocked when this was going on. Then I realize that’s what we call Patriotism, cost of being free and other garbage.

    For some reason, Media has not and will never talk about this. Doing so will be unpatriotic.

  23. 23
    Culture of Truth says:

    You should O’Donnell’s Wasted Sperm chart. She gets out a ladder like Gore in An Inconvenient Truth

  24. 24
    wasabi gasp says:

    Quality, not quantity.

  25. 25
    liberal says:

    @Carol:
    I’d worry about that too, though we murdered approx 4 million Vietnamese with pretty few consequences.

  26. 26
    stuckinred says:

    @geemoney: Fight who you fucking moron?

  27. 27
    PeakVT says:

    Let’s not forget the millions of internally and externally displaced (aka refugees).

    Basically, as far as I can tell, we’ve spent a trillion or so dollars enhancing the political freedom of Iraqi elites and reducing the physical freedom of everyone else.

    Heckuva job, George Dick.

  28. 28
    Joshua says:

    @PeakVT:

    Heckuva job, George Dick.

    Your derisive comment implies this was unintentional.

  29. 29
    WaterGirl says:

    My sister just called in a (slight) panic from the store – she is hosting our australian relatives for dinner tonight – wine experts – and she doesn’t know what to buy. Main course is vegetarian lasagna. They live in Michigan, so she thought maybe michigan wines might be good?
    Any ideas? I am to call her back in a few minutes with any ideas you guys might have. Thanks!

    (apologies for double posting in both open threads, but since time is so short i thought it would be okay)

  30. 30
    mr. whipple says:

    Watching Obama intro Warren. Timmah is there, too. This is clearly a slap under the bus.

  31. 31
    Redshift says:

    It’s be useful to have a bar for “civilian casualties under Saddam” as an STFU to wingnuts who insist the Iraqis are better off now because of what a monster he was.

  32. 32
    Svensker says:

    But those numbers are based on the Lancet study and everyone knows that was a LIE. Why was it a lie? Because Algore is fat, that’s why.

    Ergo, we’re bigger victims than they are and don’t you forget it.

  33. 33
    licensed to kill time says:

    It’s just brown people enduring their freedom that we bestowed upon them.

    Thanks, George W. Fucking Bush and Dick Fucking Cheney.

  34. 34
    Citizen_X says:

    @stuckinred: Our enimy the Muslins, of course. What? There already over here, building they’re mosks? AAIIIIEEEEEEE!

  35. 35
    El Cid says:

    There are estimates other than Lancet and Iraq Body Count.

    The UN’s World Health Organization, whose research and statistics are typically held to be among the most reliable, in cooperation with the Iraqi government estimated that between 2003 and 2006 there were 150,000 casualties of violence.

    The estimate is based on interviews conducted in 9345 households in nearly 1000 neighbourhoods and villages across Iraq. The researchers emphasize that despite the large size of the study, the uncertainty inherent in calculating such estimates led them to conclude that the number of Iraqis who died from violence during that period lies between 104 000 and 223 000.

    I believe it would likely be — if perfect statistics were available — significantly more than the maximum range suggested by the WHO.

  36. 36
    Cris says:

    Though it’s worth taking note of the Daily Casualties comparison chart, as well. Without making excuses, it does remind you that 9/11 was a moment of heavy trauma.

  37. 37
    Zifnab says:

    @Carol: I’ll say this much. Osama was an anomaly. Most folks don’t have that kind of reach. And Osama also had a sizable fortune to draw on. An Iraqi who wanted to get even with the US would need a powerful donor, an extensive network of contacts, and a pretty decent plan of attack.

    A lot of those casualties weren’t caused directly by US forces. They were caused by bands of Iraqis killing each other during the civil war we presided over from ’05 to ’08. That hostility is easy to act on, and can self-perpetuate indefinitely.

    I’m more worried about an Israel/Palestine style thousand year dispute between Kurds, Sunnis, and Shia than I am about some rich Iraqi religious zealot paying for another round of suicide bombers.

  38. 38
    Corner Stone says:

    Wow. They just walked right the fuck back off when Obama was done.

  39. 39
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @mr. whipple: Timmeh’s being forced to eat a shit sammich in the veal pen?

  40. 40
    New Yorker says:

    Dammit, E.D. you’re supposed to use photos of cats or references to football teams to start open threads, not deeply sobering charts like that one.

