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October 11, 2006

A NEW LANCET STUDY ON IRAQI CASUALTIES: I'm skeptical, given their past track record. Meanwhile, Tim Blair notes the paucity of actual data: "Remember: Lancet came up with this via a survey that identified precisely 547 deaths (as reported by the New York Times)." He also notes that it's a rather large claim by historical standards: "It is a larger number than were killed in Germany during five years (and 955,044 tons) of WWII bombing." John Wixted comments:

The Lancet, of course, is the same journal that published a similarly flawed study on the eve of the last presidential election in a transparent attempt to influence the outcome (to no avail, fortunately). That study claimed that more than 100,000 Iraqis had died as a result of the invasion.

(Compare that claim with this UN study.) He notes that The Lancet also claimed that 567,000 Iraqis died as a result of sanctions before the war. Omar of Iraq the Model is not pleased, and one of his commenters wonders where all the bodies are. And Chicago Tribune blogger Frank James says that people are right to be skeptical.

UPDATE: MedPundit Sydney Smith notes that the study is getting a skeptical reception from statisticians.

MORE: A new Lancet study finds 600,000 WMDs in Iraq.