If we insist on looking for something of value in this war, then maybe it is this: Maybe we finally have the painful knowledge that we can never again believe everything our leaders tell us. For years they told us one thing while they did another. They said we were winning while we were losing. They said we were getting out while we were going in. They said the end was near when it was far.

Maybe the next time somebody says that our young men must fight and die somewhere, we will not take their word that it is for a worthy cause. Maybe we will ask them to spell it out for us, nice and slow, nice and clear. And maybe the people in power will have learned that the people of this country are no longer willing to go marching off without having their questions answered first…. If we haven’t, then we are as empty and cold as the intersection of Madison and State.

Chicago Daily News columnist Mike Royko wrote those words in 1973 on the day President Nixon signed a peace treaty ending the Vietnam war. Over 50,000 lives were lost in that war. Have we learned anything since 1973?

Condemned by the Past

Here’s a recent telling of the Iraq War toll: United States Military Deaths: 2,747 United States Military Wounded: 19,688 Iraqi Civilian Deaths: 100,000 Iraqi Military Deaths: 30,000 Contractor Deaths: 355 United States Military Suicides: 43 Journalist Deaths: 130

Condemned by the Past

From today’s Wall Street Journal:

A new estimate of the death toll from the war in Iraq is so tragically vast it raises the question of whether the U.S.-led invasion and reworking of the country can ever be considered a success no matter how the conflict is resolved. The study, to be published in Saturday’s edition of the British medical journal the Lancet, finds that roughly 600,000 Iraqis have died in the violence.This number, produced by a team from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, represents “an additional 2.5% of Iraq’s population [that] died above what would have occurred without conflict,” the report says, according to The Wall Street Journal. It compares with a civilian casualty rate for May through August this year of 117 people a day, according to a U.S. military study; other tabulations that have pegged the amount of civilian fatalities at about 50,000 to more than 150,000; and President Bush’s declaration 10 months ago that “30,000, more or less” have been killed during and since the invasion.

When will we listen to where we’ve been to tell us where not to go tomorrow?


  1. Hi David- You’re starting to sound as naive as i. To quote Bob Dylan “When will they ever learn.” There’s usually some advantage when ever there’s a disadvantage, but optimism is only good when the situation calls for it.
    It seems the tricks are so deep, embedded and devious, the master game players running the world can always stay one step ahead of the flock.
    Well at least you have your head on straight. Would be nice if you could communicate your point of view. (Communicate means to get your point across so that someone ACTS on it to move the universe in a positive direction, not just so someone says i get your point, or worse, argues with you).
    Keep up the good work. The whole thing is so far beyond my comprehension i can hardly believe it. Reminds me of a Nietzsche quote. “It’s not that i’m so smart, it’s that everyone else is so dumb.” LOL.

  2. I’m not sure if you’re complimenting me or condemning me, fred!
    My hope today is my post would communicate YOU into action to change the world!
    Did it work?
    Or have you already given up?
    Your Nietzsche quote reminds me of my favorite quote: “The longer I live, the less I know.”

  3. Dave —
    I think it’s human nature that people don’t want to be told things.
    They want to experience things on their own and filter their view through their worldview.
    Only the true intellectual is able to perceive life in the context of what came before and what could be.
    The narrowness of self-centered living — that nothing exists before or after me — is what dooms the modern-day sensibility and Modern Humankind to relive the sins and the horrors of the past.
    That’s why we’ll have another Hitler.
    That’s why we’ll have another Holocaust.
    That’s why we’ll have another Revolutionary War.
    History calls us, and those who don’t hearken its warnings are fated to live a Mobius Strip Existence of – “The Never-ending Now” – where nothing is learned and everything is disremembered.

  4. fred —
    I do what I can right here from this virtual pulpit.
    I’m sorry if it isn’t enough for you that sometimes people agree with me. There is action in agreement. There is movement in a meeting of the minds where before nothing trembled.

