19 October 2006

WSJ demolishes Iraq casualty claims

We're all familiar with the recent "study" that claimed over 600,000 Iraqis have died as a result of the Battle to unseat Saddam and his murderous regime.

Trouble is, it isn't worth the paper it's printed on.

From a researcher who was on the ground, in Iraq for 2 years.
After doing survey research in Iraq for nearly two years, I was surprised to read that a study by a group from Johns Hopkins University claims that 655,000 Iraqis have died as a result of the war.

Survey results frequently have a margin of error of plus or minus 3% or 5%--not 1200%.
Seems the methodology is a tad suspect... even by whiny, nonsensical moonbat standards.
However, the key to the validity of cluster sampling is to use enough cluster points. In their 2006 report, "Mortality after the 2003 invasion of Iraq: a cross-sectional sample survey," the Johns Hopkins team says it used 47 cluster points for their sample of 1,849 interviews. This is astonishing: I wouldn't survey a junior high school, no less an entire country, using only 47 cluster points.
This study should be filed away in the same "crazy" basket, as the reports from the university lecturer who thinks Dick Cheney and the Mossad brought down the World Trade Center with cruise missiles.

Saw it first over at David Frum's blog.

UPDATE: More on faulty methodology
Researchers at Royal Holloway, University of London and Oxford University have found serious flaws in the survey of Iraqi deaths published last week in the Lancet.

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