The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
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A featured Wall Street Journal commentary by Karl Zinsmeister misrepresents recent Iraqi opinion poll results. Zinsmeister spins a case for "the comparative gentleness of this war" by contrasting those who knew someone killed in fighting this spring (roughly 30%) versus those who knew someone killed by Iraqi securty forces during Saddam's rule (roughly 50%). But Zinsmeister misquotes the poll. The latter percentage is of people who knew someone "killed *IN* *WAR* (emphasis added) or by security forces" during Saddam's rule (which included two calamitous conflicts). The fact that the latest war's 'known victim' estimate is trending toward earlier tolls should give us pause. Conservative estimates are that at least 6,000 civilians were killed in the U.S.-British attacks. The Zogby results hint the actual toll is far higher. For Zinsmeister on the eve of the remembrance of 2,700 WTC civilians to call such carnage 'comparatively gentle' is obscene. Zinsmeister edits the American Enterprise Institute magazine, rubbing shoulders with the ghoulish Richard Perle and Michael Ledeen and hence, perhaps, the whiff of corruption. Regards, Drew Hamre Golden Valley, MN USA === References (fact-checking only) ...  Zinsmeister article http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110003991 What Iraqis Really Think We asked them. What they told us is largely reassuring. BY KARL ZINSMEISTER Wednesday, September 10, 2003  Actual poll questions http://www.zogby.com/news/ReadNews.dbm?ID=734  Compilation of Iraqi civilian deaths from mainstream press reports, and emerging epidemiological work http://www.iraqbodycount.net === Summary: What Zinsmeister claimed: "War is never pleasant, though U.S. forces made heroic efforts to spare innocents in this one, as I illustrate with firsthand examples in my book about the battles. Evidence of the comparative gentleness of this war can be seen in our poll. Less than 30% of our sample of Iraqis knew or heard of anyone killed in the spring fighting. Meanwhile, fully half knew some family member, neighbor or friend who had been killed by Iraqi security forces during the years Saddam held power." What the poll actually asked: · Were any of your own family members, neighbors, or friends killed in this spring's war? · Were any of your own family members, neighbors, or friends killed in war or by security forces during the years that Saddam Hussein held power? _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk