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    Want numbers? THis is an extremely old report but just shows how the numbers can be skewed by "certain" newspapers.


    How High Is the Murder Rate in Baghdad?
    Tuesday, December 16, 2003
    By John R. Lott Jr.

    Despite Saddam Hussein's capture this weekend, many are still pessimistic about controlling the levels of violence in Iraq.

    Yet, this pessimism largely depends on the numbers one relies on. Take what has become a surprisingly controversial number: Baghdad's murder rate (search). Some assert that in October Baghdad had one of the highest murder rates in the world, while others point to numbers that it was below even the U.S.'s own murder rate. The political overtones are obvious, not just in terms of the Bush administration's successes but as people try to explain why the numbers are as high or as low as they are.

    This June, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld started the ruckus when he said: “You've got to remember that if Washington, D.C., were the size of Baghdad, we would be having something like 215 murders a month.” Some were bothered simply because this indicated that Iraq was being handled well. Others were upset that a country where civilians were able to freely own machine guns could have a lower murder rate than our own nation’s capital where even handguns are banned. The claim did not sit well with those pushing to renew the assault weapons ban (search) in our own country.

    The apparently low crime rate was all the more surprising because Saddam had let all of Iraq’s criminals out of jail before his government was removed. In addition, Iraq is still in turmoil: Iraqi police are new to their jobs and terrorist attacks stretch them thin.

    On the other side, a New York Times op-ed by two Brookings Institution (search) researchers, Adriana Lins de Albuquerque and Michael O’Hanlon, claims that Baghdad’s murder rate is among the highest in the world. Supposedly Baghdad’s annualized murder rate from April to October this year ranged from an incredible 100 to 185 per 100,000 people -- a number, they pointed out, that averaged several times greater than the rate in Washington, D.C.

    Even an op-ed in the U.S. edition of the Wall Street Journal by retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey says that Rumsfeld is in “denial” when he claims the “crime levels” are comparable in the two cities. An AP story points to bodies in the morgue and claims, "Baghdad is in the midst of an unprecedented crime wave."

    Yet, according to the Wall Street Journal Europe, the U.S. Army 1st Division in Baghdad reports that the numbers fell continually from a high of 19.5 per 100,000 in July to only 5 per 100,000 in October. The October rate is actually lower than the 5.6 U.S. murder rate in 2002. By contrast, the New York Times’ latest numbers for October claim to show a murder rate of 140 per 100,000 -- a difference of 28-fold!

    Albuquerque and O’Hanlon not only imply that murders are rampant, but generally rising. By contrast, the Wall Street Journal Europe shows crime is under control and falling. If the Wall Street Journal Europe proves correct, Rumsfeld is vindicated. The murder rate would then never be even half as high as that for Washington, D.C. If Albuquerque and O’Hanlon are right, Rumsfeld has some serious explaining to do.

    So whom should we believe? The New York Times or the Wall Street Journal Europe?

    I contacted the authors of both pieces. Albuquerque and O’Hanlon, who wrote the Times piece, provided two sources for their murder rate numbers: An article by Neil MacFarquhar in the New York Times (Sept. 16, 2003) and a piece by Lara Marlowe in the Irish Times (Oct. 11, 2003). Yet, both references clearly stated that much more than murder was included in the reports that they used from the Baghdad morgue. MacFarquhar notes that these deaths also included “automobile accidents” and cases where people “were shot dead by American soldiers,” cases that clearly did not involve murders. The Irish Times piece mentions that “up to a quarter of fatal shootings [in the morgue] are caused by U.S. troops.”

    For some perspective, in D.C., murders account for fewer than 5 percent of all deaths. Even counting only the types of deaths explicitly mentioned in the stories citing the Baghdad morgue (accidental deaths, murders, suicides) and assuming that soldiers were engaged in the same type of fighting in D.C. as they are in Iraq, murders in D.C. would account for just a third of deaths. (The respective numbers for the U.S. as a whole are even lower: a half of one percent and 11 percent.) Obviously, counting these other deaths as “murders” in D.C. would imply that murders were three to 20 times more common than they actually were.

    The Wall Street Journal Europe instead relied on the U.S. Army 1st Division stationed in Baghdad. A public affairs officer with that division, Jason Beck, confirmed for me that a large part of the Iraqi legal system is being overseen by the U.S. JAG officers, and they are using the same standards for murder rates as used in the U.S. and separating out murders from other deaths.

    Numbers mean a lot. Perceptions that conditions in Iraq are deteriorating constantly gets play in evaluating whether President Bush deserves re-election. When a publication of record such as the New York Times gets Baghdad’s October murder rates wrong by up to a factor of 28 to 1 and no correction is issued, the consequences are significant. To equate accidental deaths and U.S. soldiers killing terrorists with murders is irresponsible.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobo
    Oh god give me a break. Yeah, Israel determines our actions.
    It's a lot easier to not think about it...
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    Its even easier to overstate it...
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    The Bush Administration is more immune to the influence of the powerful Jewish lobby.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobo
    The Kurds tried. They were gased to death.
    So did the Sh1tes and to the same fate.
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    Re: U.S. Study Paints Somber Portrait of Iraqi Discord


    Quote Originally Posted by Bobo
    That included crime data up to the start of operations, crimes that would be committed regardless. THe amounts of death per day are recorded each day by various sites so you don't need to even do your math based on data for a 3 year period especially when the worst of the action and military operations is over. That is like stating Germany was in a civil war in 1946 based on 1944's statistics. Its not accurate at all.

