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Thread: Debunking the Lancet Report

  1. #46
    Regular ofelas's Avatar
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    Ah yes, the George Soros funded Lancet study...

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    Quote Originally Posted by ofelas View Post
    Ah yes, the George Soros funded Lancet study...
    Is this a post against the Roberts et al study or against the criticism of it because Soros helped to fund it?
    "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

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    Quote Originally Posted by LetsTalk View Post
    At the end of the day, regardless of what the actual number really is, there was bad planning from day one, and more civilians died than there should have. We should never had invaded Iraq.
    1. Don't confuse causality.

    How many of the "excess" deaths post-OIF were due to Saddam's amnesty (no matter how much security exists, there were still excess deaths due to this pre-invasion action of Saddam)? How many fewer deaths occured in 2002 (part of the benchmarking period to determine "excess" deaths) because Saddam knew he had to play nice with his enemies in the face of a more pressing external threat?

    Both of these questions demonstrate that the "excess" deaths are biased upwards if the lens of the study is to show that the invasion itself is responsible for all of the "excess" deaths.

    2. Don't confuse counterfactuals.

    If the lens is to compare the invasion as it was executed versus counterfactuals, then it is necessary to compare it against all potential counterfactuals, i.e., not just a binary lens of invasion/no invasion, but rather, invasion without disbanding the Iraqi Army, invasion using the full complement of troops as per the Cobra II plan, invasion integrating the various studies that were ignored by the Rumsfeld Pentagon, etc.

    To use the binary invasion/no invasion approach is to both create a false dichotomy as well as to confuse the causality of the "excess" deaths.

    So, while your point about bad planning (which includes ignoring the plan that existed) is valid, it doesn't follow that we shouldn't have invaded Iraq.
    "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

  4. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shek View Post
    Is this a post against the Roberts et al study or against the criticism of it because Soros helped to fund it?
    Oh, definitely against the Soros funding of the skewed Roberts study.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LetsTalk View Post
    Our current leadership was arrogant and ignored history lessons, and should had made sure that they finished the job in Afghanistan first and delivered Bin Laden's head on a plate by now.
    You sound so sure.

    Like a person that has no idea what he's talking about.

  6. #51
    Distant Deeps or Skies Senior Contributor HistoricalDavid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LetsTalk View Post
    ...there was bad planning from day one, ... We should never had invaded Iraq.
    Sorry, you can't have it both ways. A well-planned invasion or no invasion at all?
    HD Ready?

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    historical david,

    there is a good question to be had here- i think it is eminently arguable (not that i agree with the statement) that while a well-planned invasion would have been "worth it", a badly-planned invasion would be worse than no invasion at all.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    historical david,

    there is a good question to be had here- i think it is eminently arguable (not that i agree with the statement) that while a well-planned invasion would have been "worth it", a badly-planned invasion would be worse than no invasion at all.
    Well, no surprise, but I disagree.

    Getting The One Big Thang right is more important than the detail-work. Did you read Christopher Hitchens' article in Slate about how did we get everything so wrong? His answer: we didn't. We got the most important thing RIGHT.

    I agree. And IF - IF - we end up winning in the end, it'll be proven fact, and NObody will be able to argue that we're worse off.

    Which is EXACTLY why so many are hoping - some even WORKING for - our defeat.

    How low can somebody sink, anyway? To hope that we're defeated in a vital war, so that they won't have to swallow their pride, and admit they were wrong, and the object of their unreasonable, blinding, white-hot hatred was right?

    That's really low. It's why I hate an American defeatist more than a fanatic jihadi.

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    bluesman,

    Well, no surprise, but I disagree.

    Getting The One Big Thang right is more important than the detail-work. Did you read Christopher Hitchens' article in Slate about how did we get everything so wrong? His answer: we didn't. We got the most important thing RIGHT.