  41. 41
    geemoney says:

    @stuckinred: And the first one is a doozy! Recalibrate the snark-meter, chief. I knew it would be a little oblique, since you don’t see it on this blog very often, but seriously, it’s a part of the vernacular, also, too.

  42. 42
    Cris says:

    @geemoney: Dude, it’s not that hard. Fight them there, or fight them here.

    And it would have been awfully expensive to ship all those civilians over here before killing them. This was really just a matter of efficiency.

  43. 43
  44. 44
    Corner Stone says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: you and mr. whipple always make me laugh.
    I appreciate it.

  45. 45
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @jrg:

    They hate us for our freedom.

    Also: Liberal media bias!

  46. 46
    Sentient Puddle says:

    @Redshift: There a rough figure on that? You imply that the numbers would be the kind of thing that could drive a man to drinking.

  47. 47
    Corner Stone says:

    @Napoleon: Obama, timmeh and EW.
    Obama gave a couple minute long intro and speech, slapped his mighty pen!s onto the dais, tossed the microphone into the crowd and said, “I’m audie bitchez!”
    Then the three of them marched right back into the WH, no questions asked.

  48. 48
    jinxtigr says:

    Fuck. We OWE them a fucking mosque. It’s a fucking holocaust.

  49. 49
    geemoney says:

    @Cris: Club Gitmo was full, and Bagram’s getting pretty full, too. In this economy, you have to save where you can, I guess.

  50. 50
    TooManyJens says:

    Before I saw the labels, I thought this was going to be an income distribution chart.

    Then it got even more depressing.

  51. 51
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    I really don’t get why everyone is so concerned about all those dead Iraqis and Afghans. I mean, they’re mostly muslims, right? Which means they don’t value life as much as we do! So their lives are worth about, oh, I don’t know, 1/20th as much as one of ours? So we’ve got near parity in deaths in Iraq right there!

  52. 52
    Martin says:

    @stuckinred: Them. Duh.

  53. 53
    Dork says:

    But think of all the Iraqi flower and candy stores that flourished because we invaded…..

  54. 54
    Corner Stone says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Whose concerned? They should’ve known better than to be hanging out there.

  55. 55
    Carol says:

    @liberal: Different culture, different time. The different time-the means of retribution were a bit more clumsy. The different culture was one where a person could believe that justice not delivered in one lifetime would be delivered somehow in the next incarnation. The persecutor in one lifetime would be the persecuted in another lifetime.

  56. 56
    Brachiator says:

    The war in Iraq would be stupid, futile, pointless, misguided, a lie, even if there were no Iraqi civilian casualties.

    And placing the Iraqi civilian casualties on the same chart with the 9/11 and Fort Hood victims is irrelevant since Iraq had absolutely nothing to do with the September 11 attacks.

    But there is also something potentially misleading in the Iraqi civilian casualty figures. Does this include those who have fallen victim to sectarian violence? Is the implication then that the US is responsible for all the violence in Iraq since its invasion and occupation?

    And of course, there is a Catch-22 here as well. Since the West created Saddam Hussein, had the US not invaded, wouldn’t we still be responsible for any Iraqi civilian death or injury committed by Saddam’s regime?

  57. 57
    wasabi gasp says:

    @jinxtigr: I don’t know about that, but there’s that one guy who should probably get his shoe back.

  58. 58
    Carol says:

    @Zifnab: True, I doubt that the Iraqi government would allow something like that. And in the past, things were less graphic, allowing for memories to fade a bit. But I can see an occasional person lashing out for family honor somehow, especially if the other causes in the Middle East don’t really settle themselves either and the blow could be justified on additional grounds as well. Especially those descended from Abu Graib or other atrocities who see their parents or relatives tortured to death or worse, and there is no legal way to settle accounts due our refusal to prosecute the torturers or even allowing them to be sued or even having a public inquiry.

    We should be having a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to handle this sort of thing as soon as it’s all over.

  59. 59
    WereBear says:

    @WaterGirl: Hope your sister made out okay. My first reaction was Michigan wines for Australian wine experts… reminds me of the Muppet movie scene where Steve Martin served the finest wines of Idaho.

    I’m not a snob, but I had some Northern Indiana Amish wine once… and barely made it.

  60. 60

    Does this include those who have fallen victim to sectarian violence? Is the implication then that the US is responsible for all the violence in Iraq since its invasion and occupation?

