A disregard for facts leaves Bush blind
Posted Oct. 20, 2006

Last Wednesday a new study placed the number of Iraqis that have died because of the war on terror at 655,000; a big difference from the 30,000 reported by the United States in December.

The study was published in The Lancet, a U.K. medical journal, and by the Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Maryland, and funded by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The research was based on home interviews rather than body count and it suggests that all deaths were caused by the war in some way although not necessarily out in the field.

The data was collected from Johns Hopkins and Al Mustansiriya Universities in Baghdad between May and June. The study surveyed 1,849 households, including 12,801 household members, in 47 randomly selected cites across Iraq.

Households were questioned regarding births, deaths and migration. According to a CNN the same methods have been used for mortality rates in other conflict areas, such as Kosovo and Sudan.

Despite this, on Oct. 11, George W. Bush refuted the credibility of the figure and questioned their methodology.

“Six-hundred thousand or whatever they guessed at was not credible,” Bush said.

We at the Campus Times think Bush needs to get a hold of himself, stop refuting the figure as not credible and deal with the problem.

How can Bush simply dismiss the study as “not-credible?”

The individuals involved with the research are well educated professionals who take their job seriously, not just people pretending to know what they are doing.

The methodology was not just invented, it has been used before and it has given accurate results in the past.

How can the methodology not be valuable anymore if it has always been before?

At a White House news conference Bush said, "I don't consider it a credible report. Neither does General [George] Casey (top U.S. commander in Iraq) and neither do Iraqi officials."

There is a name for this kind of argument: a fallacy. An appeal to authority to be exact, sure these officials have some level of authority to say that the figure is inaccurate, but the same can be said for the people who performed the study.

They also have the authority to make a credible statement.

The count of U.S. casualties stands at roughly 3,000 since the war began.

We have built memorials and celebrated our heroes, which is the least we can do for them.

But we never hear how many Iraqis have lost their lives in the same war, and when we finally do, it’s simply refuted as if somehow American lives are worth more than Iraqi lives.

The fact is we are all human beings. No life is worth more than another.

Is it too much to ask for Bush to simply acknowledge the fact that it was his wrong decision-making that has led all these people to their deaths?

Bush has acknowledged that a lot of innocent people have died, but that is not enough. Innocent people die in every war. It is important that Bush realizes that the war is the reason why so many innocent people have died, and to do something about it.


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