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October 28, 2004

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Matt Yglesias notes this in a broader sense.

Money quote: Whoever wins the election will find himself leading the country in a world that's really changed a great deal between January 2001 and January 2005 in ways that won't simply be reversed by electing a Democrat.

Partisan I am, I can't point out an area where George Bush has maintained the status quo or improved things.

Who's Snowcroft? Sounds like an interesting guy.

100,000?

They seem serious, and it was peer reviewed. I am completely unfamiliar with the reliability of the methodology. If that's anywhere close to right....God.

As I've argued before, the government should keep casualty figures. If we are fighting preventive wars or using war as a democracy promotion strategy, we have a responsibility to know.

It can be done, it must be done, it will be done. We have given our oath as a nation to do it, and if there is any meaning to the words "he is my president too" it means that many of the committments the President makes, with the approval of Congress, are committments of each and every citizen. We must be very careful about whom we elect, and very measured about what committments we join him in.

I really fail to see the alternative. Someone offer me a vision of a stable non-democratic Iraq that is not a threat to its neighbours and the West. I would prefer that we not withdraw from Iraq even if asked to leave by the Iraqis. If there are contradictions in a Democratic sovereign Iraq with a permanent American presence, we should compensate the Iraqis with a vastly improved standard of living, including a guaranteed personal security, even should it consequently greatly degrade our own.

This is not Grenada, or even Vietnam. If we do not complete the project, it means our children or grandchildren will be forced to return and do so. After further unspeakable tragedy, in Iraq and America.

Katherine: Please, God, tell me they're wrong.

Biden is a liberal, not a realist.

Fukuyama is not voting for Bush.

Fine...he's forgiven.

Oh, and while we're discussing realism

This is of course the "softening up" of Fallujah preparing for ground forces. It is an interesting question whether the coming, I suspect brutal, pacification of the Sunni areas scheduled for early November are intended to distract the media from post-election disputes, or are intended to be not covered because of those domestic stories. Likely the latter.

Edward: Oh, and while we're discussing realism

I don't really get the hubbub over the doctored image. It wasn't doctored in a way that makes it materially false, was it?

I say stick to hammering on the falsehoods that count, and there are so very many on which to pound away. This story is even lamer than the Kerry/U.N. silliness, and is just as much of a waste of time and energy. In my humble opinion, of course.

About the 100,000 deaths: as best I can tell, the study is not yet up on the Lancet website. You can read about it here and here, in addition to the story Katherine linked to.

Methodology (from the JHU site):

"The researchers conducted their survey in September 2004. They randomly selected 33 neighborhoods of 30 homes from across Iraq and interviewed the residents about the number and ages of the people living in each home. Over 7,800 Iraqis were included. Residents were questioned about the number of births and deaths that occurred in the household since January 2002. Information was also collected about the causes and circumstances of each death. When possible, the deaths were verified with a death certificate or other documentation.

The researchers compared the mortality rate among civilians in Iraq during the 14.6 months prior to the March 2003 invasion with the 17.8 month period following the invasion. The sample group reported 46 deaths prior to the March 2003 and 142 deaths following the invasion. The results were calculated twice, both with and without information from the city of Falluja. The researchers felt the excessive violence from combat in Falluja could skew the overall mortality rates. Excluding information from Falluja, they estimate that 100,000 more Iraqis died than would have been expected had the invasion not occurred. Eighty-four percent of the deaths were reported to be caused by the actions of Coalition forces and 95 percent of those deaths were due to air strikes and artillery."

Time permitting, I'll get a copy of the actual study when it's posted and write about it.

One hundred thousand?

Yes, I can believe it.

But I wish I couldn't.

JadeGold: ... I can't point out an area where George Bush has maintained the status quo or improved things.

Obviously you are in the wrong tax bracket...

Obviously you are in the wrong tax bracket

Hunh? Rich people don't pay taxes anyway. Georgie said so himself!

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