    Maybe not all, but a good deal more than is talked about. Particularly the Shia-on-Sunni violence.

    Remember when Cheney and Rumsfeld were talking about the “Salvador option”? Then came the explosion of Shia death squad activity, with dozens of Sunni bodies turning up on the Tigris every morning, bound, electric-drilled and shot?

  61. 61
    Rommie says:

    Duck w/ Arrow:

    http://www.mlive.com/news/gran.....eed_t.html

    That’s one tough duck – and the rescuers are just DFH’s, of course.

    What gets to me is the comments – you’ll find asshat commentary in every freaking MLive story now, no matter the subject. I want to say “get the elections over already” but that won’t stop the comments.

  62. 62
    Stefan says:

    But there is also something potentially misleading in the Iraqi civilian casualty figures. Does this include those who have fallen victim to sectarian violence? Is the implication then that the US is responsible for all the violence in Iraq since its invasion and occupation?

    Uh, yes. It is directly responsible.

  63. 63
    Eric S. says:

    @TooManyJens: What you said. Seeing this after a few adult beverages would have made me sober. Now I just want those beverages.

  64. 64

    Wow. That’s a little too much perspective.

    Thanks, E.D.

  65. 65
    El Tiburon says:

    They hate us because of our charts and graphs!

  66. 66
    congressive says:

    @geemoney:

    What part of the word “civilian” don’t you understand?

  67. 67
    Brachiator says:

    @El Tiburon:

    They hate us because of our charts and graphs!

    Everybody hates Powerpoint (The U.S. Military’s War On PowerPoint).

  68. 68
    philsten says:

    The figure for Iraq deaths is a ridiculous exaggeration. It’s an extrapolation of the “Lancet study” which was a bogus extrapolation to begin with. Here’s a comment from the original thread pointing out the problem:

    “Iraq Civilian Casualties: There is high variance between various sources on the number of civilian casualties since the US-led invasion in March 2003. The only source to calculate Iraqi civilian casualties since the invasion is Iraq Body Count, which only counts bodies confirmed by the Western media, leading it to severely under-report the total number of civilians killed since March 2003. Correspondingly, other studies only cover specific time periods. For instance, the most recognized study conducted by Lancet and John Hopkins University in October 2006 listed over 650,000 killed. Data is then extrapolated to represent the March 2003 to September 2010 timeframe.”

    The Lancet “study” has been debunked over and over again, by the WHO, AAPOR and many others. So has the only other thing that looked similarly inflated, the “ORB Poll”. See here:

    http://www.iraqbodycount.org/a.....rated-orb/

    Also, this is wrong about the IBC. Below is it’s source list. On which planet are all these “Western media”?

    http://www.iraqbodycount.org/a.....e/sources/

  69. 69
    philsten says:

    the link was cut on the original thread. Here’s the full link:

    http://www.iraqbodycount.org/a.....rated-orb/

  70. 70
    WaterGirl says:

    @WereBear: You made me laugh!

    We got nowhere good (me on the internet and her on the phone in the michigan wine section). With as little time as she had and with as little we both know about wine, after about 10 minutes I said she might as well just pick the wine with the prettiest label, ’cause it was going to be a crapshoot anyway.

  71. 71
    Bullsmith says:

    @philsten:

    I don’t understand. You link to Iraq Body count but you also quote someone from an old thread saying “Iraq Body Count, which only counts bodies confirmed by the Western media, leading it to severely under-report the total number of civilians killed since March 2003”

    How does that discredit the Lancet but lend weight to Iraq Body Count? God knows “Western Media” are not counting the dead one by one these days.

    Your post has convinced me not to follow your links. Funny that.

  72. 72
    Steve says:

    @philsten: I have been hearing from the right-wing blogs that the Lancet study was “debunked” since about 5 minutes after it was released. “It’s debunked!” “It’s been debunked again!” “Aha, it’s the repeatedly debunked Lancet study…” But something isn’t debunked just by saying so.

    There have been plenty of criticisms of the Lancet study, some of which seem perfectly legitimate to me. But that isn’t the same thing as “debunked.” Tell you what, for starters, can you link me to the World Health Organization’s “debunking” of the Lancet study?

  73. 73
    stuckinred says:

    @geemoney: my bad

  74. 74
    Stefan says:

    The Lancet “study” has been debunked over and over again, by the WHO, AAPOR and many others.

