Thursday, March 27, 2008

Everybody has to die of something

Iraq Body Count: Introduction:

In some sense, I don't think knowing the number matters. The lower bounds of reasonable estimates are still high enough to make me think our involvement in Iraq was a bad idea, especially when considered in conjunction with the various other problems we know about, like the attacks on key infrastructure and the refugee crisis. So debating whether the number is 100,000 or an order of magnitude higher than that doesn't change my basic assessment of the situation.
As to whether it matters to the up to half million or so Iraqis who might also have died, or to their family and friends, well... they need to email Megan and include some kind of proof of their loss, like before and after shots pictures of the corpse. Besides, Megan did a bunch of research from her place in DC. She's now an expert, so shut up. (Delete THAT, Megan. Hah. I win.)

Iraq Body Count: Why is it so hard to count, anyway?: Because girls are bad at math.

Oh, she meant to count the Iraqi dead. If you can't figure that one out for yourself, you're a regular reader of Megan's work, non-masochistic division, so she's probably showing good awareness of her audience with this post, at least.

The article is short enough I'll deal with it later. I'd be surprised if there's anything new in it. Her conclusion will be "it's impossible to know the number for sure, but the Lancet is definitely wrong".


Anonymous said...

There have been few pundits of national stature more persistent in pointing out the hypocrisy and systemic failures of the media in the coverage of the Bush administration and the war in Iraq than Glenn Greenwald. FMM is very close to getting MM on his radar. Today he linked to the following:
The present critiques of MM have tapped into her deep-seated anxieties and caused her to flail about in a Freudian paroxysm of self-hate. One can only imagine the results of a considered attack from Glenn, a thoroughgoing professional in demolishing poorly reasoned argument.

Blake said...


I would never have opened that link in the Greenwald post if you hadn't mentioned it. Thanks.

Man o man, what a take down. I think you might be right that Megan's shivering a little bit, with GG breathing down her neck--especially after Brad DeLong (who she still has on her blogroll) nominated her for the stupidest woman alive. Hilarious.

I also want to see what the experts have to say about Megan's surely idiotic "article" in the Atlantic about how the Lancet and others got their Iraq death counts wrong due to faulty methodology--and because, of course (since it's Megan writing) they're complete idiots who don't even understand their own fields of study. No one, after all, is as smart as Megan. Myself, knowing a little bit about the academic/research community, I don't think these scientists are going to roll over very easily and simply admit that their published and peer-reviewed studies were wrong and that Megan, the brilliant econoblogger who has no training whatever in epidemiology, is right. It could be a really good fight.

Nutella, finally things might be looking up for us and down for McArdle. Don't give up the good fight.

NutellaonToast said...

yeah, I just posted a link to our blog over there. that is a damnedgood post. I wish I could analyze like that.

We're the fifth link on google now when you search for megan mcardle.


Hasn't it also been completely clear that I'm not really gone? My retirement was more a decision to stop obsessing a bit.

I've taken up gardening. I planted string beans, carrots, corn, strawberries, cucumbers and peppers today after spending 3 days digging out the weeds. My raspberry bushes are coming along nicely as well.

Margalis said...

Keep bashing!

I about to blog about McArdle a bit at and came across you guys as I was researching.

McArdle really does deserve to be fired. So wrong and so smug. What a terrible combination. She's the low-rent Quayle's Brain of libertarians.

brad said...

I doubt Megan will ever be important enough to merit full on GG luv, beautiful as it'd be to see.
I think I'm gonna do a round-up of all the bloggy love Megan has engendered this week, lemme know, everyone, if you saw something I missed when it's up.