Monday, July 02, 2012

Tip of the Iraq war iceberg

True story


40 comments:

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
There are many who don't buy that claim of a million plus Iraqi dead.

Marcus said...

Look at the proportions in the illustration. The upper three fields 4000, 11000 and 29000 are roughly proportional in size compared to the figures they represent. The fieldd representing 11.000 is slighly twice as big as the one representing 4.050 and the one representing 29.000 is about three times as big as the one representing 11.000.

The lower two fields are also roughly proportional. The field for 4.5 million is about 3 times larger than the one for 1.1 million. Not a perfect match but still not an outrageous margin of error.

But look at the difference when we move from American to Iraqi casualties. The field representing 1.1 million Iraqis is only about 3 times as large as the one for 29.000 Americans when it shouldd be 37 times as large to be proportional to the figures.

Seems like in this illustration an American is still worth at least 12 Iraqis, even if it is an illustration that supposedly tries to shine a light on the massive Iraqi suffering in the war.

I thought that was rather telling.

Marcus said...

To put it another way. in the picture, above the surface of the water there are two "peaks". There's the one that holds the text "4.050 US Military deaths", then on the right hand side there's another smaller section. See that peak above the surface on the right just next to the boat? That'd be about the size of the total US figures for deaths, suicides and wounded if it would have been a correct portion of the illustration (~0.8%). The rest should've been Iraqis.

Zeyad said...

Lee, the 1 million figure represents excess deaths as a result of the war, and the actual figure reported was 150 so thousand killed (still an outrageous number) and judging from experience that the media and health minister usually reports about 10% of actual casualties then a 1 out of 30 iraqis killed since 2003 is not so farfetched. Every Iraqi family has been affected and has had at least one victim.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
      "Seems like in this illustration an American is still
      worth at least 12 Iraqis…  ***
      "I thought that was rather telling.
"

Does it perhaps tell you who prepared the original of the graphic?  ‘Cause even that's still a mystery to me. 
And, given that I had to put my glasses on to try and read the captions in the upper sections, I probably would have ascribed the variations is the ‘size ratios(calling it that for lack of a better term) to the need to get a large enough field to contain the text included.  Maybe you could share with us what ‘tells’ you that the more callous reasoning you discovered was instead at work there? 

             ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
      "Lee, the 1 million figure represents excess deaths
      as a result of the war…
"

Ah, ‘excess deaths’, now there's a slippery phrase if ever there was one.  I never could get that one pinned down even in the Lancet study.

      "Every Iraqi family…has had at least one victim."

I'll presume that by ‘victim’ you mean one of those ‘excess deaths’?  But then that raises the question of whether we're comparing ‘families’ to a known standard.  For instance, wouldn't you Zeyad have considered a second or third cousin to have been a member of your ‘family’ for the purpose of our discussion here?  And by then we'd be getting up into the hundreds of people rather than into the tens wouldn't we?  Ratios of hundreds to one rather than, say, thirty to one

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
Brief aside re:  American politics:

ObamaCare is still looking to be a bit of a negative for the Democrats (I went over some of the more recent polling in the last thread).  Surprisingly then, it seems Obama nevertheless has a significant lead on the issue of health care over Romney, something like 15 percenage points.

And now, back to your regularly scheduled programming.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

If one assumes these figures are current(and accurate) as of today, then they are the result of the invasion of Iraq by the US and its allies and the sectarian war that ensued in the aftermath.

To only put the onus on the US would be to ignore the deeper problems in the ME. Or put another way, if we were the only cause of violence in the ME then you would not be seeing the bloodshed in Syria today.

I am not saying that we did not kill people in Iraq, what I am saying is that civilians were deliberately targeted by their own countrymen as well, to the extreme detriment of Iraq and its social cohesion.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Lee,

“The decision was political, not legal, which reduces its value as a precedent,” Barnett said. It was obvious Roberts had to stretch to reach his decision, he said, “because the reasoning was so tortured” — and that tortured reasoning undermines the decision.

Oh for heavens sake! That is so the pot calling the kettle black!

Robert's, and any other judge for that matter, reasoning should be meticulous. Calling it "tortured" is hyperbole.

Talk about feeding frenzy! The pundits are going to live on this story for quite some time.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
      "…what I am saying is that civilians were deliberately
      targeted by their own countrymen as well…
."

I figured we'd get to that soon.  You went straight there.  Most Iraqi ‘excess deaths’, and I'm talkin’ the vast majority, were the result of Iraqi on Iraqi action.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
      "‘The decision was political, not legal, which
      reduces its value as a precedent,’ Barnett said.
etc."