    Complete bullshit. It’s never been “debunked”, despite wingnuts stamping their little feet and screaming it’s not twue, it’s not twue, we just know it isn’t twue! The methodology is valid. But if you claim otherwise, please provide some links to credible, peer-reviewed debunkings published the academic literature.

  75. 75
    Jon Stewart says:

    But people who protested the Iraq invasion by putting fake blood on their hands are equivalent to people who call Obama a Nazi communist! Right? Right?

  76. 76
    Stefan says:

    Is the implication then that the US is responsible for all the violence in Iraq since its invasion and occupation?

    Was, say, the Soviet Union responsible for all the violence in Afghanistan in the 1980s after its invasion and occupation by the Soviets?

  77. 77
    LikeableInMyOwnWay says:

    Those numbers were pretty much becoming general knowledge some years ago. When did you decide that the Iraq war policy was nothing but a collossal fuckup promulgated on a foundation of lies?

    Just wondering. For the record, I made this call in 2002. Just saying. It wasn’t that hard. Same year that Barack Obama made this speech.

  78. 78
    Paula says:

    @LikeableInMyOwnWay:

    I made this call in 2002 as well. I also thought invading Afghanistan was a dumb idea on Sep. 12 , 2001. Neither was much of an accomplishment, all things considered.

  79. 79
    PeakVT says:

    @philsten: At the risk of pointing out the obvious, it really doesn’t matter what the exact numbers are. They were all unnecessary, as were all of the American deaths, the other coalition deaths, the injured on all sides, the destruction of public infrastructure and private property in Iraq, the displacement of a large number of Iraqis from their homes and country, and the waste of a trillion dollars or more in creating the aforementioned mayhem and mutilation.

  80. 80
    catclub says:

    @Stefan:
    I read the Iraq Body Count criticisms of the Lancet style study.
    I suggest you do also and make up your mind whether those criticisms seem reasonable.

    If they do seem reasonable, then the difficulties of sampling may need much more weight than given by the Lancet study.

    I think that the Iraq body count group COULD have read the Lancet study and said: “We are taking a conservative approach and only listing those that show up in the press.
    The Lancet study is outside of our bailiwick.”

    They did not.

  81. 81
    Stefan says:

    At the risk of pointing out the obvious, it really doesn’t matter what the exact numbers are. They were all unnecessary,

    That’s true. It’s kind of like a mass murderer quibbling whether he only killed twenty as opposed to forty innocent people. Um, good for you? Whether it’s a million or a hundred thousand, it’s all still blood on our hands.

  82. 82
    catclub says:

    @Stefan:
    That would be:
    Survey Research Methods (Vol. 4, No. 1, 2010)

  83. 83
    frank1569 says:

    Our Dept of Defense estimates 3-5 WIA for every ‘collateral’ KIA, and another 3-5 revenge-seekers for every KIA and/or WIA.

    So there’s that…

  84. 84
    Jbird says:

    Oh, boooooooo. That’s not a good chart! Ed Tufte would be apoplectic.

    Here’s your problem: clearly, the values you are comparing are practically incomparable. That outlier on the right is so much of N that it deserves its own chart.

  85. 85
    Stefan says:

    That would be: Survey Research Methods (Vol. 4, No. 1, 2010)

    Fail. That’s a link to a critique of a Sep. 2007 study by ORB, a British polling firm. It is not a critique of the Lancet study.

  86. 86
    Brandon says:

    I understand that each and every civilian casualty is one to many. Nevertheless, I’m having trouble verifying that 1 million have actually been killed.

    The latest on Iraq Body Count lists 106,000 as the top of its range.

    In addition, the chart seems to imply that the civilian casualties are the result of American forces, when that is not the case. A significant number of the deaths appear to be the result of things such as suicide bombs, IEDs, etc. The implication may not have been intended, but judging by the comments I’m guessing many felt the same way.

  87. 87
    Jamie says:

    Yowch, that’s gonna leave a mark.

  88. 88
    Adam Lang says:

    Er, sorry, that’s not a significant undercount, it’s me missing a zero.

  89. 89
    geemoney says:

    @stuckinred: No sweat. It’s beer o’clock.

  90. 90
    geemoney says:

    @congressive: Read through the S section of the lexicon, maybe, for what I’m doing there.

