Journalist, aspiring author and blogger Anthony Loewenstein continues to post bullshit. His latest credibility killing effort bears the simple title "Iraqi dead"
An Iraqi humanitarian organisation is reporting that 128,000 Iraqis have been killed since the beginning of the US-led invasion in 2003. 55 per cent of those have been women and children under 12, according to Dr. Hatim al-'Alwani, chairman of the Iraqiyun humanitarian organisation in Baghdad.
Loewenstein's link leads to a short article credited to UPI – and picked up by a number of reputable news organisations – at Information Clearing House
Mafkarat al-Islam reported that chairman of the 'Iraqiyun humanitarian organization in Baghdad, Dr. Hatim al-'Alwani, said that the toll includes everyone who has been killed since that time, adding that 55 percent of those killed have been women and children aged 12 and under.
'Iraqiyun obtained data from relatives and families of the deceased, as well as from Iraqi hospitals in all the country's provinces. The 128,000 figure only includes those whose relatives have been informed of their deaths and does not include those were abducted, assassinated or simply disappeared.
The number includes those who died during the U.S. assaults on al-Fallujah and al-Qa'im. 'Iraqiyun's figures conflict with the Iraqi Body Count public database compiled by Geneva-based Graduate Institute of International Studies. According to the Graduate Institute of International Studies' database, 39,000 Iraqis have been killed as a direct result of combat or armed violence since March 2003. No official estimates of Iraqi casualties from the war have been issued by the Pentagon, which insists that it does not do "body counts." The Washington Post on July 12 reported that U.S. military deaths in Iraq now total 1,755.
The original source of this story, Mafkarat al-Islam
(Islam Memo), is not a reputable news organization. It supplies "news" that is picked up by sites well outside the MSM
. In short, Mafkarat al-Islam
cannot be considered reliable.
A Google search for the supposed humanitarain organization Iraqiyun produced too many hits to be useful as Iraqiyun
(Iraqis) is used by interim President Yawir al-Ghazi for his political bloc. A revised search for Iraqiyun plus Alwani (Iraqiyun's named head) produced only 33 results, all linking back
to the original Mafkarat al-Islam
article. I could find no indication that Iraqiyun exists as an independent humanitarian organization in Iraq, or anywhere else for that matter.
So, Loewenstein's original post is bullshit, and so is his update:
An international research organisation in Switzerland claims that US troops have killed 39,000 Iraqi civilians since the beginning of the war and 100,000 Iraqis have died since the US invasion.
Loewenstein's link is again to Information Clearing House
, this time to an unbelievable article originally from The Journal of Turkish Weekly
The US invasion of Iraq to overthrow Saddam Hussein's regime has cost 100,000 Iraqi civilian lives. An international research organization in Switzerland said US troops killed 39,000 civilians since the beginning of the war.
The organization indicated there were far more civilian casualties than the number announced as the "Iraqi Body Count." US troops' direct fire or clashes have claimed 39,000 Iraqi civilians' lives.
With suicide attacks and other accidents, the death toll amounts to 100,000 civilian dead in 28 months. The number of the losses of US and other coalition forces for the same period is 1,937.
So, Loewenstein has posted on and linked to an article that cites an unnamed "international research organization in Switzerland" as the source of an Iraqi body count. Very slack researching.
Just to tie off the loose end, this Swiss based international organization is apparently the Graduate Institute of International Studies, which, through its Small Arms Surveyhelped fund
, the Iraq Lancet
Study. It has reworked the Lancet
data to come up with revised figures
Nearly 40,000 Iraqis have been killed as a direct result of combat or armed violence since the US-led invasion, a figure considerably higher than previous estimates, a Swiss institute reported.
The public database Iraqi Body Count, by comparison, estimates that between 22,787 and 25,814 Iraqi civilians have died since the March 2003 invasion, based on reports from at least two media sources.
No official estimates of Iraqi casualties from the war have been issued, although military deaths from the US-led coalition forces are closely tracked and now total 1,937.
The new estimate of 39,000 was compiled by the Geneva-based Graduate Institute of International Studies and published in its latest annual small arms survey, released at a UN news conference.
It builds on a study published in The Lancet, a British medical journal, last October, which concluded there had been 100,000 "excess deaths" in Iraq from all causes since March 2003.
The Swiss institute said it arrived at its estimate of Iraqi deaths resulting solely from either combat or armed violence by re-examining the raw data gathered for the Lancet study and classifying the cause of death when it could.
Its 2005 small arms survey generally concludes that conflict deaths from small arms have been vastly under-reported in the past, not just in Iraq but around the globe.
Caution: reading Loewenstein may cause leftardation. (If you read his stuff and take it seriously you're already leftarded, you poor, unfortunate thing.)
Update: As previously noted
, on 13 July Loewenstein posted this
Is the US government hiding the true figure of US casualties in Iraq? The Government of Puerto Rico thinks so during investigations of its own war dead. They claim over 4000 US soldiers have been killed during 799 days of fighting.
If he had read his linked source carefully he would have realised that the 4,000+ figure was not for US forces but was for forces serving under US command, comprised of 1,649 US uniformed troops, 88 from Great Britain, 92 from other coalition countries, 238 private contractors and at least 2,000 Iraqi soldiers. I pointed this out to him in his comments section but he was reluctant to correct his post. Under pressure from commenter Gilbert, he eventually agreed to amend his original post, which came out:
Is the US government hiding the true figure of US and Iraqi casualties in Iraq? The Government of Puerto Rico thinks so during investigations of its own war dead. They claim over 4000 US and "coalition" soldiers have been killed during 799 days of fighting.
It seems to me that Loewenstein should have, for the sake of transparency, noted that he had corrected his original incorrect post. The way it stands, readers have to read his comments in order to be aware that the post was corrected. Tricky.
Labels: Antony Loewenstein