Greg Mitchell is an idiot

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on October 18, 2006

I don't know why I even bother scanning his Internet screeds, but the editor of Editor & Publisher is so blinded by liberal bias that it causes his brain not to work.

Mitchell has taken up the cause of the politically motivated researchers at Johns Hopkins University who have come up with a number of 600,000 additional Iraqi deaths since 2003 directly attributable to the allied invasion to overthrow Saddam Hussein. That's deaths over and above those caused by old age, traffic accidents and the other everyday hazards of life. That's more dead than both sides of the Civil War. More than Allied carpetbombing of Germany.

Even the Iraq Body Count Web site, which by its very nature tends to overestimate the number of civilian deaths, calls the numbers ludicrous.

A new study has been released by the Lancet medical journal estimating over 650,000 excess deaths in Iraq. The Iraqi mortality estimates published in the Lancet in October 2006 imply, among other things, that:

1. On average, a thousand Iraqis have been violently killed every single day in the first half of 2006, with less than a tenth of them being noticed by any public surveillance mechanisms;
2. Some 800,000 or more Iraqis suffered blast wounds and other serious conflict-related injuries in the past two years, but less than a tenth of them received any kind of hospital treatment;
3. Over 7% of the entire adult male population of Iraq has already been killed in violence, with no less than 10% in the worst affected areas covering most of central Iraq;
4. Half a million death certificates were received by families which were never officially recorded as having been issued;
5. The Coalition has killed far more Iraqis in the last year than in earlier years containing the initial massive "Shock and Awe" invasion and the major assaults on Falluja.

If these assertions are true, they further imply:

* incompetence and/or fraud on a truly massive scale by Iraqi officials in hospitals and ministries, on a local, regional and national level, perfectly coordinated from the moment the occupation began;
* bizarre and self-destructive behaviour on the part of all but a small minority of 800,000 injured, mostly non-combatant, Iraqis;
* the utter failure of local or external agencies to notice and respond to a decimation of the adult male population in key urban areas;
* an abject failure of the media, Iraqi as well as international, to observe that Coalition-caused events of the scale they reported during the three-week invasion in 2003 have been occurring every month for over a year.

In the light of such extreme and improbable implications, a rational alternative conclusion to be considered is that the authors have drawn conclusions from unrepresentative data. In addition, totals of the magnitude generated by this study are unnecessary to brand the invasion and occupation of Iraq a human and strategic tragedy.

Despite all this Mitchell, wallowing in his Bush Derangement Syndrome, challenges newspapers to send out reporters and prove the number wrong.

Why bother spending scarce journalistic resources to "prove" something so false on its face that only wackos like Mitchell believe it? Next thing you know, Mitchell will begin demanding that reporters investigate the conspiracy to make schoolchildren believe the Earth is round.

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