Lies, damned lies, statistics, the Iraqi death toll...

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by ExplodingTrousers, Jan 10, 2008.

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  1. The latest figures to emerge from Iraq suggest that the Lancet's suggested figure of 600,000 violent deaths (2006) were out by, well, a fair bit. A new study from the Iraqi Ministry of Health counts a death toll of between 104,000 to 223,000, and gets a mention in the New Scientist:


    Has the moment for these figures passed, politically speaking?
  2. Phew - only a 104 thousand. Glad it hasn't got out of control then

  3. ...and only a 119k variation.
  4. Biped

    Biped LE Book Reviewer

    Somebody, somewhere, can't think who, said that killing 20 people is mass murder, but killing half a million is something else. Is there really a substantive difference between 120,000 dead bods and 600,000, apart from the number of course? I thought people stopped counting at 100,000 anyway.

    Honestly not trying to be funny, but when you look at Rwanda and various other genocides, it tends to become a little meaningless, arguing the semantics of a couple of hundred thousand.
  5. "One death is a tragedy, a million dead is a statistic"

    Stalin I believe
  6. Nah, its a figure of 163.5K with a 59.5K variation... maybe 600K is the 3 sigma value eh?

    I'll get my coat.

  7. Biped

    Biped LE Book Reviewer

    That's the cookie - I think he was right - after all, he was responsible for nigh on 50 million from the purges, mass starvation, farming collectives, gulags and salt mines to cr@p fighting practices against the krauts.
  8. Reminds me of the number of Scud missiles the USAF said they had destroyed in 1991 - was something like 400% more than the Iraqi's acttually had.
    Daily briefs were a work of fantasy
  9. Get you. The point I wanted to make was that the Ministry quoted anything from 104k to 223k. this struck me as being a bit aof a wild variation and led me to remember the word of the imortal Bard, when he said 'It's all bollocks'
  10. Statistics are only balls when created by some group/person with a vested interest... sadly this seems to be most of the time.

    But, "87.5% of statistics are made up on the spot" - Vic Reeves.

  11. Ord_Sgt

    Ord_Sgt RIP

    Who really cares?