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February 27, 2005

Cole Cr#%

Juan Cole is an indispensable source of information and insight into the situation in Iraq. He really knows the country, and collates an impressive amount of information from both the Western and Arabic Press.

His blog is compelling reading, but it would be that much more compelling, if it were not laced with tendentious crap like

AP reports that the one-day total for war-related violence in Iraq, including the police station bombing in Tikrit reported here yesterday morning, came to 30. That is about 11,000 persons a year if the rate were constant and extrapolated out.

Do you really want to take a one-day death count (and an anomalously high one, at that) and extrapolate that forward for a year? Do you think the resulting number has any meaning?

With a couple of minutes more work, you could take a 5-day running average death count (as reported on his blog and cross-referenced with iraqbodycount) and extrapolate that number forward. Isn’t 4745 deaths/year bad enough?

Given the inadequacies of the reportage, it’s likely to be an underestimate. But, at least, it won’t be instantly dismissed — by any reader with an ounce of sense — as a statistical fluctuation.

Posted by distler at February 27, 2005 9:45 AM

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Re: Cole Cr#%

If he included today in his “one day moving average” the number would be 42,000 per year.

Posted by: AC on February 28, 2005 3:06 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Cole Cr#%

From Deborah Amos (NPR):

“You have to go to a variety of sources. Blogs are very useful because they take a lot of information, chew it up and spit it out in recognizable form. Juan Cole is an example. I read him every day. I love him. He’s ahead of everybody. If you want to know about Iraq, you better be reading Juan Cole. Stuart Ackerman at the New Republic is another.”

Read this.

Posted by: Chris W. on March 6, 2005 11:24 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

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