News Release

One Million Iraqis Killed?

ROBERT NAIMAN
National coordinator and senior policy analyst at Just Foreign Policy, Naiman said: “Just Foreign Policy is publishing updated estimates of Iraqi deaths due to the U.S. invasion and occupation starting in 2003. And the way that we constructed this estimate is to extrapolate from the Lancet study that was published last fall.

“The Lancet study was based on a survey completed in July 2006. So, although at the time it was the best, indeed the only scientific estimate of Iraqi deaths, it is now a year old. … We wanted to provide an update of that so we have extrapolated from the numbers that the Lancet study reported, using the trend provided by the deaths reported by Iraq Body Count, which counts deaths reported in Western media. And our online estimate now stands at 999,987 — so it’s about to cross the one million mark.”

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LES ROBERTS
Available for a very limited number of interviews, Roberts is co-author of the study “Mortality after the 2003 Invasion of Iraq: A Cross-Sectional Cluster Sample Survey,” published in October 2006 by the leading medical journal The Lancet. The study estimated 655,000 excess deaths following the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq.

When The Lancet published the estimate, President George W. Bush said: “600,000 or whatever they guessed at is just, it’s not credible.”

Roberts has produced estimates using the same methods in other conflicts, for example in Congo, which have been quoted by U.S. government officials.

Roberts said today: “It’s a little disappointing to see the belligerents in this particular conflict just rejecting these findings outright, and in doing so they have actually been expressing indifference in a time when they should be expressing compassion.

“There’s a lot of complimentary evidence out there that our study has to be in the right ball park. For example … a recent report from Oxfam of hundreds of thousands of war widows in Iraq — or the U.N.’s claim some months ago that there are hundreds of thousands of war orphans in Iraq.”
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For more information, contact the Institute for Public Accuracy at (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan at (541) 484-9167.