  5. I’m going to add a number into the mix: 16,000+ dead Americans. Let’s not forget that there’s a war being waged on the streets of America that never really obtains the full attention it needs.
    I’m not opposed to the war. Sometimes we need to fight battles to protect our interests, lest we be overtaken by people who don’t have our best interests at heart.
    Of course, I grew up on military bases during the last days of the Vietnam War and the beginning of the end of the Cold War. My dad was “middle management” in the business of war when he was active duty.
    After I finished school, I interviewed with the military. I remember my dad telling me to never enlist at the recruiting station — if I wanted to serve, he said to go in as an officer.
    My interview was during the time when the need for the military was seen as decreasing, so I wasn’t hired. A friend of mine was selected and became an officer — she had better grades than I did, so the Army made a good choice. 🙂 I consider myself lucky that they didn’t need extra JAG officers when I was looking for work, because I’d probably be behind a desk in Mosul or Baghdad right now.
    From growing up on military bases, I also know that soldiers don’t necessarily want to run off to war, but just as cops have to carry weapons, sometimes the nation needs to protect itself from opposing forces.
    I think the problem is not fighting battles against forces that don’t have our national interests at heart.
    The problem is not doing what is necessary to finish the job in the least amount of time.
    We need to follow my personal rule for work: “Work smarter, not harder.” Focus on what needs to be done and do it in the most efficient and cost-effective manner.
    Modern military battles won’t be fought in the old Euro-style we all planned for all last century, just as soldiers line up on the battle field to fire volleys at each other. Asymmetrical warfare using “hit and run” methods is the new fighting style. If we don’t react, asymmetrical fighting will wear us down. Maybe we need to take the fight to the leaders of the opposition using small forces the same way they fight against us? Or, we need to overwhelm and not fool around so that we can get the job done and the situation stabilized.
    The lesson of the Iraq War won’t be that we shouldn’t have gone into that country.
    The lesson will be that we need to adapt to the new reality of fighting against terrorists who don’t have numbers but make up for it with sheer will.
    The one good thing is that the U.S. Military is thinking about the issue. See the Army’s paper on Irregular Enemies and Essence of Strategy: Can the American Way of Adapt?

  6. Hi Marianade Dave:
    I remember seeing something about asymmetrical warfare a couple of years ago — maybe as far back as the early 1990s when the internet was relatively new to the public. There was a Wired article about how people won’t fight wars the conventional way, but will try to hack into computers and do things like that to undermine their enemy.
    I also remember seeing articles about the Chinese writing up asymmetrical warfare strategies.
    I remembered the term and used it to search for something interesting that would reinforce my comment. I have my Growe tool bar extension for Firefox, so if I don’t find something in Google, it can search all of the other major search engines as well.

    Groowe Search Toolbar bundles toolbar functions for more than 20 search engines, shopping and download sites including Google toolbar, Yahoo, Ask, Amazon, Download.com and others. The entire toolbar reconfigures when you select a different engine and it includes many advanced features found in each engine. You can also easily repeat your search on all engines included in toolbar.

    Modern research doesn’t require remembering all of the details.
    It just involves knowing the right search terms to bring up the latest facts, figures, and opinions that help make your case. 🙂

  7. Hi Chris —
    What’s the 16,000 dead Americans in the streets caused by? Is that here or there?
    I’d love to know if you believe an invasion of Iraq was warranted and why we haven’t handled North Korea with the same iron fist? We have to assume as a fact the current administration learns nothing from the past, so we can’t say any lessons about attack and protection were learned in Iraq and applied to North Korea post-mortem, per se.
    As far as that PDF file you provide concerning “fighting irregular enemies” — didn’t we invent that military tactic during the Revolutionary War? Why are we surprised by it now?

