Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Liars Figure

The New York Times Reports, "Iraqi Casualties Have Risen 51% U.S. Study Finds (9/02/06)", with civilian deaths soaring. This from a Pentagon report entitled, "Measuring Security and Stability in Iraq" (I certainly hope they use a micrometer in the measurement of such things.)

However, in an AP article (8/30/06) reporting on the deaths of 13 G.I.'s killed in Iraq in the preceeding few days, Major General William B. Caldwell says the murder rate in Baghdad had fallen 46% from July to August, and "we are actually seeing progress out there." An additional AP report (9/07/06) states the U.S. military said, "The murder rate in the capital (Baghdad) has fallen by 52%". However, Iraqi officials note no such decline. "Baghdad recorded more than 1,500 violent deaths in August", according to the Iraqi Health Ministry. This number is roughly the same as the July figure.

How to reckon the two--one study reporting a 51% casualty rise, and the Army spokesman who says the murder rate has fallen 46%...

Reminds me of the old adage from statistics: Liars figure, and figures lie.



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