Right Of The Star

Saturday, May 14, 2005

How Many Dead Was That? The Facts Come Out

Via Tim Blair:
Researchers surveyed 808 households for a study published last year by The Lancet which concluded that as many as 100,000 “excess deaths” had occurred in Iraq since liberation.

The UN has now released a survey of more than 21,600 households:

The invasion of Iraq and its aftermath caused the deaths of 24,000 Iraqis, including many children, according to the most detailed survey yet of postwar life in the country.

The UN report paints a picture of modern Iraq brought close to collapse despite its oil wealth. Successive wars, a decade of sanctions and the current violence have destroyed services, undermined health and education and made the lives of ordinary Iraqis dangerous and miserable.

The survey for the UN Development Programme, entitled Iraq Living Conditions Survey 2004, questioned more than 21,600 households this time last year. Its findings, released by the Ministry of Planning yesterday, could finally resolve the debate over how many Iraqis were killed in the war that overthrew the regime of Saddam Hussein in April 2003.

The 370-page report said that it was 95 per cent confident that the toll during the war and the first year of occupation was 24,000, but could have been between 18,000 and 29,000.

According to CNN, the UN survey was conducted throughout all of Iraq’s 18 provinces (the Lancet study examined 11). Also from CNN:
Iraq’s unemployment rate was 10.5 percent of a population of 27 million people, the report found.
That figure blows out to 18.4 percent when workers not looking for a job are included; the number of unemployed seeking work, however, compares reasonably well with data from France (unemployment: 9.4 percent).

While there has been progress since Saddam Hussein’s fall, “these data depict a very tragic picture of the quality of life,” Iraqi transitional Planning Minister Barham Salih said.

Salih said the mismanagement of Saddam’s government and his regime’s internal conflicts and those with its neighbors took a toll that spared no sector of the country’s infrastructure.

"Saddam Hussein has left us a wasteland,” Salih said. “This country could have been the economic powerhouse of the Middle East."

And might well become so, in time, now that Saddam is gone and his sons are dead. (Via Scott Campbell and Alan R.M. Jones)

Interesting how the left has been using those unsubstantiated numbers for the last few months, despite their being shown to be very inaccurate.

Of course they don't want to know the truth because it would be Unexpected!

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