    If you want to include the police and securtiy forces then do so and you wouldn't even come close to a 50-100 per day death rate. The stats are in the PDF.

    The mosque bombing caused an upswing that has since decreased dramatically. Look at the statisitics for April already. You seem to be only looking a tthe number form last year and applying it to now...They said the civil war is happening now and according to the data it isn't even close as the frequencny of bombing is down, the death rate is down almost across the board except for the police force because they are handling the situation at an increased frequency. This is something they were not even doing this time last year.

    Of course 2006 data isn't complete. 2006 isn't complete but look at the data for Feb and March. You know, the time they stated a civil war is occurring.


    Deaths in March - Max 450 Min 257 Average 353/30 = 11.76/day in a nation of 25 MILLION.

    Civil war? Don't think so.


    Even if you wanted to do some comparisons then we could compare it to some of our current cities.

    City of Chicago had a DROP in murder rate. 2004 they were 448 people murdered in a city of 2.8 million people. 2.8mil/448 equals 1 murder for every 6250 people. Remember this isn't deaths from crimes, just murder rates.

    As of last March there are 11 people killed per day in a nation of 25 million. So thats 25mil/4015 (11 x 365 days) total deaths which equal 1 death for every 6226 people.

    I guess Chicago is in a civil war as well. You sure you want to base everything on how a statistician would calculate it?

    Bobo,

    It seems likely that we're not going to agree on our conclusions. However, my facts are spot on.

    In my original post (which you disputed), I said: "Currently, 50-100 Iraqis are dying EACH DAY. " I could gesture at any number of news accounts like this one from the Washington Post putting the death toll for March at averaging 75 per day (this is the same mathematically as saying between 50 and 100 per day as I did). http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...033101745.html

    You however gestured at a report from the Brookings Institute to dispute my facts. When I read that report, they in fact gave a very similar average death toll (between 40 and 81 per day - excluding deaths from the initial combat operations, and the deaths of police and military forces since then).

    When I pointed this out, you gestured at a specific subset of data contained in the Brookings report (the death toll compiled by the Iraqi Body Count website). However, the very group that compiled that data freely admits that they are undercounting the true death count in their methodology. They explain on their website that their count is not meant to be a total death count and that they ONLY include deaths "that are reported by at least two approved international media sources." They go on to acknowledge that their figure should be viewed as a minimum death count but that the true figure (since most deaths are not reported to the international media) is much higher.

    You gesture at the statistics fro April as evidence that things have gotten better but the very report you're quoting notes that it's figures for April are inaccurate and won't be accurate for another month or two in the future (after they've had a chance to compile and verify pieces of information). It doesn't make sense to quote a report when the authors of the report tell you that their data for that time period is unreliable.

    If we need to take a proxy figure for how things are in Iraq during April, we could look at US casualty figures. As of today, 32 US servicement have died during the last 11 days in Iraq. That's more than died in all of March (31). So, things have gotten worse at the very least for those servicemen who have lost their lives.

    Like I said, we don't have to agree on the conclusions we draw from this data, but my factual assertions are spot on accurate.
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    Re: U.S. Study Paints Somber Portrait of Iraqi Discord


    Quote Originally Posted by yeahright
    Bobo,

    It seems likely that we're not going to agree on our conclusions. However, my facts are spot on.

    In my original post (which you disputed), I said: "Currently, 50-100 Iraqis are dying EACH DAY. " I could gesture at any number of news accounts like this one from the Washington Post putting the death toll for March at averaging 75 per day (this is the same mathematically as saying between 50 and 100 per day as I did). http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...033101745.html

    You however gestured at a report from the Brookings Institute to dispute my facts. When I read that report, they in fact gave a very similar average death toll (between 40 and 81 per day - excluding deaths from the initial combat operations, and the deaths of police and military forces since then).

    When I pointed this out, you gestured at a specific subset of data contained in the Brookings report (the death toll compiled by the Iraqi Body Count website). However, the very group that compiled that data freely admits that they are undercounting the true death count in their methodology. They explain on their website that their count is not meant to be a total death count and that they ONLY include deaths "that are reported by at least two approved international media sources." They go on to acknowledge that their figure should be viewed as a minimum death count but that the true figure (since most deaths are not reported to the international media) is much higher.

    You gesture at the statistics fro April as evidence that things have gotten better but the very report you're quoting notes that it's figures for April are inaccurate and won't be accurate for another month or two in the future (after they've had a chance to compile and verify pieces of information). It doesn't make sense to quote a report when the authors of the report tell you that their data for that time period is unreliable.

