Monday, September 03, 2007

U.S. Casualties: Cooking the Books

The new biography of George W. Bush is titled “Dead Certain.” Today we get a cheery headline from the Pentagon, “Combat Deaths in Iraq Decline,” which should be called “Dead Wrong.”

Not only is the conclusion faulty, but the numbers themselves have been doctored. Using as its source, the report says about fatalties that “by June, the number fell to 93, then to 66 in July and to 57 in August.” But the figures on the web site are 101, 79 and 81 respectively.

For those months a year earlier, the numbers were 61, 43 and 65. The only “decline” seems to be in the veracity of the people trying to make a case that the Surge is saving American lives.

Those numbers, right or wrong, represent young men and women with grieving families who will not find comfort in any statistics about this endless mayhem. But the least they, and we, should be able to expect is the simple truth of how many there are.

Today the President is in Anbar, saluting the “remarkable turnaround” there. The only turnaround worth hailing would be that of our troops starting to leave.

For more on this subject, see this.


The Heretik said...

Yeah. What you said.

JWG said...

COMBAT deaths.

Recount and try again.

Swampcracker said...

I found your comment link from Burkean Reflections and followed it here. As you may have noticed, Mr. Douglas is not respectful to readers whom he considers "liberal." A shameless self-promoter, he trolls liberal blogs to pump up his numbers and then insults all visitors, like the bullying kid who invites you to his house only to engage you in a fight. Mr. Stein, neither he nor his blog are worthy of attention.

I did leave this comment for Mr. Douglas to wince at, not that it would make any difference:

Comparing years 2007 versus 2006, there does not appear to be a statistically significant drop in casualty counts attributable to summer heat. However, what appears to be especially puzzling is Mr. Douglas’ attack on Mr. Robert Stein. All Mr. Stein said was: “Those are not the numbers I find there.” But Mr. Douglas is not interested in numbers or truth. Good scholars formulate their conclusions on the basis of empirical knowledge. Idiots like Mr. Douglas formulate their conclusions based on ideology and then chase any set of numbers, whether right or wrong, to justify themselves. Mr. Douglas admits to not checking the iCasualties website. Had he done so, he would have discovered that Mr. Stein’s observation is correct. The books have been cooked on Iraq casualty figures but Mr. Douglas avoids factual data as a vampire avoids mirrors. Instead, Mr. Douglas’ only argument is: “You just ain’t mah kinda pundit.” Again, Mr. Douglas has lowered the bar on academic rigor.

AmPowerBlog said...

Mr. Stein: With all due respect, Swampcracker's never engaged me in a serious, sustained debate. He came to my page out of the blue because he saw that I had wished "a good day" to the proprietor of one of those liberal blogs in which I was supposedly "trolling."

Swampcracker, clicking my link, went buggy with my conservative support for the war. Apparently, Swampcracker's daughter is serving in Iraq, and he uses his daugther's service to shield himself from criticism for his rabid anti-Bush ideology. He has no other argument of any substance, and he'd merely be a nuisance if it wasn't his trolling around the web to smear me like this. He's cowardly.

Swampcracker comments on many a blog, attacking my reputation. But when I've tried to use cold reason with him on my page, he's rejected it as insulting (obviously he can't meet reason with reason).

I came here by accident, after a Google search. I'm not surprised though to see my good name slandered by one of such underhanded methods.

As you can tell with my response to your comments on my page, I'll treat reasonable commenters with dignity. If someone just comes to attack me for my beliefs, though, I'll get down in the dirt to defend myself.