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Irak-krigens ofre - striden om tal

Linkbox med materiale og debat om to undersøgelser fra det videnskabelige tidsskrift The Lancet + om Iraq Body Count mfl.’s undersøgelser.
(, marts 2007/dec. 2011)

Undersøgelsen fra 2006
Undersøgelsen fra 2004
Andre undersøgelser


I 2004 og igen i 2006 offentliggjorde det videnskabelige tidsskrift The Lancet undersøgelser over antallet af dræbte irakere siden Irak-krigens start. De når frem til en samlet overdødelighed på 654.965 fra krigens start til juli 2006.
Chefforsker bag rapporten, epidemiologen Les Roberts (se, Columbia University, deltog i et debatmøde om "En krig og dens ofre" i København (22. marts 2007). Se dagbladet Informations interview med Les Roberts: De fleste irakere dør uden for mediernes søgelys (25. juli 2007).

Vi har nedenfor samlet lidt af den omfattende debat ifm. rapporterne, samt en del andet materiale om samme emne.

Linkboxen er revideret ifm. de amerikanske troppers tilbagetrækning fra Irak i december 2011, hvor medierne/pressen over en bred kam kritikløst bruger det laveste tal for civile irakiske dødsofre (fra Iraq Body Count). Se fx Bo Lidegaards leder: USA forlader Irak uden sejr i sigte (, 20. december 2011).

Jørgen Lund & Bjarne A. Frandsen
Marts 2007. Revideret december 2011.

Se også emnelisten:
Imod besættelsen af Irak (

Undersøgelsen fra 2006

The Lancet
Mortality after the 2003 invasion of Iraq: a cross-sectional cluster sample survey (pdf). By Gilbert Burnham, Riyadh Lafta, Shannon Doocy, Les Roberts (October 11, 2006, 8 p.; online at
"We estimate that as of July, 2006, there have been 654,965 (392,979–942,636) excess Iraqi deaths as a consequence of the war, which corresponds to 2·5% of the population in the study area."
See also the author’s larger study (with Appendices):
The human cost of the war in Iraq : A mortality study, 2002-2006: a mortality study, 2002-2006 (pdf) (okt. 2006, 25 p.)
"The School of Medicine at Al Mustansiriya University in Baghdad, Iraq, and The Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University - in cooperation with MIT’s Center for International Studies - have released a report on the under-examined question of civilian deaths in Iraq since the U.S. invasion in March 2003. Its central conclusion, based on a population-based survey conducted at some risk by a team of Iraqi and American public health researchers, is that approximately 600,000 people have died violently above the normal mortality rate. Including non-violent deaths that are nevertheless linked to the war, the total is estimated to be more than 650,000."
Lancet surveys of Iraq War casualties (
Jousting with the Lancet: more data, more debate over Iraqi deaths. By Diane Farsetta (Center for Media and Democracy, 02/26/2008)
Is the United States killing 10,000 Iraqis every month?: or is it more? By Michael Schwartz (AlterNet, July 6, 2007)
"300 Iraqis killed by Americans each day sounds like an impossible figure, but a close look at the reported numbers of violent deaths and rate of armed patrols makes it all too likely."
British scientists vouched for validity of study estimating 655,000 war deaths in Iraq. By Naomi Spencer (World Socialist Web Site, 28 March 2007)
"The BBC report confirms the validity of the Johns Hopkins study and underscores the monumental scale of US and British war crimes in Iraq. It also highlights the dishonesty and complicity of the media in these crimes."
Hvor mange sivile er drept i Irak? Av Kristin Straumsheim Grønli (, 23. oktober 2006)
"Det ble mye bråk rundt studien som anslår at rundt 650 000 irakiske sivile er døde på grunn av krigen. Tallet er sjokkerende stort, men i forskningsmiljøet får arbeidet stort sett gode attester."
Deaths in Iraq: how many, and why it matters (OpenDemocracy, 18 October 2006)
"How many civilians have died in Iraq? Iraq Body Count and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health give widely different answers. Michel Thieren examines what is at stake in their contrasting approaches and estimates."
At long last, can we please start counting the dead? By Sheldon Rampton (Center for Media and Democracy, November 10, 2006)
"I looked at reactions to the Lancet study from several groups: American political pundits, scientists with expertise in health and mortality research, and Iraqis. Many of the political pundits either rejected the study or questioned its conclusions and methodology. The scientists, however, gave it high marks, and most of the Iraqis thought the number sounded like it was in the right ballpark."
Lancet Report co-author responds to questions. By Les Roberts (Medialens, October 31, 2006)
Democracy and debate: killing Iraq. By David Edwards and David Cromwell (Medialens, October 18, 2006)
"The implications are clear - no crimes of state are too monstrous or extreme for mainstream journalism. There is no limit to their willingness to obscure the depredations of power." See also Lancet Report co-author responds to questions (Medialens, October 31, 2006)
How to make hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis disappear. By Eric Alterman (Alternet, October 20, 2006)
"The Lancet study that estimated 655,000 Iraqis killed since the US invasion of 2003 was based on some of the most solid research methods possible, but that didn’t stop the American press from trying to say it wasn’t so."
655,000 dead in Iraq since Bush invasion. By Juan Cole (Informed Comment, 10/11/200)
"I once warned that a precipitate US withdrawal could result in a million dead a la Cambodia or Afghanistan. Little did I know that the conditions created by the US invasion and occupation have all along been driving toward that number anyway!"