    If we need to take a proxy figure for how things are in Iraq during April, we could look at US casualty figures. As of today, 32 US servicement have died during the last 11 days in Iraq. That's more than died in all of March (31). So, things have gotten worse at the very least for those servicemen who have lost their lives.

    Like I said, we don't have to agree on the conclusions we draw from this data, but my factual assertions are spot on accurate.
    No, your facts are not spot on.

    You responded to my inital joke about the news media claiming there is a civil war occurring by quoting some 50-100/day death rate which is completely false. The only way you can even come close is by including the crime data for the last 3 years in a time period of extensive military operation and forget to even mention that Baghdad was top 10 in murder rate before the war even started. As of the last 3 months the stats are clear and average from 11-13 deaths / day which is nowhere near your 50-100/day figure and in no way do 11-20 deaths per day equate to a civil war in a nation of 25 million people.

    You selectively take the data you want then put a spin on it such as the New York Times has done.

    The single point you wanted to make was that Iraq was in a civil war and according to the data its not even close. If we used your definition of civil war then Los Angelse, Chicago and New York would all qualify as having death rates to state there is a "civil war".

    As members have stated in other threads you seem to fall into the group that glorifies the headlines but ignore the trends.
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    Re: U.S. Study Paints Somber Portrait of Iraqi Discord


    Quote Originally Posted by yeahright

    If we need to take a proxy figure for how things are in Iraq during April, we could look at US casualty figures. As of today, 32 US servicement have died during the last 11 days in Iraq. That's more than died in all of March (31). So, things have gotten worse at the very least for those servicemen who have lost their lives.

    .
    Yeah, its so much worse compared to the 96 that died in January, 93 in December, 68 in Febuary.....


    ..or lets compare to 104 in January 2005, or 137 in November of 2005.

    Then after that lets look as US wounded, British KIA, Non US-UK deaths, Iraqi and Military Police killed, Car Bombs, Iraqi civilian...all trends show a decrease.

    Headlines don't show the story, trends over time do.
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    Re: U.S. Study Paints Somber Portrait of Iraqi Discord


    Quote Originally Posted by Bobo
    Yeah, its so much worse compared to the 96 that died in January, 93 in December, 68 in Febuary.....


    ..or lets compare to 104 in January 2005, or 137 in November of 2005.

    Then after that lets look as US wounded, British KIA, Non US-UK deaths, Iraqi and Military Police killed, Car Bombs, Iraqi civilian...all trends show a decrease.

    Headlines don't show the story, trends over time do.
    Bobo, this has been said a few times in recent posts... but it doesnt seem to sink in.. that is why I quit wasting my breath.

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    Re: U.S. Study Paints Somber Portrait of Iraqi Discord


    Quote Originally Posted by DAdams91982
    Bobo, this has been said a few times in recent posts... but it doesnt seem to sink in.. that is why I quit wasting my breath.

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    Re: U.S. Study Paints Somber Portrait of Iraqi Discord


    Quote Originally Posted by Bobo
    No, your facts are not spot on.

    You responded to my inital joke about the news media claiming there is a civil war occurring by quoting some 50-100/day death rate which is completely false.
    Ummmmmmmmmm, so what part of "currently, 50 to 100 Iraqis are dying EVERY DAY" was false? The Washington Post says 75 per day average for the time period I referenced. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...033101745.html
    The average number between 50 and 100 is 75. Seems pretty spot on to me.
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    Re: U.S. Study Paints Somber Portrait of Iraqi Discord


    Quote Originally Posted by yeahright
    Ummmmmmmmmm, so what part of "currently, 50 to 100 Iraqis are dying EVERY DAY" was false? The Washington Post says 75 per day average for the time period I referenced. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...033101745.html
    The average number between 50 and 100 is 75. Seems pretty spot on to me.
    Jesus man He made a major point that you're taking these extremely biased media sources with agendas out of blind faith. Collect the data for yourself and you'll get different numbers than what the washington post states.

    Think about it...these people who are telling everyone that steroids turn you into a raging lunatic who can also go into a random super depressed state andwill probably die at 24yrs old of a hearth attack with a small weenie from steroid use are the same people reporting the war info. Just thnk about that for one second. In one instance you deny the info they put forth as fact, right? Yeah..that's because you know better than that. In the other instance you accept it as fact. Why? Out of ignorance! No offense, but you need to dig deeper for answers.
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    Re: U.S. Study Paints Somber Portrait of Iraqi Discord


    Quote Originally Posted by kwyckemynd00
    Jesus man He made a major point that you're taking these extremely biased media sources with agendas out of blind faith. Collect the data for yourself and you'll get different numbers than what the washington post states.

    Think about it...these people who are telling everyone that steroids turn you into a raging lunatic who can also go into a random super depressed state andwill probably die at 24yrs old of a hearth attack with a small weenie from steroid use are the same people reporting the war info. Just thnk about that for one second. In one instance you deny the info they put forth as fact, right? Yeah..that's because you know better than that. In the other instance you accept it as fact. Why? Out of ignorance! No offense, but you need to dig deeper for answers.
    LOL That is one brilliant stroke! lol You just yanked the carpet from underneath his feet! LOL
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    Re: U.S. Study Paints Somber Portrait of Iraqi Discord


    Quote Originally Posted by Bobo
    Anti-Bush sentiments tend to selectively blind people.
    Eh, incomplete / incorrect statement IMO.