    ETA: And, yeah, it’s tasteless and cheap as a reaction, but with some bad s#i+ happening in my personal life this coming weekend, this kind of horror tips things over the edge for me. I don’t think that I’m wired to react with the kind of gravitas that you, apparently, expect on a blog. I apologize if it offended your fee-fees (that’s under F in the lexicon, FYI).

  91. 91
    Cris says:

    @Stefan: Whether it’s a million or a hundred thousand, it’s all still blood on our hands.

    We’re just trying to make sure we bypass Comrade Stalin’s tragedy/statistic threshold.

  92. 92
    jason says:

    It’s pretty saddening that people attempt to justify needless deaths to ANY culture. Most Muslims are good people. Most Iraqis are good people.. In general, most PEOPLE are good people and ALL people should be considered equal. There are crazies in every culture including and especially the American culture. Don’t let the news infect your mind into inaccurate stereotypes of other cultures.
    Civilian deaths of any kind are needless, wrong and evil. Contrary to popular belief, killing doesn’t insure freedom. It only creates another generation of ruined lives, not peace.

  93. 93
    Brachiator says:

    @Stefan:
    RE: Is the implication then that the US is responsible for all the violence in Iraq since its invasion and occupation?

    Was, say, the Soviet Union responsible for all the violence in Afghanistan in the 1980s after its invasion and occupation by the Soviets?

    Too easy. The answer is obviously “No.” The US and the Soviet Union used Afghanistan as their playground as they struggled over their national interests. The Saudis, the Pakistan government and intelligence services and even some Afghan officials and other local elites had interests in the outcome of the struggles there. You know, kinda like how Russia and Great Britain used Afghanistan as playground for what was ironically referred to as The Great Game in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

    So, when the Soviets invaded, should the US have simply done nothing and not provided weapons to any opposition forces?

    Since 2001, the US has provided about $18 billion in economic and military assistance to Pakistan, some of which was used to prop up Pakistan’s co-operation in the supposed war on … something… and some of which ended up funding Pakistan’s efforts to wrest Kashmir away from India. Past US aid to Pakistan may have helped given them the breathing room to develop their nuclear weapon program.

    And as far back as 2007, perceptive writers were noting the complex weave of motives in the region:

    Zia was responsible for initiating the alliance between the conservative military officers and the reactionary mullahs, both groups that tended to be drawn from the middle classes, in contrast to politicians, who mostly came from feudal landholding backgrounds. When Pakistan’s Islamic radicals joined the anti-Soviet jihad in Afghanistan, their recruitment was controlled by the I.S.I. and funded by both the C.I.A. and the Saudi intelligence agency. Soon the I.S.I. became the paymaster of myriad jihadi groups. These were intended to be selectively deployed in Afghanistan and, later, Kashmir, where Pakistan has been engaged in a long-running dispute with India. The Pakistani Army saw the jihadis as a cost-effective means of dominating Afghanistan while keeping the Indian Army bogged down in Kashmir. As Hamid Gul, the director of the I.S.I. at the time, told me, “If they encourage the Kashmiris, it’s understandable. The Kashmiri people have risen up, and it is the national purpose of Pakistan to help liberate them. . . . If the jihadis go out and contain India, tying down their Army on their own soil, for a legitimate cause, why should we not support them?”

    How do you single out who is “most responsible” for the horrible outcomes in the region?

  94. 94

    But facts and verifiable evidence have such a Liberal bias!

  95. 95
    Hookers and Cocaine says:

    The 1,000,000 is of course nonsense. It’s absurd to suggest so many have been killed… but only 10% of that slaughter is evident. Not even the Nazis where clever enough to conceal the truth of their slaughter of millions.

    Some of you have correctly pointed out that even the lowball number of 100,000 is horrific, and that whether the US is directly responsible for most of those deaths (it isn’t) or they are the result of the civil war that followed in the aftermath of the invasion… it is still clear evidence that the policy itself has been an absolute failure in every way.

    But that’s not what far left wingers are looking to prove. The proponents of these exaggerated numbers seek to Nazify the US military and by extension George W. Bush. It’s not enough to say he was a horrible President and his policies failed… you’ve got to make him Hitler. The left has always had an irrational hatred of Bush. Jon Stewart is absolutely correct in equating the 9/11 truthers with the birthers on the right. Anyone who’d read the various accounts of 9/11 – The 9/11 Commission, Richard Clarke’s book and others – who wasn’t totally paranoid and partisan, would not likely suspect that President Bush let 9/11 happen. It’s pretty clear he was caught completely off-guard by it. But the truther CT’s persist. Many also choose to believe that the Civil War which killed so many Iraqis was also the plan of the all powerful Cheney/Rumsfeld cabal.

