Zeyad on the Lancet body-count survey

He agrees that the estimate’s too high. If he had to guess, he wouldn’t peg it at much more than, oh, say, 300-350,000 killed.

Zeyad’s always been my favorite of the Iraqi bloggers. He’s the best writer, in my opinion, and he’s always come across as eminently decent and fair-minded. So note this well:

One problem is that the people dismissing – or in some cases, rabidly attacking – the results of this study, including governmental officials who, arguably, have an interest in doing so, have offered no other alternative or not even a counter estimate. This is called denial. When you have no hard facts to discredit a scientific study, or worse, if you are forced to resort to absurd arguments, such as “the Iraqis are lying,” or “they interviewed insurgents,” or “the timing to publish this study was to affect American elections,” or “I don’t like the results and they don’t fit into my world view, therefore they have to be false,” it is better for you to just shut up. From the short time I have been here, I am realising that some Americans have a hard time accepting facts that fly against their political persuasions.

The rest of the post describes his observations on the ground in Iraq. It sounds like a Mad Max scenario. Others are hearing the same.

Peter Pace surprised CNN today when he told them the U.S. is reviewing its strategy. And Gen. Dannatt, the head of British forces in the country, is in spin mode now after having told the Daily Mail that they should pull out “soon.” Between this and the Baker report, I think we’re approaching endgame here.

Update: Moran thinks the Baker Commission is a set-up to pressure Bush into pulling out and that failure in Iraq is wholly attributable to a failure of American will. Really? The will was there in 2003. What happened?

Update: Sistani’s influence is draining away.