[eDebate] ans Culp re ans: korcok re: me

Michael Korcok mmk_savant
Tue Aug 7 21:53:32 CDT 2007

AC: " i work 40+ hours a week for nuclear abolition"
MK:  do they give you a T-Shirt at work that says "pointless leftist tool"?
AC: "I oppose the US just as much as I oppose Saddam."
MK: ...  
AC: "Example: the IRAN: NEITHER U.S. AGGRESSION NOR THEOCRATIC REPRESSION campaign <http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?ItemID=10289>."
MK: intellectually dishonest.  if the only/best way to stop theocratic repression is US aggression, and if US aggression generates more good than bad, then saying you are against both is functionally for Theocratic Repression.  Since you aren't really doing anything to stop theocratic repression and you really are doing things to stop US aggression with respect to it, it is clear what side you are taking, whether or not you want to admit it.
I was looking at the list of signers to that statement.  That august collective needs to be sent to Iran to do their good work on-site, in-country and in person.  While I appreciate their work in the United States to make us all better people, I surely think they could have more impact on this issue in Iran.  Let your friends know I will personally pay for a 1-way ticket from Idiotville to Tehran for anyone on that list...  speaking of which, don't you think your work on nuclear abolition might be useful in Iran just about now?
************************** Secret Police Disappeared:  my estimate was 300,000
AC: "The HRW article includes Anfal and the March uprisings in it's "maybe 400,000" count.  maybe you should have read it more thoroughly"
MK: huh?  I wrote that "Human Rights Watch estimates the number of secret police disappearances at 290,000+" and they do.  The 400,000 count came from Tony Blair and it was reported in the USAID cite i presented:
?We?ve already discovered just so far the remains of 400,000 people in mass graves,? said British Prime Minister Tony Blair on November 20 in London. The United Nations, the U.S. State Department, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch (HRW) all estimate that Saddam Hussein?s regime murdered hundredsof thousands of innocent people. ?Human Rights Watch estimates that as many as 290,000 Iraqis have been ?disappeared? by the Iraqi government over the past two decades,? said the group in a statement in May. ?Many of these ?disappeared? are those whose remains are now being unearthed in mass graves all over Iraq.?
I admit I was somewhat sloppy in how I wrote this up.  But 400,000 isn't a total, it is what had been discovered "so far".  The confusion is that some of the mass graves contained the corpses of those murdered by the secret police (290,000+) and some of the mass graves the article talked about were Anfal, uprising, and Kuwaiti.
In any case, the best estimate we have of the number of people "disappeared" by the secret police is in the range of 300,000.  How much lower should I make the estimate of secret police disappearance deaths so you will be happy?
************************** Anfal: my estimate was 125,000
AC: (Anfal) "You're using the stats from pop NYT bestseller - your source actually says: "Independent sources estimate 50,000 to more than 100,000"
MK: no i am not. I only estimate 125,000 while several of the sources I cite, including the wikipedia entry, point to 180,000.  That is the number the prosecutors at Saddam's trial charged him with killing in the Anfal Campaign.  The USAID document i cited ( http://www.usaid.gov/iraq/pdf/iraq_mass_graves.pdf ) writes: 
"Human rights groups said 180,000 ethnic Kurds were rounded up and killed in the Anfal campaign in which hundreds of mountain villages were destroyed. Those left alive were moved into bleak collection cities that still dot the plains between Kirkuk and Sulaymaniyah. It was a crime so staggering that, without hard evidence of bodies to back it up, many refused to believe it possible."
Obviously, deciding on a best estimate is an educated guess, but you just ignored Anfal completely... ZERO is not a reasonable best estimate.  Some folks, especially early on, thought 50,000-100,000 but as information began to develop, the estimate moved to about 100,000 but as even more information became available, the Kurdish estimate of 180,000 began to win out.  I am not an expert so I settle on 125,000 as a reasonable estimate.
************************* 1991 Uprisings: my estimate was 200,000 Kurds and Shia
AC: "Totally the US's fault.  Leaves dissents in the dust after promising intervention.  Yikes.  Talk about fucked up world leaders."
MK: ...
Okay, "..." isn't nearly enough.  What the fuck is wrong with your head?  
Saddam Hussein and Sons butcher 100,000 Shias and 100,000 additional Kurds die as they attempt to flee to Turkey, and Saddam Hussein and Sons don't get blamed at all?  Instead, you dismiss the butchery as the fault of the US?  Hitler shouldn't be blamed for the concentration camps because the US didn't pay to move all Jews out of Europe in 1937 too?  Stalin gets a free pass on the 7 million dead in the USSR 1931-1933 collectivization of agriculture-induced famine because the US could have done more to find out about it and ship food in there? 
And this catastrophic failure of intellect of yours is all because Robert Fisk, Worst Journalist Ever, finds a Voice of America broadcast where Bush talks about how Iraqis could overthrow Saddam themselves a week previously?  Even if you are so twisted as to thus conclude that the CIA/VOA/Bush Senior fucked up by inciting the uprising, how the hell does it mean that Saddam Hussein is not responsible for subsequently BUTCHERING 200,000 Iraqis?
Finally, the 1991 uprising puts the immediate LIE to any counterplan about indigenous coups possible working.  Furthermore, there is exactly NOTHING that indicates that any amount of US "support" short of a full-scale liberation, which we were not prepared for, would have actually done anything except get hundreds of thousands more killed while still leaving Saddam in power.
No... not finally.  Finally, why doesn't this mean that your Iran policy will mean that YOU are responsible for the murderous bloodshed if Iranians ever actually rebel?