  8. Dave —
    What this war has taught us — if anyone cares to listen and take notes for future reference — is how desperately a Democracy needs checks and balances. We do best as a nation when one party rules the executive wing and the other party rules the House and the Senate.
    When too much power is pushed one way — where no one answers to anyone and wishes become rubber-stamped demands and people and policies are painted as “unpatriotic” by the majority power when the minority power has no voice or means to answer on the same international stage, all of us suffer.
    We then begin the long and dangerous headlong tumble down a path moderates on all sides hate but do not feel brave enough to rebut when patriotism, and not honor, rules the mind and dictates national policy.

  9. Hi David,
    The number shows that 2,700 dead over 4 years isn’t necessarily a high number when compared to the numbers of people murdered in America (the 16,000+ number for last year) or the numbers of people who die in auto accidents.
    While every military and civilian death is tragic, the relatively small number of military deaths compared to other daily casualities faced by civilians in civilian pursuits actually shows that the government has done a good job with force protection.
    In some ways, our superiority in protecting our forces has forced the insurgents to target “soft” civilian targets.
    I’m planning to read the full paper when I get a chance, but the summary suggests that many in America have forgotten the lessons of the Revolutionary War and the Vietnam War. Most people thought war was a thing of the past when the Cold War ended without a shot being fired.
    The paper shows at least one person who might have some influence in America’s strategic planning is thinking out the issues that confront our military that has trained and planned for conventional European style wars.
    If we can retool our U.S. vs. Soviet style thinking to plan for victory against the terrorists, we might be able to win the war against old holy warriors and teenage suicide bombers.
    Of course, it will take sending in more troops to do the job the right way so that we can root out the opposing forces.
    While the administration might not have gone into Iraq for the right reasons — faulty intelligence about weapons of mass destruction that might have been Sadam’s way of scaring Iran — that fact doesn’t mean the war is a bad war.
    The way we are fighting it is wrong. We’ve gone soft thinking we can win a video game war using all of our high technology. While all of our tools are useful, the key to winning is changing our military planning so that we can adapt and respond to the insurgent forces.
    We need to finish the job the right way in the least amount of time possible so that the Iraqis can enjoy their freedom.

  10. Hi David,
    No problem.
    I think the reason why we don’t go into North Korea is that we have a bunch of troops holding the line against a million North Korean troops waiting orders to invade the South.
    I don’t know if we’d want to risk having a Korean War II during the Iraq War II.
    Also, we still have faith that China will do the right thing and also have to be respectful of their role in handling the situation.

  11. Chris —
    I think we’re too scared to fight North Korea because of the mess we’ve made in Iraq! To defer to China and Japan to handle the crisis where we once ruled the diplomatic world is stunning in its bald-faced failing of our ability to lead and inspire other nations through non-invasion or threatening tactics.
    I would love it if you could further explain this:

    While the administration might not have gone into Iraq for the right reasons — faulty intelligence about weapons of mass destruction that might have been Sadam’s way of scaring Iran — that fact doesn’t mean the war is a bad war.

    How can an illegitimate war based on bad intelligence and lies to the citizens of a nation expected — not asked — to support the war and to not challenge in precepts… not be a bad war in its bones and in its spirit?

  12. fred —
    I understand those reasons you list for going into Iraq — I’m waiting for Chris’ explanation as to how this is a good war for those who aren’t vested in the Bush family or the Republican party!

  13. I was distracted for a little bit by today’s breaking news about the aircraft that hit the NYC building and a project or two.
    Iraq was a threat to America — or at least it was perceived that way by many intelligence agencies.
    1. WMD reports from various international sources. I concede the reports of WDMs might have been mistaken, but having so many sources raising red flags causes one to wonder. Could the weapons have just been a figment of everyone’s imagination — something that was encouraged by Saddam himself as a cheap and easy form of defense — or did they get transferred to Syria prior to our invasion? Why would former CIA director George Tenant say Saddam having WMDs was a “slam dunk?”
    2. Saddam was the only world leader to praise the 9/11 attacks, according to the 9/11 Commission report.
    3. Saddam was involved in terrorism. 9-11 Commission report.
    4. Ramzi Yousef, convicted of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, was an Iraqi agent. Id. See also the Federation of American Scientists 1995/1996 report about Ramzi Yousef.