    Anti-bush people tend to be easily blinded by ignorance (Not to mention easily influenced by idealist idiotology--yes, that was on purpose...i know...lame, eh?)

    I have good reason to dislike bush...but none of my reasons are the same as some of these whackos wth tin-foil on their heads
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    Re: U.S. Study Paints Somber Portrait of Iraqi Discord


    Quote Originally Posted by kwyckemynd00
    Eh, incomplete / incorrect statement IMO.

    Anti-bush people tend to be easily blinded by ignorance (Not to mention easily influenced by idealist idiotology--yes, that was on purpose...i know...lame, eh?)

    I have good reason to dislike bush...but none of my reasons are the same as some of these whackos wth tin-foil on their heads
    Haha well said.. if I didnt have to spread some rep. elsewhere.. you would get it!!!

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    Re: U.S. Study Paints Somber Portrait of Iraqi Discord


    Quote Originally Posted by DAdams91982
    Haha well said.. if I didnt have to spread some rep. elsewhere.. you would get it!!!

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    Damnit! The rep-whore in me is crying :'(
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    Re: U.S. Study Paints Somber Portrait of Iraqi Discord


    Quote Originally Posted by kwyckemynd00
    Damnit! The rep-whore in me is crying :'(
    I support Bush myself.. but I can respect somone who doesnt.. as long as it isnt for the bull**** they spew all over the media.

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    Re: U.S. Study Paints Somber Portrait of Iraqi Discord


    Quote Originally Posted by yeahright
    Ummmmmmmmmm, so what part of "currently, 50 to 100 Iraqis are dying EVERY DAY" .

    The 50-100 part.


    Wow. The Washingotn Post. Tell Amy Shipley I said hi.
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    Re: U.S. Study Paints Somber Portrait of Iraqi Discord


    Quote Originally Posted by yeahright
    Ummmmmmmmmm, so what part of "currently, 50 to 100 Iraqis are dying EVERY DAY" was false? The Washington Post says 75 per day average for the time period I referenced. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...033101745.html
    The average number between 50 and 100 is 75. Seems pretty spot on to me.

    Hmm...Lets look at that post article a bit more.

    "U.S. forces suffered 30 fatalities in the past month, less than one a day, according to data compiled by the Brookings Institution. It was the lowest total since February 2004, when 21 service members were killed. Combat-related deaths during March numbered 25, declining for the fifth consecutive month."

    Well that is obvisouly bad. Things are getting much worse from that stat.


    "But recent weeks have also been among the most lethal of the war for Iraqi civilians, police officers and soldiers, who were killed and wounded at a rate of about 75 a day, a rate three times as high as at the start of 2004."


    Now did they look at the Brookings Institute for this stat? No, just "officials". Who?

    March, 193 Iraqi Police and Military killed. 350 Iraqi civilians killed in the month of March. Total, 543 deaths which is 18.1/day in a nation of 25 million.

    Where is this 75/day? Oh, that must be their inaccurate counting.

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    Re: U.S. Study Paints Somber Portrait of Iraqi Discord


    Quote Originally Posted by DAdams91982
    I support Bush myself.. but I can respect somone who doesnt.. as long as it isnt for the bull**** they spew all over the media.

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    You don't know what you are talknig about it. Its not like you were there!!






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    Re: U.S. Study Paints Somber Portrait of Iraqi Discord


    Quote Originally Posted by DAdams91982
    I support Bush myself.. but I can respect somone who doesnt.. as long as it isnt for the bull**** they spew all over the media.
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    Re: U.S. Study Paints Somber Portrait of Iraqi Discord


    Quote Originally Posted by Bobo
    You don't know what you are talknig about it. Its not like you were there!!






    Oh so true!!!



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    Re: U.S. Study Paints Somber Portrait of Iraqi Discord


    Quote Originally Posted by Bobo
    The 50-100 part.


    Wow. The Washingotn Post. Tell Amy Shipley I said hi.
    I'm sure you can do better than that. I made a statement: "currently, 50 to 100 Iraqis are dying EVERY DAY." I gave a citation to a newspaper article stating that the death toll for March was indeed an average of 75 per day (75 being the average number of the range I gave of 50 to 100).

    You disputed this figure which is fair enough. However, to do so you quoted an article, which quoted a report, which quoted another report.

    When one looks at the source report, the very people who generated that report say that their numbers should not be used as you are using them. They say that their numbers should be viewed as the absolutely verifiable MINIMUM casualty rate because they only count deaths that are reported to two international media soruces. Since most deaths are not reported to the international media, they caution that the true death rate is very likely far higher than their number.

    Moreover, the Brookings analysis (built in part on this data whose authors themselves caution that it is low) say that their own data for March is incomplete.

