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RE: Disinformation in today's Times

Milan is correct, and I hope the confusion didn't begin with a lack of
clarity in my comments regarding Professor Garfield.  To reiterate:
1) Garfield did NOT describe the UNICEF estimates as conservative.  Rather,
he was discussing his own statistical work (still online at CASI) which was
done in the absence of recent, large-scale survey data and which was, by
intention, conservative in its estimations.
2) Although it's reasonable to assume a relationship between mortality rates
of infants and toddlers and other at-risk populations (e.g., the aged and
infirm), there is no accepted rule-of-thumb by which adult mortality rates
can be inferred (again, per Garfield comments).  Therefore, it's misleading
to discuss these overall estimates in the context of the UNICEF survey --
and doubly improper to cite Garfield in this matter.
3) Neither of the preliminary UNICEF reports (for center/south or north)
discuss cause of death.  However, the preliminary northern report states
that the full report *will* include causal data.  (Note that the reports for
the northern governorates are produced independently, so it's unclear
whether similar information will be forthcoming from the center/south).
4) As regards cause, an interesting citation is from The Times itself.  On
August 13, they reported the UNICEF results under the headline: "Iraqi
children 'dying because of sanctions'".  This story is remains online at
96766 .  


Drew Hamre
Golden Valley, MN USA
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