    I don’t care how smart you all are either. Plenty of the most paranoid right wingers I know are convinced Global Warming isn’t real and that HCR will bankrupt the nation. People who are sufficiantly paranoid will find a way to believe the worst of those they distrust. The only difference between the modern Democrats and the GOP is that their crazies outnumber the Democrat’s crazies by about 2 to 1. Perhaps more. So the Code Pink type’s on the other side can actually win primaries and influence policy.

    All of you who buy this sort of wild speculation as absolute fact, and think in such simplistic black and white terms are not all that different from the Reason crowd. You’re just scared and angry at different stuff.

  96. 96
    Abdullah says:

    @Brachiator:

    Simply put: no invasion, no 1+ million dead. You can try to muddle the picture by dragging Pakistan into it but it won’t work.

  97. 97
    Ab says:

    \@Brachiator:

    The answer to your question is pretty simple. The country that initiated the unnecessary war is most responsible. Glad I can help.

  98. 98
    C Burkey says:

    @geemoney: oh, there are only two choices and both of them involve fighting. that’s in *your world* and it’s not the reality.

    the choice is not between violence here, and violence there. there are LOTS of choices and possibilities for sorting out conflict, and violence should be the very, very, very, very last resort. violence spreads. it’s like a law of physics. it should absolutely NOT be used unless there IS no other option, in this instance, other options were not even considered for five seconds. that is not the adult way to resolve matters of life and death, of crucial national import.

  99. 99

    The one with the really, really, really big bar is the group we claimed we were doing a favor for.

  100. 100
    Ned Pointsman says:

    Where have you started counting from? Was it by any chance as soon as US lives were at risk in 2003? Just like Vietnam; you were bombing that place for years and very few ‘liberals’ batted an eyelid, as soon as troops went in an US lives were at risk the protests started.

    You’re a deeply sick country.

    Nevertheless, if you count when you actually started attacking Iraq in the early nineties and you take into account the effect of a decade of sanctions and US/UK daily bombings of hospitals and water treatment plants you end up with a holocaust, somewhere between four or five million.

    Incidentally you might want to compare that Afghanistan number to the number of violent deaths in certain US states, I don’t know where you got that number but it’s absurd.

  101. 101

    People need to remember that the vast majority of that 1,000,000 figure for Iraq weren’t shot or blown up by Americans, though there were far too many of those, too.

    Most of them were killed by other Iraqis or foreign terrorists in the civil war, ethnic cleansing, and terror campaigns set off by Operation Iraqi Freedom.

    This isn’t a theological point about the fine apportionment of blame. The lesson here is that the damage done by our military machine isn’t the most important thing we have to think about when we discuss war. If you believe the war’s supporters, this was a war launched for the purpose of the political and humanitarian consequences expected to come from it. We went a-meddling, because we could do so much better.

    That’s what the super-giant bar on that chart says to me.

  102. 102
    Perfect Tommy says:

    @Stefan:

    Complete bullshit. It’s never been “debunked”, despite wingnuts stamping their little feet and screaming it’s not twue, it’s not twue, we just know it isn’t twue! The methodology is valid. But if you claim otherwise, please provide some links to credible, peer-reviewed debunkings published the academic literature.

    http://news.sciencemag.org/sci.....09-01.html

  103. 103
    Corner Stone says:

    @joe from Lowell: You are one sick twist.

  104. 104
    Brian says:

    I’m against the war, but I am also against media bias. I argue with the source for this chart as the most reliable method we have seen thus far is reporting 150,000 Iraqi casualties. However, the chart shows close to 1,000,000. When looking at the source for the chart, it states: “The only source to calculate Iraqi civilian casualties since the invasion is Iraq Body Count, which only counts bodies confirmed by the Western media, leading it to severely under-report the total number of civilians killed since March 2003.”

  105. 105
    philsten says:

    “Your comment is awaiting moderation.”

    My comment was posted on 9:15pm. Many other later comments are approved. Why?

  106. 106
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Kryptik: Ditto this. This is not a good open thread topic, E.D.

