70,000 exceeds by 10,000 the low-end figure (60,000) that the State Department document invites us to believe may represent all mortality, from all causes, in Darfur over 26 months of extremely violent and disruptive warfare. This is not epidemiology: this is propaganda.
If we are charitable, we may construe the author(s) of the State Department document as ineptly attempting to say that a problem exists in “applying partial and insufficiently representative data to larger populations.” But this is not what is said; instead, in the lead (and italicized) paragraph to the study, the authors say what makes no sense at all. What editorial supervision attended publication and promulgation of this “report”? How many authors signed off on such nonsense? What does it say that the incoherence of the sentence cited here did not register?
The “report” proceeds to speak of “incompatible time periods” and offers what purports to be a crude time-line for human mortality in Darfur: “violent deaths were widespread in the early stages of this conflict, but a successful, albeit delayed, humanitarian response and a moderate 2004 rainy season combined to suppress mortality rates by curtailing disease outbreaks and substantial disruption of aid deliveries.” It is difficult to imagine more distortion and subversion of the truth in a single sentence.
The incoherent and tendentious prose, the gross failures of logic, and the complete lack of sources and evidence wholly vitiate the State Department “report,” calling into question not only the motives of those who have compiled it, but the moral and intellectual integrity of those such as Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick who would cite it. Even as propaganda if fails.
Monday, May 02, 2005
K.M. | Monday, May 02, 2005 |