Undersøgelsen fra 2004

Mortality before and after the 2003 invasion of Iraq: cluster sample survey. By Les Roberts, Riyadh Lafta, Richard Garfield, Jamal Khudhairi, Gilbert Burnham (The Lancet, 364: 1857–64, October 29, 2004, 8 p.)
"Making conservative assumptions, we think that about 100,000 excess deaths, or more have happened since the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Violence accounted for most of the excess deaths and air strikes from coalition forces accounted for most violent deaths."
Lancet surveys of Iraq War casualties (
Burying The Lancet Report. By Nicolas J.S. Davies (Z Magazine, Issue 2, February 2006)
"As someone who has followed this war closely, I find the results of the study to be consistent with what I have seen gradually emerging as the war has progressed, based on the work of courageous, mostly independent reporters, and glimpses through the looking glass as more and more cracks appear in the “official story.”
Study shows civilian death toll in Iraq more than 100,000 (Democracy Now!, December 14, 2005)
"We speak with Dr. Les Roberts, the lead researcher of a study released last year on the number of deaths in Iraq, which put the toll at more than 100,000."
Counting the dead in Iraq. Interview with Les Roberts (Socialist Worker, Issue 1948, 23 April 2005). Dr Les Roberts spoke to Joseph Choonara about his survey.
100,000 Iraqis dead: should we believe it? By Stephen Soldz (ZNet, November 3, 2004)
"In the absence of this confirmation, this study remains the best estimate of Iraq deaths. Its finding are truly horrifying."

Andre undersøgelser

- John Tirman: Iraq’s shocking human toll: About 1 million killed, 4.5 million displaced, 1-2 million widows, 5 million orphans (February 2, 2009)
"Now that Bush is gone, perhaps we can honestly face the damage we have wrought and the responsibilities we must accept from it."
Dystre tall for sivile drepte i Irak. Av Asle Rønning (4. maj 2009)
"En analyse av sivile drepte i Irak i perioden 2003-2008 dokumenterer hvordan både selvsmordsbombere og bomber fra lufta har tatt livet av et stort antall sivile irakere. Folkeretten tillater ikke angrep på sivile."

History Teaching Review Year Book
The comparative accountancy of death in war (pdf) (Vol.22, 2008, p.76-84). Scroll down.
"Mike Haynes points to the hypocrisy involved in lots of pro-Western or pro-colonial estimates, before finishing with a summation of the appalling toll of Iraqi dead as a result of war, sanctions and occupation."

Iraq Body Count (IBC)
A dossier of civilian casualities 2003-2005 (pdf) (July 19, 2005, 28 p.)
"New analysis of civilian casualties in Iraq: Report unveils comprehensive details."
Iraq Body Count project (
Iraq Body Count: ’A very misleading exercise’. By David Edwards and David Cromwell (Medialens, October 3, 2007)
Exchange of letters with Iraq Body Count on Johns Hopkins study estimating 650,000 Iraqi war dead (World Socialist Web Site, 6 April 2007) + A response from Iraq Body Count (17 May 2007)
Deaths in Iraq: how many, and why it matters. By Michel Thieren (OpenDemocracy, October 18, 2006)
Speculation is no substitute: a defence of Iraq Body Count (pdf). By Hamit Dardagan, John Sloboda, Josh Dougherty (IBC, April 2006, 48 p.)
Iraq Body Count: a shame becoming shameful. John Pilger and a leading epidemiologist challenge IBC (Medialens, April 10, 2006)
When promoting truth obscures the truth: more on Iraqi Body Count and Iraqi deaths. By Stephen Soldz (ZNet, February 5, 2006)
Paved with good intentions: Iraq Body Counts, Part 1. By David Edwards (Medialens, January 25, 2006) + Part 2 (January 26)