    It is of considerable interest, therefore, that a very persuasive case can be made that Ramzi Yousef is an Iraqi intelligence agent, and that his bombing conspiracies were meant as Saddam Hussein’s revenge for the Gulf War. If so, and if, as U.S. officials strongly suspect, Baghdad still secretly possesses biological warfare agents, then we may still not have heard the last from Saddam Hussein.

    Saddam didn’t do himself any favors by threatening a U.S. president.
    Saddam, lest we forget, wasn’t a nice and cuddly guy who treated his people well. He gassed his own citizens, starved others, and generally killed anyone who was a threat to his power.
    The U.S. may have miscalculated in placing all of the blame for WMDs and middle eastern problems in Saddam, but at the time, it looked like a pretty good bet that he was up to no good.
    We went into Iraq with good intentions that made sense in terms of our national interest. We wanted to stop Saddam and his WMD program (which may have been clever propaganda).
    If we had mopped up all of the problems in Iraq at the beginning, we’d be the heroes of the world because we had rid the world of an evil person who showed no human compassion to his people and his enemies.
    All of the alarms were going off pointing to Iraq before the war.
    Even Bill Clinton said Iraq had nuclear, chemical and biological weapons!

    Earlier today, I ordered America’s armed forces to strike military and security targets in Iraq. They are joined by British forces. Their mission is to attack Iraq’s nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs and its military capacity to threaten its neighbors.
    Their purpose is to protect the national interest of the United States, and indeed the interests of people throughout the Middle East and around the world.
    Saddam Hussein must not be allowed to threaten his neighbors or the world with nuclear arms, poison gas or biological weapons.

    Source: President Bill Clinton’s 1998 speech after ordering military strikes against Iraq.
    Everyone made intelligence mistakes.
    Everyone thought Saddam had WMDs. (I think the WMDs were transferred to Syria, myself).
    We should have planned a little better for the Iraq invasion and what tactics we would take against the terrorists and foreign fighters who appeared there.

  14. If Vice President Al Gore or Sen. John F. Kerry had been President, I bet we would have been in Iraq at some point during his presidency to rid the world of the WMD threat.
    See Sen. John F. Kerry’s letter urging action against Iraq because of its WMD programs.

    U.S. SENATE,
    Committee on Armed Services,
    Washington, DC, October 9, 1998.
    The President,
    The White House, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. President:
    We are writing to express our concern over recent developments in Iraq.
    Last February, the Senate was working on a resolution supporting military action if diplomacy did not succeed in convincing Saddam Hussein to comply with the United Nations Security Council resolutions concerning the disclosure and destruction of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. This effort was discontinued when the Iraqi government reaffirmed its acceptance of all relevant Security Council resolutions and reiterated its willingness to cooperate with the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in a Memorandum of Understanding signed by its Deputy Prime Minister and the United Nations Secretary General.
    Despite a brief interval of cooperation, however, Saddam Hussein has failed to live up to his commitments. On August 5, Iraq suspended all cooperation with UNSCOM and the IAEA, except some limited monitoring activity.
    As UNSCOM Executive Chairman Richard Butler told us in a briefing for all Senators in March, the fundamental historic reality is that Iraq has consistently sought to limit, mitigate, reduce and, in some cases, defeat the Security Council’s resolutions by a variety of devices.
    We were gratified by the Security Council’s action in unanimously passing Resolution 1194 on September 9. By condemning Iraq’s decision to suspend cooperation with UNSCOM and the IAEA, by demanding that Iraq rescind that decision and cooperate fully with UNSCOM and the IAEA, by deciding not to conduct the sanctions’ review scheduled for October 1998 and not to conduct any future such reviews until UNSCOM and the IAEA, report that they are satisfied that they have been able to exercise the full range of activities provided for in their mandates, and by acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the Security Council has sent an unambiguous message to Saddam Hussein.
    We are skeptical, however, that Saddam Hussein will take heed of this message even though it is from a unanimous Security Council. Moreover, we are deeply concerned that without the intrusive inspections and monitoring by UNSCOM and the IAEA, Iraq will be able, over time, to reconstitute its weapons of mass destruction programs.
    In light of these developments, we urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraq sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq’s refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs.
    Carl Levin, Joe Lieberman, Frank R. Lautenberg, Dick Lugar, Kit Bond, Jon Kyl, Chris Dodd, John McCain, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Alfonse D’Amato, Bob Kerrey, Pete V. Domenici, Dianne Feinstein, Barbara A. Mikulski.
    Thomas Daschle, John Breaux, Tim Johnson, Daniel K. Inouye, Arlen Specter, James Inhofe, Strom Thurmond, Mary L. Landrieu, Wendell Ford, John F. Kerry, Chuck Grassley, Jesse Helms, Rick Santorum.

