I'm in the middle of reexamining the data collected by the University Collaborative Iraq Mortality Study (UCIMS) (This is joint work with my former student Stijn Van Weezel.) The number of excess deaths estimated by the UCIMS is 405,000, 461,000, 500,000, more than 500,000.... well, that's the point....it's not clear exactly what the UCIMS estimate is but it … Continue reading War Death Estimates that are Lighter than Air
OK, that was an unfair question. Few readers are old enough to have well-formed memories of the days when disco was King and the Chilcot Inquiry, also known as the Iraq Inquiry, opened its doors. But at long last we are hurtling toward a conclusion to this epic adventure so I'd like to throw down a … Continue reading Who Remembers the Chilcot Inquiry?
Joshua Goldstein and Steven Pinker, both authors of important and timely books on the decline of violence, have an interesting joint article suggesting that we're back on track after a bit of a reversal over the last few years. What they say makes sense to me in light of recent developments. The war in Syria, … Continue reading A Peaceful Start to the New Year?
Natalie Jackson has a nice article for HUFFPOST POLITICS about the attempt by a survey research company (D3 Systems) to censor criticism of their work by threatening to sue me. She quotes Matthew Warshaw of D3 saying: “The only reason we went the legal route was because [Spagat and Koczela] sent their work to our … Continue reading D3 Responds but not on Substance
I just set up a web page on the title theme for this post. There you will find my paper "Censorship and Self-Censorship in Research on the Iraq War." It is short but if you only have five minutes to spare then just read the slides from the presentation I made yesterday at the conference of the … Continue reading Censorship and Self-Censorship in Research on the Iraq War
Here are the slides from my presentation at the fabrication conference. It was called "Waiting for Godot: What Happens after you Find Fabricated Data" and it's about the (mis)handling of the bogus and unethical Burnham et al. survey aimed at determining the number of people killed in the Iraq war. I've already discussed this survey … Continue reading Fabrication Conference Follow Up
Loyal readers will recall my bold prediction that childmortality.org would bow to reality in 2015 and explicitly recognize that child mortality rates have steadily decreased in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) during the war (which began around 1999). (Well, actually an insider told me this would happen so perhaps this prediction wasn't so bold.) The 2014 … Continue reading Childmortality.org Recognizes Reality in the DRC
Two days ago we discussed the claim of 300,000 excess deaths caused by the war in Darfur. I suggested that a possible source for the 300,000 figure is this study. But there is another possibility. A quick google of Darfur 300,000 leads us to a UN official pulling this number out of his ...errr....armpit: John Holmes, the … Continue reading Darfur: Building Numbers out of Sand
A sharp reader responded to this recent post by asking for a list of wars since World War II that are bigger than the one in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). I gave a list in a comment but avoided providing numbers because I wanted to explain where the numbers come from before hurling them … Continue reading Big Wars since World War II
In this post and this post I criticized Columbia Journalism Review(CJR) for writing about Iraq war-death numbers without investigating the methodologies for the production of the numbers and for suppressing the uncertainty that surrounds the numbers. Yet I need to credit CJR for one thing - they do investigate errors and make some corrections. My personal experience … Continue reading Columbia Journalism Review does at least have an error correction mechanism