  107. 107
    philsten says:

    Now my comment is published at 11:57pm asking why my 9:13pm comment is not published. What kind of nonsense is going on here? Here is my 9:13pm comment again:

    @Bullsmith:

    The “Western Media” line is one of the false claims made by the person who made the bogus graphic at the top of this page. The IBC is not just “Western media”. Their source list is here:
    http://www.iraqbodycount.org/a…..e/sources/ Please read the whole post again, then read the links too.

    @Steve and Stefan,

    Read the link i posted for starters:

    http://www.iraqbodycount.org/a…..rated-orb/

    Yes, the Lancet study has been debunked. In addition to discussing the peer-reviewed article that has debunked the “ORB poll”, it also points to a peer-reviewed article that has “comprehensively discredited” that Lancet study: http://www.informaworld.com/sm…..=713240928

    This article lays out the Lancet data in minute detail and shows that it diverges widely from all other credible sources and shows a wide range of evidence of data fabrication and falsification in the Lancet study data. In short: the data behind the study is a fake. It also shows that the authors of that study have refused to disclose even basic things like “the survey’s questionnaire, data-entry form, data matching anonymised interviewer identifications with households and sample design.” Nobody would accept even an opinion poll that doesn’t disclose these basic things.

    This led the AAPOR to dismiss the study as well: http://www.aapor.org/AAPOR_Fin…..s_Code.htm

    The AAPOR President wrote on this, “When researchers draw important conclusions and make public statements and arguments based on survey research data, then subsequently refuse to answer even basic questions about how their research was conducted, this violates the fundamental standards of science, seriously undermines open public debate on critical issues, and undermines the credibility of all survey and public opinion research.”

    The WHO also dismissed the Lancet study in the peer-reviewed report on their survey on Iraq deaths, stating flatly that: “the 2006 study by Burnham et al. (the Lanet study) considerably overestimated the number of violent deaths.”
    http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsa0707782

    Another peer-reviewed paper by demographer Beth Daponte rejects the Lancet study in favor of IBC, ILCS and the IFHS (WHO) study discussed above.
    http://www.icrc.org/Web/eng/si…..aponte.pdf

    Yet another peer-reviewed paper critiqued the methodology of the Lancet study as biased in a way that would exaggerate the estimate of violent deaths. This paper won the 2008 Article of the Year award in the JPR journal, with the award jury writing, “The authors show convincingly that [the Lancet study has] significantly overestimated the number of casualties in Iraq.”
    http://dissident93.wordpress.c…..rch-award/

    That is four peer-reviewed papers and one major survey research organization dismissing the Lancet study. That is only the tip of the iceberg. The IBC has also rejected it, and much more criticism from various persons and groups is discussed here: https://dissident93.wordpress.com/2008/10/20/leading-researchers-disagree-with-project-censored/

    There are few estimates that are so out of whack with all other sources, and that so many experts have dismissed, and that people still cling to with such fervor. Just because the right wing has also said it is debunked does not mean it isn’t. In any case, I agree with PeakVT that all the numbers are too high, but it’s time to wake up, start talking about realistic numbers, and put the Lancet study into the dustbin where it belongs.

  108. 108
    philsten says:

    This blog has censored my 9:13pm comment, while publishing several other subseqent comments, and now posts a follow up comment of mine asking about why my 9:13pm comment was being held up, where many of the links copied from my earlier comment are truncated due to the linking practice of this blog that truncates links. So now this blog posts the copy with truncated links people can not now get to the links i provided.

    Here is the comment again with the proper links. This ‘moderation’ process is questionable at best. It needlessly delayed a comment of mine while posting several later comments, and then posts a later copy that truncates the relevant links. I ask this blog to post my 9:13pm comment as written, or post this follow up with the links not truncated (destroyed so they are unusable) by this blog.

    Here is my 9:13pm comment (with links not destroyed by this blog’s “moderation”:

    @Bullsmith:

    The “Western Media” line is one of the false claims made by the person who made the bogus graphic at the top of this page. The IBC is not just “Western media”. Their source list is here:
    http://www.iraqbodycount.org/a.....e/sources/ Please read the whole post again, then read the links too.

