More on Iraq’s Death Rate

I’m going to find something to eat, but meanwhile, go to Unfogged’s thread about the new Lancet study and read comments 67-74, which concern Iraq’s actual death rate. Tassled Loafered Leech expressed skepticism about the baseline pre-war death rate in Iraq, 5.5, on the grounds that it was lower than the Western average as well as the world average. I gave examples from the rest of the Arab world showing that 5.5 was actually above the regional average in comment 73.

If anyone is interested, here or on Unfogged, I can explain why exactly Arab states hog the bottom of the international death rate rankings.

On that note, I yield the floor.

7 Responses to More on Iraq’s Death Rate

  1. otto says:

    Wow, thanks for all your analysis on the casualty issue!

    Since it doesn’t seem like anyone is taking up your question at Unfogged (“By the way, totally off-topic: I’d like to sign the petition to help the Iranian women who are to be stoned to death, but I’m afraid my name will be a liability. Should I sign it anyway? Should I sign with an alias?”), what in particular worries you about liability? And, where can I find this petition? Thanks.

  2. Alon Levy says:

    No problem, Otto.

    The entire complex of petitions plus a suggestion of how to email Ahmadinejad is on Eteraz. I’m afraid my name will work against me because “Levy” isn’t the sort of name that will appeal to the average Islamist.

  3. otto says:

    I thought that might be the issue for you but wanted to check to be sure. I would consider signing the petition under a pseudonym, though that might offend your ego and sense of honesty, but it seems to be the most positive course to take. What’s the demographic data for Jews in Iran? I know that Baghdad at least used to have a sizeable Jewish community.

    I am always wary of trampling on others’ customs, no matter how inappropriate or reprehensible I may find them, and attempting to impose my own values and mores – especially in light of the prevalence of American exceptionalism and “white man’s burden” in this country. On the other hand, “sitting with your hands folded” is no way to live, and as social animals I think we have an obligation to look out for each other (Or, what if the stoning were taking place in my town, what would I do?). Also, after reading some of Eteraz’s blog and one of his essays at Kill the Buddha, my impression is that he is damn good people. I signed both petitions.

  4. otto says:

    Alon Levy,

    Interested to know what you concluded.

  5. Alon Levy says:

    Sorry for taking too long… I concluded my name was too Israeli and too Jewish. Arguing from human rights would make me look like a Western colonialist; arguing from the Qur’an would make me look like the Devil quoting scripture.

  6. otto says:

    Did you use a pseudonym?

  7. Alon Levy says:

    No… I’d rather not do that anymore.

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