    So, you have an opinion that my number is wrong but the only data you gesture at to support your opinion is refuted by the very authors of that data. You're certainly entitled to your opinion but I'd ask you to respect mine unless you have a coherant critique of it.
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    Re: U.S. Study Paints Somber Portrait of Iraqi Discord


    Quote Originally Posted by yeahright
    I'm sure you can do better than that. I made a statement: "currently, 50 to 100 Iraqis are dying EVERY DAY." I gave a citation to a newspaper article stating that the death toll for March was indeed an average of 75 per day (75 being the average number of the range I gave of 50 to 100).

    You disputed this figure which is fair enough. However, to do so you quoted an article, which quoted a report, which quoted another report.

    When one looks at the source report, the very people who generated that report say that their numbers should not be used as you are using them. They say that their numbers should be viewed as the absolutely verifiable MINIMUM casualty rate because they only count deaths that are reported to two international media soruces. Since most deaths are not reported to the international media, they caution that the true death rate is very likely far higher than their number.

    Moreover, the Brookings analysis (built in part on this data whose authors themselves caution that it is low) say that their own data for March is incomplete.

    So, you have an opinion that my number is wrong but the only data you gesture at to support your opinion is refuted by the very authors of that data. You're certainly entitled to your opinion but I'd ask you to respect mine unless you have a coherant critique of it.


    Its just so funny that you try to discredit the report as not accurate then post an article by the Washington Post that claims 75/day with NO NAMED SOURCE.


    The authors state its not completely accurate but if you actually want to sit their and believe that its not accurate to the point that the numbers will be doubled or tripled then your anti-bush blinders are working overtime.


    That is the only leg you can stand on because every report whether completelty accurate or not shows a POSITIVE TREND.

    Go on thinking its a civil war and spreading your complete overdramatized headlines. I'll watch the trends over time, not the latest NY Times and Washington Post headlines to base my opinion.

    When the numbers of the most complete report available to this date don't support your arguement you turn to the Washington Post with unamed sources to back your arguement. Unbelievable. Let me get some Fox News reports to back mine
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    The media is so inaccurate its scary. I remeber reading Blackhawk Down and there was a quote in their from one of the Rangers. He basicly said that after they came back from an operation they would turn on the news to see what the media was saying. And everytime they were so off it was just insane.
    The media ONLY cares about scooping the other guy. Bigger, better stories. Yellow journalism at it's finest.
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    Funny, a guy in this thread has been there twice and going back for a third time and he will tell you how it is but people won't listen to him because they have those "I hate Bush" cottonballs stuffed in their ears

    The troops!?!?! BAH, they don't know what they are talking about!
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    Re: U.S. Study Paints Somber Portrait of Iraqi Discord


    Quote Originally Posted by Bobo
    Its just so funny that you try to discredit the report as not accurate then post an article by the Washington Post that claims 75/day with NO NAMED SOURCE.
    I'm not discrediting the report, I'm reading the report. The authors give very clear qualifiiers for their data and explicitly caution against using the data as a definitive death toll as you are doing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobo
    Funny, a guy in this thread has been there twice and going back for a third time and he will tell you how it is but people won't listen to him because they have those "I hate Bush" cottonballs stuffed in their ears

    The troops!?!?! BAH, they don't know what they are talking about!
    Fourth retired general calls for Rumsfeld's termination for mismanaging the war in Iraq
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...041201114.html
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    Re: U.S. Study Paints Somber Portrait of Iraqi Discord


    Quote Originally Posted by yeahright
    I'm not discrediting the report, I'm reading the report. The authors give very clear qualifiiers for their data and explicitly caution against using the data as a definitive death toll as you are doing.
    Who said anything was definitive and 100% accurate? The first person to make ANY predictions of a death rate was you. YOU stated 50-100 people per day and failed to even come close to proving it at all and show you take the word of the Washington Post over a 3rd part indiependent source.

    You attack the credibility of the Iraqi Index yet use politically biased newspapres to prove your point.
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    Re: U.S. Study Paints Somber Portrait of Iraqi Discord


    Quote Originally Posted by Bobo
    Who said anything was definitive and 100% accurate? The first person to make ANY predictions of a death rate was you. YOU stated 50-100 people per day and failed to even come close to proving it at all and show you take the word of the Washington Post over a 3rd part indiependent source.

    You attack the credibility of the Iraqi Index yet use politically biased newspapres to prove your point.
    I don't understand where we're getting sideways here. I'm not attacking the credibility of the Iraqi Index. I'm taking them at their word. They are themselves quoting another report to generate their civilian death toll statistic (The Iraq Body Count). When you look at the Iraq Body Count report, you find that They are the ones that say their statistics are an undercount. They explain that their methodology (only counting deaths that have been reported to two international media outlets) is inaccurate and should only be used as the MINIMUM death count.

    "Our maximum therefore refers to reported deaths - which can only be a sample of true deaths unless one assumes that every civilian death has been reported. It is likely that many if not most civilian casualties will go unreported by the media."

    There you have the very people who generated the stat you are relying upon saying that their count omits "many if not most civilian casualties."