From whence comes this quote?  I'm pretty sure it wasn't in that polling link I put up there.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Oops, sorry Lee, that was from your link in the previous comments section. In the comment before you talked about the polling data.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

This did not happen in my state, but it was close. The heat has been just as bad here.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Zeyad,

Have you gotten settled in?

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
      "…that was from your link in the previous comments
      section…
"

Ah, well, I still check in on that thread.  (I even still look in on the one where Petes was last carryin’ on ‘bout his little math trick occasionally, to see if he's changed his mind and decided he wants to take another whuppin on that subject.)
But, in response to your post…
Keep in mind that Roberts managed to get himself simultaneously on both sides of the question of whether or not it's a tax, both yes and no in the same written opinion.  That is a little shifty in people's view.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
That is:  ‘…in some peoples' view…’.  That's how that shoulda read.

Marcus said...

Lee: "I probably would have ascribed the variations is the ‘size ratios’ (calling it that for lack of a better term) to the need to get a large enough field to contain the text included."

Possible. But the 3'd field is way larger than what would be needed to fit the text.

Lee: "Maybe you could share with us what ‘tells’ you that the more callous reasoning you discovered was instead at work there?"

I thought it was callous to visually portray 45K US victims as 1/4 of the total victims when they are in fact less than 1% (of the figures presented).

You seem to think it's A-OK as long as there's a reason such as fitting in a text. Well, I guess we'll have to aggree to disagree. I thought it was callous (good word there, I wouldn't have come up with that one myself).

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
      "But the 3'd field is way larger than what would be
      needed to fit the text.
"

By the time they'd gotten through the first two fields to the third one the notion of keeping the ratios constant woulda hadta been pretty much shit-shot already.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
      "I thought it was callous to visually portray 45K
      US victims as 1/4 of the total victims when they are
      in fact less than 1%
"

Well, assuming we'll not be taking you to task for being just a little to politically correct here…  You just assumed this ‘callousness’ was put evidence by an Evil Merkin or an Evil Merkin Lackey and not by some anti-Merkin peacenik, why?

Marcus said...

Lee: "You just assumed this ‘callousness’ was put evidence by an Evil Merkin or an Evil Merkin Lackey and not by some anti-Merkin peacenik, why?"

Where the hell did you get that idea from?

I said as much before: "even if it is an illustration that supposedly tries to shine a light on the massive Iraqi suffering in the war"

I'm quite certain (not 100% but 99%) the illustration was made by someone who opposed the war in Iraq. Someone who wishes to highlight the casualties and point out Iraqis suffered more. Still, the illustration is pisspoor because it still vastly misrepresents how Iraqis were the main victims and overstates the US casualties (and disregards completely US allied casualties).

But my main point is that, whoever made the illustration, they have visually equated 1 dead american to 30+ dead Iraqis. Callous.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
      "Where the hell did you get that idea from?"

I deduced that from the following:

      "Seems like in this illustration an American is still
      worth at least 12 Iraqis….
      "I thought that was rather telling.
"
      Marcus @ 12:26 AM

Figured I could guess easy ‘nuff what you thought it was ‘telling’ us.  (A point you seem in no hurry to address now that a possible alternate explanation has been offered.)

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
And, if I may be indulged another brief aside on the subject of American politics:
(This one at least does have international implications)

Sec. of State, Hillary Clinton has issued a formal apology to the families of 24 Pakis killed in airstrikes against their position in the high mountain passes bordering Afghanistan several months ago.  The land route for supplies through Pakistan is reported to be re-opened.
The Repbulicans are gonna be howlin’ ‘bout this one.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

*sigh*

Seems like in this illustration an American is still worth at least 12 Iraqis….

This wasn't a swap or trade. It's not about value, but about the effect the conflict in Iraq had on those involved.

Our media had a tendency to track how many American's were killed, without looking at the other casualties, giving their reporting a rather superficial appearance. And even this illustration is only a surface analysis. Because until you look at the people themselves and how this affected them, the numbers are only numbers. There is a story behind each and every one, whether you are talking American or Iraqi.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Keep in mind that Roberts managed to get himself simultaneously on both sides of the question of whether or not it's a tax, both yes and no in the same written opinion.

I haven't read the full text. I will have to Google it.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Okay, so the thing is like 193 pages long. No, I'm not going to read it all. Where do you see that Roberts managed to agree to and disagree with upholding the law under the Tax Clause?

