Well yes, it was an estimate, between 350,000 up to 650,000, but it was a scientific estimate. It was just as scientific as the earlier Lancet article putting the death toll from the invasion itself and first months of the occupation at around 100,000.
But the president says the total must be around 30,000 and since he was inspired by the Great Potato Himself to invade, I guess he must be right.
Therefore, I was so happy to learn yesterday on the Danish news that the Iraqi gov't and its puppet prime minister al-Maliki are taking steps to ensure that irresponsible numbers are no longer made public!
What follows is my translation:
Iraq will hide death statistics 21 October 2006, 11:27
The Iraqi Ministry of Health will no longer make public the number of victims of violence in the country.
An important source of reasonably reliable information about the number of killed and wounded in the many violent episodes in the country will be lost.
According to the UN help mission in Iraq, the country's prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, has ordered the Ministry of Health to stop giving figures to the FN.
The prime minister will instead let his own office tally up and publish the death toll. This causes independent observers to fear manipulation with the numbers.
Earlier the UN has also gotten numbers from the mortuaries. But ear
lier this month also they had received orders not to tell how many dead were being brought in.
Update: Just read this morning over at the RavensPad that a lid is being kept on American casualties also -- take a look for yourself.