    You're saying that their stats are the definitive number when THEY say that their stats aren't. Why would you misuse their stats in the very way they warn against?
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    Quote Originally Posted by yeahright
    Fourth retired general calls for Rumsfeld's termination for mismanaging the war in Iraq
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...041201114.html
    Pay attention the word "retired".

    When you find a war that has been run with 100% satisfaction, let me know.

    Until then I take it for it is, criticism, then I will look at the trends.

    Are there anymore headlines form the Washington Post and New York times that bash the current administration? If you don't have any I'm sure I can find some for you.
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    Re: U.S. Study Paints Somber Portrait of Iraqi Discord


    Quote Originally Posted by yeahright
    I don't understand where we're getting sideways here. I'm not attacking the credibility of the Iraqi Index. I'm taking them at their word. They are themselves quoting another report to generate their civilian death toll statistic (The Iraq Body Count). When you look at the Iraq Body Count report, you find that They are the ones that say their statistics are an undercount. They explain that their methodology (only counting deaths that have been reported to two international media outlets) is inaccurate and should only be used as the MINIMUM death count.

    "Our maximum therefore refers to reported deaths - which can only be a sample of true deaths unless one assumes that every civilian death has been reported. It is likely that many if not most civilian casualties will go unreported by the media."

    There you have the very people who generated the stat you are relying upon saying that their count omits "many if not most civilian casualties."

    You're saying that their stats are the definitive number when THEY say that their stats aren't. Why would you misuse their stats in the very way they warn against?
    Who said it was definitive and who was the first person to start quoting death rates?

    Oh thats right, you.

    I used their number to show the trends are POSITIVE. Even if the number are LOW and a MINIMUM the trends are still POSITIVE.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobo
    Pay attention the word "retired".

    When you find a war that has been run with 100% satisfaction, let me know.

    Until then I take it for it is, criticism, then I will look at the trends.
    You were the one complaining that no one listens to the opinion of the troops. Here we have:

    Army Maj. Gen. John Batiste, who commanded the 1st Infantry Division in Iraq in 2004-2005;

    Marine Lt. Gen. Gregory Newbold, who held the key post of director of operations on the staff of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 2000 to 2002;

    Army Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton who oversaw the training of Iraqi army troops in 2003-2004;

    Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni who was the chief of the U.S. Central Command, which oversees Iraq and the rest of the Middle East;

    All saying that the war has been mismanaged from Washington DC and that Rumsfeld should be terminated. I'm willing to assume that they know what they're talking about.
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    Quote Originally Posted by yeahright
    You were the one complaining that no one listens to the opinion of the troops. Here we have:

    Army Maj. Gen. John Batiste, who commanded the 1st Infantry Division in Iraq in 2004-2005;

    Marine Lt. Gen. Gregory Newbold, who held the key post of director of operations on the staff of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 2000 to 2002;

    Army Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton who oversaw the training of Iraqi army troops in 2003-2004;

    Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni who was the chief of the U.S. Central Command, which oversees Iraq and the rest of the Middle East;

    All saying the same thing. I'm willing to assume that they know what they're talking about.
    Funny, all have not been in action in the last year over there?

    And they would know about a civil war how?

    People don't listen about the current conditions there RIGHT NOW.

    When did I argue with you about Rumsfield? I'm not really a fan of his anyways but when is the last time these generals have been to Iraq?

    The issue was how it is NOW. You know, the current "civil war"????


    I mean that was your whole point in the first place unless your goal was to post every negative article from every liberal newspaper out there.

    And for every one of them you can find current officiers that DON'T agree wtih them. Maybe you missed the Rumsfield press conference yesterday when they covered this?


    Are you really this desperate?


    So we go from your ficticous death rate to how the war is mismanaged? I don't think people are arguing that. I'm a realist and historian and understnad all wars are mismanged to a point.

    Now how did this relate to this current "civil war"?

    Or will you drag this on so everyone can hear how much you hate Bush?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobo
    Funny, all have not been in action in the last year over there?

    And they would know about a civil war how?

    People don't listen about the current conditions there RIGHT NOW.

    When did I argue with you about Rumsfield? I'm not really a fan of his anyways but when is the last time these generals have been to Iraq?

    The issue was how it is NOW. You know, the current "civil war"????


    I mean that was your whole point in the first place unless your goal was to post every negative article from every liberal newspaper out there.

    And for every one of them you can find current officiers that DON'T agree wtih them. Maybe you missed the Rumsfield press conference yesterday when they covered this?


    Are you really this desperate?


    So we go from your ficticous death rate to how the war is mismanaged? I don't think people are arguing that. I'm a realist and historian and understnad all wars are mismanged to a point.

    Now how did this relate to this current "civil war"?

    Or will you drag this on so everyone can hear how much you hate Bush?

    I pointed out the recent statements from the retired generals in reference to your other point ("no one is listening to the troops"). It was just a coincidence that in the days before you made that statement 4 generals who had been involved in the planning and execution of the war were saying the same thing about Rumsfeld (he didn't listen to their advice and that is why the consolidation phase of the war has gone so badly). Two additional generals came out today to say the same thing:

    Maj. Gen. John Riggs said Rumsfeld and his civilian subordinates do not listen to, or even seek, the advice of professional military officers, except when it is convenient.

