Show Details for October 22nd, 2006

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Dr. Les Roberts: 650,000 casualties in Iraq

Mark Bebawi
will speak with Dr. Les Roberts about his recent study of civilian deaths in Iraq. The study, published in the widely-respected journal The Lancet, concluded that since the 2003 invasion, 655,000 Iraqis have died above the number that would be expected in a non-conflict situation, with over 600,000 of the deaths resulting from violent causes. This is triple the deaths in Darfur over the past 31 months.

Dr. Roberts is an epidemiologist experienced in counting people in conflict zones. He has taught in the department of geography and environmental engineering at Johns Hopkins University School of Engineering. He received his MSPH degree from Tulane and his PhD degree from Johns Hopkins in environmental engineering.

Dr. Roberts worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for four years and worked with the World Health Organization in Rwanda during the civil war of 1994. He is presently the director of health policy at the International Rescue Committee, America’s largest agency providing services to those affected by war.

“Mortality after the 2003 invasion of Iraq: a cross-sectional cluster sample survey”
By Gilbert Burnham, Riyadh Lafta, Shannon Doocy, Les Roberts
The Lancet
Published online October 11, 2006 (8 pages)

“We estimate that, as a consequence of the coalition invasion of March 18, 2003, about 655,000 Iraqis have died above the number that would be expected in a non-conflict situation, which is equivalent to about 2.5% of the population in the study area. About 601,000 of these excess deaths were due to violent causes. … [By comparison,] recent estimates are that 200,000 people have died in Darfur over the past 31 months.”

New York Times columnist FRANK RICH

Pokey Anderson will speak with New York Times columnist Frank Rich about what he’s called the Bush administration’s “carpetbombing” of Americans with fictions.

He’s said that Dick Cheney “is a particularly shameless master of these black arts [obsessive secrecy and constructing an alternative reality built on spin and outright lies].”

Frank Rich has been at the New York Times since 1980. While a theater critic, his sometimes scathing reviews earned him the nickname “The Butcher of Broadway.” Beginning in 1994, he became an Op-Ed columnist. He was a film and television critic at Time magazine before that. He earned a B.A. degree in American History and Literature, graduating magna cum laude from Harvard College in 1971. Rich and his wife live in Manhattan. “The Greatest Story Ever Sold” is his fourth book.

The Greatest Story Ever Sold: Bush’s America from ‘Mission Accomplished’ to ‘Heckuva Job, Brownie’

Next Sunday, Oct. 29, 7:30 pm, Frank Rich will speak at the local speakers series called The Progressive Forum (not to be confused with KPFT’s Progressive Forum which airs on Thursday evenings).
Cullen Theater at the Wortham Theater Center downtown.
Tickets are available at the door, by phone at 832-251-0706, or
online at


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