I did notice this in the Syllabus:

Because "every reasonable construction must be resorted to, in order to save a statue from unconstitutionality," Hooper v California, 155 US 648,657, the question is whether it is "fairly possible" to interpret the mandate as imposing such a tax, Crowell v. Bens, 285 U.S. 22.62. Pp. 31-32.

Apparently Roberts decided it was.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Bens = Benson

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
      "Where do you see that Roberts managed to
      agree to and disagree with upholding the law under
      the Tax Clause?
"

It's not quite that straightforward.  There's a law. popularly called the ‘Anti-Injunction Act’ which says that people can't sue to have a tax declared unconstitutional before they're even asked to pay the tax.  Roberts decided that it wasn't a tax for purposes of invoking the Anti-Injunction Act, otherwise they'd just dismiss the case until 2014 when somebody was finally actually asked to pay the tax, they could re-file suit then if they wanted to.  But it was a tax enough that they could uphold it under the taxing power, while he was also undertaking the then wholly unnecessary extra step of deciding it was not valid under the Commerce Clause.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
Some folks thought that was a little shifty.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
Some folks thought that was a little shifty.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

I saw the reference to the Anti-Injunction Act, but kind of slid over it. I will go back and re-read it.

But not tonight. I'm off for now.

Have a nice evening everyone! Try and stay cool. :)

Bridget said...

"Roberts decided that it wasn't a tax for purposes of invoking the Anti-Injunction Act, otherwise they'd just dismiss the case until 2014 when somebody was finally actually asked to pay the tax, they could re-file suit then if they wanted to"

Damn, that's what he should have done! Declared the thing unconstitutional on all grounds other than taxing authority and then refuse to decide the constitutionality under the taxing authority until we're all so freaking sick and tired of the whole mess that any sane person has ceased to give a flying .......

Now THAT would have been right shifty. I'd love it.

Bridget said...

Marcus.

Garbage in, garbage out.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
      "Damn, that's what he should have done!"

But, he didn't.  On the other hand, Republicans have determined to keep filing more legal challenges until they run out of ideas.  And, as they are totally unfazed by doing intellectual 180s on a dime, that may take some time yet.  Maybe all the heat Roberts is taking from the right-wingers will eventually intimidate him into gettin’ with the program.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Ahhhh, I see, sneaky. Here is the short-hand portion in the Syllabus that refers to the Anti-Injunction Act:

...Congress did not intend the payment to be treated as a "Tax" for purposes of the Anti-Injuction Act. The Affordable Care Act describes the payment as a "penalty," not a "tax". That label cannot control whether the payment is a tax for purposes of the Constitution, but it does determine the application of the Anti-Injunction Act. The Anti-Injuntion Act therefore does not bar the suit.

lol! The wording on the Act is key to this ruling. But not when deciding whether or not it is allowable under the Tax Clause. Yes indeed, very, very clever man is Justice Roberts.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

   
      "He is no lawyer who cannot take both sides."
      Marcus Tullius Cicero
      (minor variation sometimes alternately ascribed to
      one Charles Lamb)

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Hmmm...it looks like he is saying that it is Congress that decides how their Acts will relate to each other and basically they did not specify that the Affordable Care Act requires the penalty to be treated as a tax under the Anti-Injuction Act.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

But requiring that certain individuals pay a financial penalty for not obtaining health insurance may reasonably be characterized as a tax. Which is in line with Republican party thinking.

"He is no lawyer who cannot take both sides."

And very cleverly too. lol!

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
      "…a tax. Which is in line with Republican party
      thinking.
"

Yeah, well, they tend to ignore that Roberts wrote that it could be ‘upheld’ under the taxing power.  He didn't actually say it was a tax.  For instance:  The IRS audits you and decides you underpaid.  You get hit for the unpaid tax, plus penalties, plus interest on both the tax and the penalties.  The penalties are penalties, not a tax.  However, there is no ‘penalty powers’ clause in the Constitution.  The penalty is nonetheless constitutional under the taxing power.  For another instance:  Fees, say you want to get a firearms ‘collectors license’ from the feds (which will allow you to ‘collect’ some exotic firearms like machine guns otherwise forbidden to John Q. Public).  There's no ‘fee powers’ in the constitution either, but they charge a fee anyway, and it's justified as constitutional under the taxing powers provision.  I could come up with other examples, but most people will get the point just from the IRS audit example.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

 
No ‘interest powers’ in the constitution allowing them to collect interest either, but they get that slid in under the taxing power too.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

I'm thinking the Constitution was written to be flexible enough to allow for various things to be "slid under". ;)