  15. Slight correction to the comment about Ramzi Yousef. There were theories that he was an Iraqi agent. If I find a source that has conclusive info, I’ll link to it.

  16. Chris –
    I point you to The Downing Street Memo which clearly states the real cause and honest intent of the war with Iraq:

    C reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime’s record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action. …
    The Defence Secretary said that the US had already begun “spikes of activity” to put pressure on the regime. No decisions had been taken, but he thought the most likely timing in US minds for military action to begin was January, with the timeline beginning 30 days before the US Congressional elections. …
    It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran. We should work up a plan for an ultimatum to Saddam to allow back in the UN weapons inspectors. This would also help with the legal justification for the use of force. …

    The signed letter from 1998 is politics as usual — there was an election looming in 2000 and the undersigned were seeking major electoral protection. I do not believe Gore or Kerry would have us in Iraq now. It doesn’t make sense based on what the memo shows us.

  17. Whatever Saddam did, he wasn’t responsible for killing 700,000 people like Bush ended up causing to be killed, after Bush got the action going over there. “Bring ’em on.” (GWB).

  18. David- Many deaths were from being driven insane, not just fighting Americans. Sunni vs. Shiite, mafia type thugs etc. Killing police and relatives of police. Killing religous leaders and followers. Here in the south we have “fire ants.” The more you stomped on them the worse they returned. One learned to leave them alone. Now they have a poison that kills them all. i guess well just have to nuke the whole area and make the Biblical myth come true? Not much difference between ants and humans except ants always no what to do in an emergency. People get neurotic and psychotic at best.

  19. fred —
    The title of the Lancet article is “Mortality after the 2003 invasion of Iraq: a cross-sectional cluster sample survey” so the reported deaths are tied to the war.
    The introduction begins thusly:

    There has been widespread concern over the scale of Iraqi deaths after the invasion by the US-led coalition in March, 2003. …
    The US Department of Defence keeps some records of Iraqi deaths, despite initially denying that they did. … These data estimated the civilian casualty rate at 117 deaths per day between May, 2005 and June 2006. …

  20. I have long agreed with the following statement (from a quote used in advertising the movie Man of the Year to be released this Friday) “I believe diapers and politicians should be changed often and for the same reason.”

  21. A S!
    That’s a funny quote — but hasn’t Robin Williams become one of the most annoying people in the world? I’m tired of him already and his movie isn’t even released yet!