    @Steve and Stefan,

    Read the link i posted for starters:

    http://www.iraqbodycount.org/a.....rated-orb/

    Yes, the Lancet study has been debunked. In addition to discussing the peer-reviewed article that has debunked the “ORB poll”, it also points to a peer-reviewed article that has “comprehensively discredited” that Lancet study: http://www.informaworld.com/sm.....=713240928

    This article lays out the Lancet data in minute detail and shows that it diverges widely from all other credible sources and shows a wide range of evidence of data fabrication and falsification in the Lancet study data. In short: the data behind the study is a fake. It also shows that the authors of that study have refused to disclose even basic things like “the survey’s questionnaire, data-entry form, data matching anonymised interviewer identifications with households and sample design.” Nobody would accept even an opinion poll that doesn’t disclose these basic things.

    This led the AAPOR to dismiss the study as well: http://www.aapor.org/AAPOR_Fin.....s_Code.htm

    The AAPOR President wrote on this, “When researchers draw important conclusions and make public statements and arguments based on survey research data, then subsequently refuse to answer even basic questions about how their research was conducted, this violates the fundamental standards of science, seriously undermines open public debate on critical issues, and undermines the credibility of all survey and public opinion research.”

    The WHO also dismissed the Lancet study in the peer-reviewed report on their survey on Iraq deaths, stating flatly that: “the 2006 study by Burnham et al. (the Lanet study) considerably overestimated the number of violent deaths.”
    http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsa0707782

    Another peer-reviewed paper by demographer Beth Daponte rejects the Lancet study in favor of IBC, ILCS and the IFHS (WHO) study discussed above.
    http://www.icrc.org/Web/eng/si.....aponte.pdf

    Yet another peer-reviewed paper critiqued the methodology of the Lancet study as biased in a way that would exaggerate the estimate of violent deaths. This paper won the 2008 Article of the Year award in the JPR journal, with the award jury writing, “The authors show convincingly that [the Lancet study has] significantly overestimated the number of casualties in Iraq.”
    https://dissident93.wordpress.com/2008/12/15/journal-of-peace-research-award/

    That is four peer-reviewed papers and one major survey research organization dismissing the Lancet study. That is only the tip of the iceberg. The IBC has also rejected it, and much more criticism from various persons and groups is discussed here: https://dissident93.wordpress.com/2008/10/20/leading-researchers-disagree-with-project-censored/

    There are few estimates that are so out of whack with all other sources, and that so many experts have dismissed, and that people still cling to with such fervor. Just because the right wing has also said it is debunked does not mean it isn’t. In any case, I agree with PeakVT that all the numbers are too high, but it’s time to wake up, start talking about realistic numbers, and put the Lancet study into the dustbin where it belongs.

  109. 109
    Peter K. says:

    well there hasn’t been any more 9-11 type attacks since Iraq and Afghanistan so the fly-trap theory has held up.

    I know, I know, Bush is worse than Bin Laden or Saddam….

  110. 110
    Peter K. says:

    I don’t understand. So American soldiers are lining up Iraqis against the wall by the gross?

    And Al Qaeda in Iraq and the Sadr’s Shiite death squads aren’t killing any civilians?

    I guess the question is: Why do you hate America? Because it’s the top dog???

    And why do you miss Saddam Hussein?

  111. 111
    hexag1 says:

    This chart is bogus.
    In the first three columns, it is clear who is killing whom.
    At Ft. Hood, a Muslim soldier, under the influence of a radical cleric, opened fire on unarmed soldiers. At 9/11, Muslim terrorist/air pirates, crashed jet liners into buildings, killing helpless civillians.

    In the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, who is killing whom? The column for Iraq (putting the number of civilian deaths at 1,000,000) just lumps all the casualties together, as if they all had the same cause. But those deaths weren’t all caused, even indirectly, by the US. Most of the violence in Iraq has been Muslim-on-Muslim violence. It was the sectarian Sunni-Shia war – a dispute older than the US itself) that racked up the body count. Greenwald et al seem to think that the US is to blame not only for its own actions, but for it’s enemies actions as well. It is a terrible moral confusion to chart the deaths in this way.

    Whats more, where are the body counts for Saddam Hussein and the Taliban? Did history just begin on September 11th, 2001?? If we were to properly count the civilian deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq, and split them up by who is killing whom (after all who did what to whom is a basic task of journalism), the picture is much different. Saddam Hussein probably killed over a million people in his wars agains the Kurds and the Iranians, not to mention 30 years of brutal political violence against Iraqis in his own territory.

    We can make the same point in Afghanistan. How many did the Taliban kill during its reign? 500,000? a million?

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