Founder of anti-Iraq War Movement in Britan Now Pro-War

Harry Barnes, a Member of Parliament and one of the founders of Labour Against the War has defected. It seems the Iraq War was worth it after all. Times Online:

An MP who was a founder member of Labour Against the War has quit the group, saying that after last month’s elections in Iraq he now believed Allied troops should remain in the country, it emerged today....

The North-East Derbyshire MP, who is stepping down at the election, accused his former colleagues in the anti-war movement of retailing "simple-minded" claims about the extent of civilian casualties in Iraq since the war....

He could no longer support the anti-war camp’s demands for withdrawal of troops of the US-led coalition, which he said should be a decision for the Iraqi people....

Mr Barnes accused the anti-war movement of offering a "one-sided" view of life in Iraq, endlessly repeating the 100,000 casualty estimate produced in an analysis of deaths caused by the conflict, published in the academic journal The Lancet.

"That analysis said it could be anything between 2,000 and 198,000," he said. "Some things are just over-the-top and simple-minded."

Thanks for the tip from Dr. Leopold Stotch via e-mail.

Posted by: Rusty at 04:52 PM


1 the thing that slays me about the ubsurdity of the 100,000 civilian deaths claim is the scale of it. there would be so many bodies it would have been allmost impossible to burry them. just look at the tsunami disaster! one hundred thousand dead bodies are hard to dispose of.

in places where the tsunami hit bodies stank for weeks, it was so hard to deal with them all. it is patently ridiculus that after all our precision bombing we killed that many civilians and thier would be evidence for the world to see.

instead all we have is the tired rants from leftist hacks that we killed that many people.

Posted by: rumcrook at February 25, 2005 06:07 PM

2 Gee, sorry guys. When you get a peer reviewed piece published maybe we'll all take your claims seriously. Until then all you're doing is dropping random quotes that are supposed to prejudice against the only authoritative study on the subject.

As I said at my own blog weeks ago, it is just sad that the reaction to the Lancet study has been anything other than humility and concern.

Posted by: Professor Peter Von Nostrand at February 25, 2005 09:20 PM

3 "That analysis said it could be anything between 2,000 and 198,000," he said. "Some things are just over-the-top and simple-minded."

From the Lancet Report:

"This survey indicates that the death toll associated with the invasion and occupation of Iraq is probably about 100,000 people, and may be much higher." (my emphasis added)

The report concludes with the following statement, which underscores the very reason why there is no authoritative report on Iraqi deaths aside from the Lancet report, with the military and all those for this war instead willing to hang their hats on the rhetoric of "precision bombing":

"US General Tommy Franks is widely quoted as saying 'we don't do body counts.' The Geneva Conventions have clear guidance about the repsonsibilities of occupying armies to the civilian population they control. The fact that more than half the deaths reportedly caused by the occupying forces were women and children is caus for conern. In particular, Convention IV, Article 27 states that protected persons '... shall be at all times humanely treated, and shall be protected especially against acts of violence...'. It seems difficult to understand how a military force could monitor the extent to which civilians are protected against violence without systematically doing body counts or at least looking at the kinds of casualties they induce. This survey shows that with modest funds, 4 weeks, and seven Iraqi team members willing to risk their lives, a useful measure of civilian deaths could be obtained. There seems to be little excuse for occupying forces to not be able to provide more precise tallies. In view of the political importance of this conflict, these results should be confirmed by an independent body such as the ICRC, Epicentre, or WHO. In the interim, civility and enlightened self-interest demand a re-evaluation of the consequences of weaponry now used by coalition forces in populated areas."

Posted by: Professor Peter Von Nostrand at February 25, 2005 10:34 PM

4 Von Nostrand:

Had you paid attention in your methodology class you would have learned to look at how to look at the way in which the survey was done.

This was a survey done by going door to door and asking people if they had any relatives/friends who had died recently. You get that? This was a SURVEY.

To make matters worse the survey made two even bigger mistakes. It compared the post-invasion survey with a pre-invasion mortality survey done by the Hussein administration. When the Lancet report talks about pre-war UN surveys what they fail to disclose is that the UN relied on the Iraq government to actually do the footwork.

Oh, and BTW--the Lancet had to issue a retraction a couple of months ago. It seems that the original article had not distinguished between deaths due to insurgency activities vs deaths due to Coalition activities.

The Lancet report was pure propaganda. You, of all people, should understand that when we are peer reviewing something we naturally agree with then it is very difficult to see the problems inherent in research.

Posted by: Rusty Shackleford at February 25, 2005 10:45 PM

5 Gee. I did pay attention in my methodology classes (feeling pompous tonight I see). But I guess the main point here is to heap as much doubt on an authoritative report as is humanly possible, even if the topic under discussion is - by any count - of a magnitude many many times greater than even the 9/11 attacks.

Why is it that the first method of attack employed by conservatives is that liberal criticism must be related to either some imagined lack of proper training or ideologically induced blindness? That's really weak.

If we're going to play that game I guess I'll have to add that I can only wonder how a morbid obsession with beheading videos must skew a person's ability to interpret Middle Eastern displeasure with U.S. policy, or any other events related to that part of the world. Seems to me the approach you take to your blog is a primary generator of bias to both yourself and anyone who spends a bit of time reading/watching it.

Posted by: Professor Peter Von Nostrand at February 26, 2005 02:28 AM

6 Okay, Peter von nostril. Back to the two people that use your blog. They miss you. We will not.

Posted by: greyrooster at February 26, 2005 09:07 PM

Processing 0.01, elapsed 0.0035 seconds.
15 queries taking 0.0023 seconds, 14 records returned.
Page size 12 kb.
Powered by Minx 0.7 alpha.