Iraq Revisited

February 25, 2010 at 11:28 pm Leave a comment

A reader yesterday queried my stats on child death rates in Iraq, perfectly reasonably since they don’t tally with the  UNICEF website. I’d reproduced the figures from the current edition of Private Eye (p5). So I rang the Eye, and a lengthy exchange of e-mails ensued. Eventually it seems that, well, we’re both partly right! Here’s their conclusion:

Our story as published is essentially correct with a caveat. The report we quoted is indeed UNICEF, dated 2007 details as follows and we have quoted it accurately. Page numbers listed. The same  stats as used by save the Children and UNICEF.

 State of the World’s Children, Unicef 2007, page 101. 125 per thousand; page 103 says it was 50 in 1990 and 125 in 2005. See:

 http://www.unicef.org/sowc07/docs/sowc07.pdf

  But it seems there may have been been a more up date figure showing a fall.

 If so the fall is very recent & probably due to the “surge” which improved security in Iraq . It may mean that technically, Blair can claim a drop and is right thanks to the surge and the efforts of the aid agencies . BUT of course, it still means that hell of a lot of babies and children died as a result of the invasion than would otherwise have died had there not been a war, and that is pretty obvious. including the 122,000 who did die just in 2005. Campbell & Blair are still on very shaky ground claiming that the war has done wonders for child survivability because it obviously killed tens of thousands of children along the way one way or another. 

So apologies from me and from Private Eye for not getting it exactly right, although Blair and Campbell have sexed up the stats to serve their case. Fancy that!

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Everything in Moderation My Cultural Week

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How cold is my valley?

Who I am

This blog started during the months before the 2010 General Election, in which I was the Green candidate for Calder Valley. It's morphed into an account of green activism...and other meanderings.

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