    I agree. And IF - IF - we end up winning in the end, it'll be proven fact, and NObody will be able to argue that we're worse off.
    which is why i said- "not that i agree with this statement."

    because with iraq being the way it is now, we can say that we have got the "one big thang right." with iraq being dominated by the shi'as, and even the old recalcitrant sunnis (for the moment) on the side, we can say that we've not only ended the reign of saddam, but also weakened al-qaeda in the process.

    however, you yourself here say that the truth of this is based on an "if". what if iraq, despite our best efforts, goes down into full-fledged civil war? what if iraq, despite our best efforts, decides to ally with iran? for that matter, things could have been even worse- what if in the chaos after the invasion, sistani was assassinated, or if the sunnis had decided to stay recalcitrant even after the surge...

    i'm not agreeing with letstalk here. i believe the invasion and the resulting benefits thereof have been worth the costs of doing so. but it's been clear that poor planning has made the costs so much higher than it could/should have been, while none of us are sure yet how long the benefits of the invasion will last.

    that's the basis of my belief of why i believe the "worth it" question is arguable and perhaps even reasonable, given the right arguments. as backers of the war, this is a question that we must answer convincingly- this is not some wild charge of a great bushitler oil-israel-military industrial complex conspiracy.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  10. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shek View Post
    1. Don't confuse causality.

    How many of the "excess" deaths post-OIF were due to Saddam's amnesty (no matter how much security exists, there were still excess deaths due to this pre-invasion action of Saddam)? How many fewer deaths occured in 2002 (part of the benchmarking period to determine "excess" deaths) because Saddam knew he had to play nice with his enemies in the face of a more pressing external threat?

    Both of these questions demonstrate that the "excess" deaths are biased upwards if the lens of the study is to show that the invasion itself is responsible for all of the "excess" deaths.

    2. Don't confuse counterfactuals.

    If the lens is to compare the invasion as it was executed versus counterfactuals, then it is necessary to compare it against all potential counterfactuals, i.e., not just a binary lens of invasion/no invasion, but rather, invasion without disbanding the Iraqi Army, invasion using the full complement of troops as per the Cobra II plan, invasion integrating the various studies that were ignored by the Rumsfeld Pentagon, etc.

    To use the binary invasion/no invasion approach is to both create a false dichotomy as well as to confuse the causality of the "excess" deaths.

    So, while your point about bad planning (which includes ignoring the plan that existed) is valid, it doesn't follow that we shouldn't have invaded Iraq.
    I am not claiming that the number of casualties on the report is correct or wrong. The simple fact is that there have been too many civilian, and US forces casualties (4000 according to the Chicago Tribune and other sources). We have also spend about a trillion dollars on this war, do you have any idea how much infrastructure, schools and many other great things we could have done with this money.

  11. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluesman View Post
    You sound so sure.

    Like a person that has no idea what he's talking about.
    In Afghanistan we had a battleground were we could fight terrorist, Al Quada was there, and so was the Taliban. We did not finish them up, we did not send enough troops in there, and we took many of our resources out and send them to Iraq. And the Canadians are asking any body that would listen for help in the Afghanistan places they are involved in.

    We used the Northern Alliance where we should had used our much better trained and qualified men to go and get Osama in Tora Bora. And have allowed the Pakistanis to do the minimum possible to go after the Terrorist in their country.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HistoricalDavid View Post
    Sorry, you can't have it both ways. A well-planned invasion or no invasion at all?
    Why, because I believe the invasion should not had happened, I have no right to wish that our administration had executed it correctly. That it had made sure that our soldiers had the right equipment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LetsTalk View Post
    I am not claiming that the number of casualties on the report is correct or wrong. The simple fact is that there have been too many civilian, and US forces casualties (4000 according to the Chicago Tribune and other sources).
    Your logic does not follow. If the study is wrong (which the Roberts et al study was), then your basis for claiming too many deaths can fail because you must look at the counterfactual, which then includes a continued sanctions regime and Saddam the benevolent deciding which potential regime enemies should he kill. Ergo, you cannot claim your conclusion to be a simple fact.

    You must look at both what is seen and what was unseen.
    "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

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    Quote Originally Posted by LetsTalk View Post
    That it had made sure that our soldiers had the right equipment.
    I had the right equipment. However, equipment is a red herring. It was the fact that we didn't have the right doctrine.
    "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

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    Remind me again: how friggin' long did it take to apprehend Ted Kaszynski? And who was it that finally turned him in?

    We'd have gotten ObL FO' SHO', if only we'd had the mysterious and unknowable 'right number' of troops. What a crock of crap.

    You're not eqipped to pronounce on what it would've taken to get him. But you sure THINK you do.

    Get in touch with this, chief: you're talking out your ass.

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