  22. I haven’t gotten tired of him yet… and if one day the decided to run for President, I might just vote for him.

  23. Now that we’re in the war — for the sake of the discussion, I’ll stipulate that the war shouldn’t have been fought and the U.N. should have been sent back into the Iraq for the presidential palace tours and WMD “hide and seek” — what should we do?
    Is it worse to bail out now and let the country dissolve or have Iran invade?
    Should we ramp up our forces and clear out the insurgents doing what we’ve been doing, just with a little more force?
    Should we fight a “dirty war” against the insurgents or fight “Russian” style caring little about public relations or keeping much secret?
    Should we split the country into three autonomous regions and have each major group move to their own “corners?”
    Are there other considerations that might solve the problem?
    And, what about the future with Iran, North Korea and all of the Islamic movements that have been working to take over Asia for years?
    I still think that the major parties are more alike than they are different. The interests that move the government are all the same.
    I saw a poll reported in my local paper that suggests that people are searching for SUVs and gas-guzzlers now that gas prices have fallen relative to their prior position. Does this suggest that most Americans cannot take a long view of politics and history and can be easily swayed by the prevailing current events and shading of the news? Will we ever be able to solve any problems, if people’s memories are extremely short term and their future planning is only one quarter forward?

  24. Speaking of Robin Williams, aren’t all of his characters the same as his “Patch Adams” character?
    Or, is “Patch Adams” just a “Mork” retread?

  25. In the interest of being fair, here’s the rebuttal to the death county study reported yesterday. Some have raised questions about the Iraq death extrapolation from the polling of 1,849 Iraqi households.
    The AP reports:

    “I don’t consider it a credible report,” President Bush said Wednesday.
    Neither does Gen. George W. Casey, the top American military commander in Iraq.
    “That 650,000 number seems way, way beyond any number that I have seen,” Casey said. “I’ve not seen a number higher than 50,000. And so I don’t give it that much credibility at all.”
    And neither does Michael E. O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institution, which also tracks Iraqi deaths.
    “I do not believe the new numbers. I think they’re way off,” he said.
    Other research methods on the ground, like body counts, forensic analysis and taking eyewitness reports, have produced numbers only about one-tenth as high, he said. “I have a hard time seeing how all the direct evidence could be that far off … therefore I think the survey data is probably what’s wrong.”

    War is a tough business and people get killed during wars.
    People get the wrong impression that wars are clean and easy.
    Writes the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

    It’s of little use to debate just how many tens of thousands of Iraqis have perished as a result of the U.S. invasion, occupation and ensuing sectarian violence and civil war when none need have died.
    Yes, Iraqis had died by the thousands under Saddam Hussein’s cruel regime, but the globe is dotted with brutal regimes whose routine killings are not answered by U.S. invasions. Were that the measure, the United States would have 130,000 troops in Darfur.
    There is sorrow enough in the most conservative of Iraqi body counts.

    Personally, I would support some sort of military measure to save the people in Darfur, just as I wished that we would have done something during the Rwanda mess.

  26. Chris —
    When you go to war under false pretenses, the best defense is the truth. Reveal the real intentions behind the destruction of a country. Then use internationally supported overwhelming force to finish the job and leave the country to its indigenous people.

  27. Chris —
    “Mork from Ork” debuted in 1978 on “Happy Days” before Mork was spun off to his own “Mork and Mindy” show. Robin has been playing the same wacky character ever since no matter what role he is supposed to be playing:
    I find it hard to curry any sort of respect for Williams. He divorced his wife to marry the young woman who was babysitting his child. I don’t find it worthwhile to separate the person from the performance.

  28. Chris —
    In what way are you “being fair” by quoting a president who we know lied to us, a military general who we know is not allowed to speak any independent truth and a thinktank institute that “thinks” the data survey is wrong?
    I’ll choose to believe the scientific process and the reporting of a truly free press over a vested interest any day. From the BBC:

    The research compares mortality rates before and after the invasion from 47 randomly chosen areas in Iraq.
    The figure is considerably higher than estimates by official sources or the number of deaths reported in the media.
    It is vigorously disputed by supporters of the war in Iraq, including US President George W Bush.
    Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health estimate that the mortality rates have more than doubled since the invasion to overthrow Saddam Hussein, causing an average of 500 deaths a day.
    In the past, Mr Bush has put the civilian death toll in Iraq at 30,000, and hours after details of the latest research were published he dismissed the researchers’ methodology as “pretty well discredited”.
    The Johns Hopkins researchers argue their “cluster sample” approach is more reliable than counting dead bodies, given the obstacles preventing more comprehensive fieldwork in the violent and insecure conditions of Iraq. …
    The researchers spoke to nearly 1,850 families, comprising more than 12,800 people in dozens of 40-household clusters around the country.
    Of the 629 deaths they recorded among these families since early 2002, 13% took place in the 14 months before the invasion and 87% in the 40 months afterwards.
    Such a trend repeated nationwide would indicate a rise in annual death rates from 5.5 per 1,000 to 13.3 per 1,000 – meaning the deaths of some 2.5% of Iraq’s 25 million citizens in the last three-and-a-half years.
    The researchers say that in nearly 80% of the individual cases, family members produced death certificates to support their answers.
    While critics point to the discrepancy between this and other independent surveys (such as Iraq Body Count’s figure of 44-49,000 civilian deaths, based on media reports), the Bloomberg School team says its method may actually underestimate the true figure.
    “Families, especially in households with combatants killed, could have hidden deaths. Under-reporting of infant deaths is a widespread concern in surveys of this type,” the authors say.
    “Entire households could have been killed, leading to survivor bias.”

    A sample size of 1,850 families is quite large. Other significant scientific studies in the past have found respect and evergreen success with sample sizes as small as 700 or even 300.

  29. Hi David,
    Thanks for the information.
    I promise I won’t vote for George W. Bush in 2008. 😉
    It shows that we need to scrutinize people who want to lead us — whether they are Republicans, Democrats, Independent, Libertarian, or any other party because all people have tendencies to want to take advantage of the power their office confers.
    Looking at local politics in my county and adjacent Cook Co., Illinois shows that power corrupts.
    A few examples:

    Federal prosecutors alleged Wednesday that Antoin “Tony” Rezko used his influence as one of Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s closest advisers and fundraisers to seek millions of dollars in kickbacks and campaign donations from firms seeking state business.

    Source: Chicago Tribune.

    U.S. Attorney Joe Van Bokkelen’s team of federal prosecutors have jailed a former state political party chairman and more than 30 local government employees, but some question whether the aggressive stance on public corruption will have a long-term impact. …
    Since then, his office has sent to jail former U.S. Rep. and Gary City Clerk Katie Hall, former Indiana Democratic Chairman Peter Manous, former Shererville Town Judge Deborah Riga, and more than 30 other county, city and township employees.

    Source: FortWayne.com.
    The stuff on the national level and the local levels show that we can’t go into the voting booth and just vote based on party identification. We must examine the individuals since both parties have been caught doing things that they shouldn’t have been doing.
    Of course, if I was in charge of the world we wouldn’t have all of these problems. :mrgreen:

  30. Chris and David- Voting should be on the merit system. If someone was against invading Iraq and the consensus now is that we shouldn’t have invaded, her/his vote should be more heavily weighted about how to, or if to, withdraw. Maybe this is some of what we are supposed to be learning from this idiotic war. We can’t use fragmented words and thinking to get us where we obviously need to go.

  31. David- There’s always “negative” aspects to things. The thing is to choose the “least negative.” We have no security with politicians. Why not let the people vote and see what they would rather have? We obviously need something different from what we have.

  32. I agree we need to find another way, fred, but it’s fascinating how you place all your faith in unreliable and unpredictable technology beyond the human core!

  33. David- Human politicians are the last thing i would place faith in. It has nothing to do with “faith” actually, but common sense, logic, intuition, first hand experience and history.

  34. David- At least we agree on something. That was supposed to be a euphomism. On second thought, any thing one says about a politition is a euphomism.

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