    Maj. Gen. Charles H. Swannack Jr., who led troops on the ground in Iraq as commander of the Army's 82nd Airborne Division said ""We need to continue to fight the global war on terror and keep it off our shores," General Swannack said in a telephone interview. "But I do not believe Secretary Rumsfeld is the right person to fight that war based on his absolute failures in managing the war against Saddam in Iraq."

    Take their statements for whatever credibility you give the generals who planned and executed the war. I'm actually quite shocked as it is extremely unusual to have career military publicly speak against their civilian superiors. Respect for chain of command and subordination to civilian authority are deeply ingrained in military culture. I have to assume that something profound is afoot to see this.

    As to the death statistics, we've been over this. You quoted an article which quoted a report which in of itself got its statistics from another report. When you read that source report (as I did), they explicitly say NOT to quote their statistics as you are doing. I pointed this out, you didn't refute it. My quote of the current civilian death rate of between 50 and 100 a day corresponds with news accounts of the civilian death rate. Your refutation of that statistic is predicated upon misusing a third-hand statistic in PRECISELY the way the authors of the statistical data say NOT to do.
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    Quote Originally Posted by yeahright
    I pointed out the recent statements from the retired generals in reference to your other point ("no one is listening to the troops"). It was just a coincidence that in the days before you made that statement 4 generals who had been involved in the planning and execution of the war were saying the same thing about Rumsfeld (he didn't listen to their advice and that is why the consolidation phase of the war has gone so badly). Two additional generals came out today to say the same thing:

    Maj. Gen. John Riggs said Rumsfeld and his civilian subordinates do not listen to, or even seek, the advice of professional military officers, except when it is convenient.

    Maj. Gen. Charles H. Swannack Jr., who led troops on the ground in Iraq as commander of the Army's 82nd Airborne Division said ""We need to continue to fight the global war on terror and keep it off our shores," General Swannack said in a telephone interview. "But I do not believe Secretary Rumsfeld is the right person to fight that war based on his absolute failures in managing the war against Saddam in Iraq."

    Take their statements for whatever credibility you give the generals who planned and executed the war. I'm actually quite shocked as it is extremely unusual to have career military publicly speak against their civilian superiors. Respect for chain of command and subordination to civilian authority are deeply ingrained in military culture. I have to assume that something profound is afoot to see this.

    As to the death statistics, we've been over this. You quoted an article which quoted a report which in of itself got its statistics from another report. When you read that source report (as I did), they explicitly say NOT to quote their statistics as you are doing. I pointed this out, you didn't refute it. My quote of the current civilian death rate of between 50 and 100 a day corresponds with news accounts of the civilian death rate. Your refutation of that statistic is predicated upon misusing a third-hand statistic in PRECISELY the way the authors of the statistical data say NOT to do.
    Nobody was listneing to our troops about the current conditions...you know, the CIVIL WAR?!?!?!?!


    What about that point do you not get?

    I don't care about the generals opinion on Rumsfield. I don't care about the generals statements about the mismanagement of the military operation in 2004-2005. And actually, no its not uncommom for military personnel to disagree with the civilian leadership. It happened in this war, Kosovo, Kuwait, Panama, Vietnam, etc....its quite common. Military leadership doesn't like to be told what to do on the battlefield. Its a common problem throughout history. The Pentagon and Rumsfield dind't get along even before the war. Even now as a response, military are coming out now defending Rumsfield (Gen. Mike Delong). Isn't it funny Gen. Villi has a book coming out? Those criticisms come out a pretty convenient time!

    The whole thread is about what is GOING ON NOW.
    I don't care about your stats because they are completely baseless. You quote a liberal newspaper for just about every "fact" you have. Its quite ridiculous.

    I would use the Iraqi Index anyday over the Washington Post even though the authors state not all deaths are reported. That actually goes to the credibilty of the authors, something you will never see in the Washington Post...they won't even quote a SOURCE! It still shows the trends over time which ARE positive. I look at trends over times, not the next days' headlines. It seems thats all you have.

    Sorry, no civil war here.
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    Pretty interesting:


    March 01, 2006
    False Notes On Civil War Fears

    The New York Times issues a warning about an impending civil war in Iraq that sounds a couple of false notes. Its editorial this morning attempts a historical review of the Iraqis that misses a couple of germane points while it scolds the administration indirectly for causing the problem by toppling Saddam Hussein:

    "Iraq has moved perilously close to civil war. Everyone who knows anything about the tortured history of that country, cobbled together from disparate parts by British colonial officials less than a century ago, has always dreaded such an outcome.

    Fear of civil war stayed the hand of the first President George Bush, when he turned back American troops and left Saddam Hussein in power. It generated much of the opposition to the current President Bush's invasion in 2003. Yet many critics of the invasion, including this page, believed that the dangers from civil war were so dire that American troops, once in, were obliged to remain as long as there was a conceivable route to a just peace.