Le Monde Diplomatique
Tallenes klare tale. Av Kim Bredesen (nr.12, december 2008)
" Fem år med okkupasjon i Irak, én million døde av vold, nesten fem millioner flyktninger. Dette er tallene som amerikanske medier aldri nevner. Le Monde diplomatique har snakket med sosiologiprofessor Michael Schwartz."

New England Journal of Medicine
The weapons that kill civilians: deaths of children and noncombatants in Iraq, 2003–2008 (April 16, 2009)
Violence-related mortality in Iraq from 2002 to 2006 (January 9, 2008)
By Iraq Family Health Survey Study Group (IFHS). A collaborative survey between national and regional ministers in Iraq and the World Health Organisation (WHO)
"Estimates of the death toll in Iraq from the time of the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003 until June 2006 have ranged from 47,668 (from the Iraq Body Count) to 601,027 (from a national survey). Results from the Iraq Family Health Survey (IFHS), which was conducted in 2006 and 2007, provide new evidence on mortality in Iraq ... This rate translates into an estimated number of violent deaths of 151,000 from March 2003 through June 2006."
Irak-krigens omkostning: 150.000 døde. Af Ole Wugge Christiansen (, 10. januar 2008)
New study says 151,000 Iraqi dead (BBC News, January 10, 2008)
Deaths in Iraq: the numbers game, revisited. By Michel Thieren (OpenDemocracy, January 11, 2008)
How the New England Journal of Medicine undercounted Iraqi civilian deaths: gross distortions, sloppy methodology and tendentious reporting. By Andrew Cockburn (CounterPunch, January 12/13, 2008)
Right-wingers can’t cover up Iraq’s death toll catastrophe. By John Tirman (AlterNet, January 21, 2008)
The uncounted dead of Iraq. By Nicole Colson (Socialist Worker, US, Issue 659, January 25, 2008)

Opinion Reseach Business (ORB)
Update on Iraqi Casualty Data (January 2008)
"We now estimate that the death toll between March 2003 and August 2007 is likely to have been of the order of 1,033,000."
ORB survey of Iraq War casualties (
One million dead. By Danny Lucia (, January 30, 2012)
A million Iraqi dead? The U.S. press buries the evidence. By Patrick McElwee (Extra! January/February 2008)
A deafening silence on report of one million Iraqis killed under US occupation. By Patrick Martin (World Socialist Web Site, 17 September 2007)

The PBH Network
Perspective on 9/11 and the invasions of Iraq & Afghanistan (September 11, 2010)
Casualties of 9/11, the war on terror and the invasion of Iraq.

Project on Defense Alternatives
Disappearing the Dead: Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Idea of a ’New Warfare’ (pdf). By Carl Conetta (PDA Research Monograph, 9, February 18, 2004, 111 p.) + Executive Summary (pdf) (19 p.)
"Examines the Pentagon’s treatment of the civilian casualty issue in the Iraq and Afghan wars, reviews the ’spin’ and ’news frames’ used by defense officials to shape the public debate over casualties, and critiques the concept of a ’precision warfare’ as misleading."

Psysicians for Social Responsibility
Body Count: Casualty Figures after 10 years of the “War on Terror” (pdf) (March 2015, 97 p.)
"The purpose of this investigation is to provide as realistic an estimate as possible of the total body count in the three main war zones in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan during 12 years of ‘war on terrorism’."

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Casualties of the Iraq War
Casualties in Iraq: the human cost of occupation: American military casualties in Iraq


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International Socialism (Issue 154, Spring 2017, 223 p.). Britisk kvartalstidsskrift online med artikler bl.a om Donald Trump og den neoliberalistiske verdensorden, antisemitisme og højrefløjen, den russiske revolution og Lenins April-teser, klasseanalyse, Frantz Fanon, Engels og menneskets forhistorie + boganmeldelser.

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