[eDebate] ans Korcok

solistus at mac.com solistus
Wed Aug 8 03:46:25 CDT 2007

Way to ignore all the other arguments in the post.

Also, another quote, from http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ 

"The test for us remains whether the bullet (or equivalent) is  
attributed to a piece of weaponry where the trigger was pulled by a  
US or allied finger, or is due to "collateral damage" by either side  
(with the burden of responsibility falling squarely on the shoulders  
of those who initiate war without UN Security Council authorization).  
We agree that deaths from any deliberate source are an equal outrage,  
but in this project we want to only record those deaths to which we  
can unambiguously hold our own leaders to account."

At first glance, it looks like IraqBodyCount is contradicting itself  
- here they explicitly say the US or its allies have to 'pull the  
trigger' on the actual weapon that causes the death, whereas your  
quote indicates that they include "civilian deaths caused by  
coalition military action and by military or paramilitary responses  
to the coalition presence (e.g. insurgent and terrorist attacks)."

Given that my argument was based on a direct quote that claims they  
don't count deaths caused by deliberate sources other than "US or  
allied finger[s]," your claims that I am incompetent, don't know  
shit, etc. seem pretty unjustified.  I'll write them off as more  
childish ad homs.

I'm not sure which is more ambiguous: "responses" in your quote (are  
all insurgent/terrorist killings counted as responses?) versus "the  
trigger was pulled by a US or allied finger."  I'll take your word  
for it, mostly to shrink this debate to all the arguments you aren't  

At any rate, you just pointed me to another issue: IraqBodyCount  
excludes combatant deaths.  So, we've traded one unaccounted for  
group for another.  How many insurgents have been killed?

So, an updated summary (Debate 1, arg 3 is a new cross-app) is  
below.  Since, as I said, I'm on vacation, I'm going to wait to  
respond until you actually address these arguments rather than make  
one counterclaim that does nothing to move the debate forward.

Debate 1:

1) Your numbers are still ideological bullshit.  There is no  
warranted justification for including the events immediately  
following GW1.  Questions of US culpability in Iraq/Iran and GW1  
aside, there is no reason to believe that the death tolls from Anfar  
or the Marsh Arab campaign would be likely to have recurred from  
March 2003 - August 2007.  Your only attempts at justifying these  
claims were appeals to your personal beliefs and hypotheticals with  
many, many unwarranted claims (lifting sanctions -> ? -> ? -> ... ->  
another mass murder campaign, saddam's death -> ? -> uday and qussay  
taking control -> ? -> ? -> ... -> another mass murder campaign).

2) The IraqBodyCount numbers explicitly exclude all non-civilian  
deaths.  However many insurgents have died needs to be added to the  

3) cross-apply the difficulty of accurate counting.  IraqBodyCount is  
based on deaths that have been independently verified by multiple  
sources.  The total is undoubtedly higher; the question is, how much  

Debate 2:

1) The humanitarian crisis you haven't touched on much (at all?) will  
almost certainly more than erase the 1.91 year gain you claim.

2) a 3% gain on a statistic that requires knowledge of every death  
and the age of the deceased to be perfectly accurate in a country  
where we only control 40% of the capital is really sketchy.  It's not  
even clear there is a gain now for the crisis to erase.

Relevant to both debates:

1) You haven't answered the utilitarian calculus question: how many  
people left homeless and without food, water, medicine, etc. is equal  
to 1 death?  It would have to be hundreds for the body count margins  
you claim to outweigh the crisis.

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