    The only alternative to civil war is, and has always been, a national unity government of Shiites, Sunni Arabs and Kurds. Unless these mutually suspicious groups can work together, the United States will be faced with the impossible task of trying to create a stable democracy that Iraqis have refused to create for themselves."

    The reason that the Bush 41 administration left Saddam in power was because the UN refused to endorse a march on Baghdad in 1991, when the road was open and the Republican Guard had largely been routed. Perhaps Bush 41 had little enthusiasm for rebuilding Iraq to the extent required by a full-scale invasion, but the UN would not allow it in any case. Bush 41 either had to turn his back on the coalition he created for the liberation of Kuwait or bow to its demands. He chose the latter. As history showed in the twelve years of chronic violations of the cease-fire and the UN resolutions demanding accountability for his weapons programs, as well as the mass murders of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi citizens who opposed him in 1991 after the war, that was a bad and costly decision.

    What I find so fascinating about the liberal hysteria over the civil war is that they argued specifically to start one instead of invading Iraq in 2003. Let's take a look at the history that the Times forgets. In 1998, Congress and Bill Clinton created a foreign policy explicitly stating that the US goal in Iraq was regime change -- that American policy would be created to remove Saddam Hussein from power. At the time that this policy was formulated and made explicit, lawmakers from both parties made a lot of speeches about how dangerous Saddam was to our interests in particular and the world in general. No one labored under the notion that Saddam had been rendered harmless by UN sanctions, already in full application for over five years at that point.

    When George Bush (43) decided to press for military action to remove Saddam from power, he cited this official policy as one of the justifications when he went to Congress in October 2002 for authorization. All of a sudden, people started talking about how sanctions had kept Saddam "in his box" despite plenty of evidence that various countries had routinely violated those sanctions. They also claimed that the entire purpose of the policy was for the US to foment a domestic uprising against the Saddam regime, not for America to take any overt action to end his genocidal rule.

    In other words, they wanted Bush to start a civil war in Iraq. And not just a gang war that involved a few sectarian militias taking potshots against each other as we see now, but a full-fledged civil war that involved an unarmed and oppressed people taking on the region's fourth-largest army and a dictator who had used chemical warfare against his own people in the past.

    What exactly did they think would be the result of that uprising? Did they imagine that it had any chance of getting off the ground at all, given the betrayal they experienced in 1991 when the West failed to come to their aid when the Shi'a in the south rebelled against Saddam? And even if it did, did the Left not understand that the entire nation would have not come together as a people but would have dissolved into sectarian and ethnic tribalism, having no unifying structures or voluntary processes -- like those provided by open elections and a national assembly?

    I agree that civil war in Iraq remains a dangerous potential outcome. Had we left it to the Left in 2002, however, that is exactly what we would have today by their own design. I find their belated concern over the consequences of civil war somewhat disingenuous now.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobo
    I would use the Iraqi Index anyday over the Washington Post even though the authors state not all deaths are reported.
    Fair enough....but you don't seem to understand the problem with their stats. It's not just that they acknowledge their stats aren't complete, but they didn't even generate the core statistic they relied upon. Look at the source citations. They relied upon a different report (The Iraq Body Count). When you go read that data set, the authors of that set (which Iraqi Index are relying upon) explicitly say that their numbers SHOULD NOT be quoted as a total death count but as an absolutely verifiable minimum number and they believe that "many if not most" civilian deaths are NOT included in their count because of its methodology (only counting deaths reported to at least two international media sources). So what we have is a heavily qualified statistic from one group, being quoted by another group (without the qualifications), being quoted by you to mean something that the original authors of the statistic EXPLICITLY SAY their stats don't mean. It's a great example of the telephone game. As a historian, you should understand the danger of relying upon third hand data.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobo
    And actually, no its not uncommom for military personnel to disagree with the civilian leadership. It happened in this war, Kosovo, Kuwait, Panama, Vietnam, etc....its quite common. Military leadership doesn't like to be told what to do on the battlefield. Its a common problem throughout history.

    Do you have an example of this? It's common for military personnel to disagree with civilian leadership. However, it is EXTREMELY unusual for them to publicly criticize civilian leadership.
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    Quote Originally Posted by yeahright
    Fair enough....but you don't seem to understand the problem with their stats. It's not just that they acknowledge their stats aren't complete, but they didn't even generate the core statistic they relied upon. Look at the source citations. They relied upon a different report (The Iraq Body Count). When you go read that data set, the authors of that set (which Iraqi Index are relying upon) explicitly say that their numbers SHOULD NOT be quoted as a total death count but as an absolutely verifiable minimum number and they believe that "many if not most" civilian deaths are NOT included in their count because of its methodology (only counting deaths reported to at least two international media sources). So what we have is a u heavily qualified statistic from one group, being quoted by another group (without the qualifications), being quoted by you to mean something that the original authors of the statistic EXPLICITLY SAY their stats don't mean. It's a great example of the telephone game. As a historian, you should understand the danger of relying upon third hand data.
    So the Washington Post is more accurate?


    When we have primary sources available I will stop using the Iraqi Index. Until then its the best available source available to show trends over time.

    Still dont see civil war here.
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