************************* Marsh Arabs:  I don't have a separate estimate from them
AC: "Again, the US's fault.... (US fault -> http://www.usip.org/newsmedia/releases/2002/nb20021125.html-->MK: Get help.  Saddam Hussein gets a free pass for murdering, shelling, diverting the rivers of, and burning the homes of 250,000 or so Marsh Arabs because... it's the US's fault?  because the allied coalition "... did not take steps to protect the Marsh Arabs."?  What kind of corrupt twist reads that article and concludes that it isn't Saddam's fault because of 1 phrase buried in the article?  Oh, i know.  Someone so pathologically twisted that he searches for any way he can to blame the US.
AC: "But even if, the report you're citing is being mis-read.  200,000 were the victims of a targeted campaign, but are now refugees in other parts of Iraq/Iran.  Still super shitty, but not nearly the 200,000 number."
MK: no, it is not.  I do not claim ANY specific number of murders of Marsh Arabs.  250,000 have been driven out, some indeterminate number of them slaughtered.  Claiming they are all refugees in Iran is disingenuously absurd.
The ReliefWeb site I presented ( http://wwww.reliefweb.int/rw/rwb.nsf/AllDocsByUNID/baf2004051c5130385256cbb007788fe ) explains what we do know:
"Numbering some 250,000 people as recently as 1991, the Marsh Arabs today are believed to number fewer than 40,000 in their ancestral homeland. Many have been arrested, "disappeared," or executed; most have become refugees abroad or are internally displaced in Iraq as a result of Iraqi oppression. The population and culture of the Marsh Arabs, who have resided continuously in the marshlands for more than 5,000 years, are being eradicated."
I explained this already to Bach:  I offer no specific number of Marsh Arabs as murdered because I don't know - instead I group them together with another group for whom no one will venture a guess.  Good estimates place the number of "legal" executions by the Baathists at about 5 million human beings.  It is possible that all of these people were traitors or murderers but the chances of that are about zero:  some proportion of them were certainly political/secular arrests/trials/executions.  For these 2 unknowns I offer an estimate of 125,000 persons butchered.
************************* other stuff
AC: "dont have time to answer pot shots against the most advanced statistical measures to date.  did you listen to the radio show i linked? and how much would the estimates be off w/ a main-street bias?"
MK: i promise i will get to that radio show as soon as i can... what is it, "Blame the US for everything all the time" radio?  YAY!
Main street bias could be huge, but I don't think that is the problem.  
You still aren't even attempting to answer my point, based in the recent Lancet refutation:  the data was collected by 8 locals out of Al Mustansiriya University in Baghdad, the same faculty that worked on the mid-90s anti-sanctions studies for Richard Garfield under the regime of Saddam Hussein at the suggestion of Saddam's Ministry of Health.  There is not a reason in the world to trust that data, especially since the authors won't release addresses or any details about the data collectors.  Only far left America-haters still defend it.
Look, every single analysis comes up with estimates in the same ballpark as IraqBodyCount except this one, which comes up with 10x as many casualties.... you think there might have been a problem with the data collection?
AC: "(and IBC is so not legit to use for a "total count"- they even admit it themselves)"
MK:  if by "total count" you mean the number of direct casualties from terrorist attacks, insurgency attacks, and US killings, then they are not alone:  almost everyone, including the United Nations, the LA Times, the DoD, and others come to about the same numbers.  In any case, for the purposes of this estimate, I INCREASE the IraqBodyCount estimate by 33% from their estimate of 72,000 to my estimate of 100,000.
if by the "total count" you mean from infrastructure, poor nutrition, etc... then you are just wrong:  even the Lancet study doesn;t try to count those: 91% of the deaths it claims are "violent" deaths.
if you want to compare TOTAL deaths, then this is not the argument for you:  the other argument, which compares death rates, lifespan, and child mortality is what you are looking for.  THIS argument is only comparing deaths from violence with and without liberation. 
AC: "2) additionally, these are "excess death" calculations, so the opp cost should be built in (though i could not be, havent read the methodology in totum)."
MK: the only claim to "excess deaths" comes from the Lancet Survey.  the single worst piece of advocacy research in the last 50 years.
Come on, either defend it against those who point out what crap it is or give it up.  What's the problem?  You think the eradication of the Marsh Arabs is the fault of the US because we didn't invade in 1991 to protect them - it is no loss of integrity for you to also defend rank propaganda...
AC: "***I will win any number count hands down with this trump card: DU."
MK: why are you let anywhere near anyone's nuclear policy? 
AC: "here are some quality of life questions:electricity.housing stock.access to food.disease.medical care.civil services.education.women's rights.rape.death squads.religious persecution. MK: yes they are.  so?  
PROVE what the difference is in number of rapes per year in Iraq between 2007 and 2002 say.  make sure you include the millions of rapes committed by Saddam's soldiers when they violated Kurdish and Shia women.  Or were those the fault of the US rather than Saddam and Sons?  
Same with food:  make sure you include the 100,000 Kurdish children and elderly that Greenpeace estimates starved to death or died from exposure to freezing temperatures as they fled for their lives in 1991.  Or was the United States to blame in 1988 instead of the Baathists?
Housing stock?  go ahead, but include the 250,000 Marsh Arabs whose homes were bombed and torched as well as the 4,000 Kurdish villages that were torched after Chemical Ali dropped Sarin on them...  Oh i forgot, our fault, not Saddam's.
The US liberation of Iraq has saved about 125,000 Iraqi human lives.  This little missive of yours has made no headway into that.  
It has, however, shown folks how NOT to think.
Michael Korcok
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