Peaceniks at war

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Last updated on August 9th, 2017 at 05:09 pm

Joshua Dougherty of Iraq Body Count takes on fellow body-counter Tim Lambert:

Tim, we kind of expected you to be unable to admit a mistake on this. And that’s what has unfortunately come to pass.

IBC has faced criticism from other anti-war entities; apparently they’re upset that IBC’s corpse tally isn’t high enough.

Posted by Tim B. on 04/30/2006 at 11:52 AM
    1. Body counts of any kind in Iraq appear meaningless unless you know who how each person died. Iraq body counts are often used to disparage the US, yet no one knows how many of the people who have died in Iraq were actually killed by the US and of that number, nobody knows how many died engaged in military activities against Iraq and/or the US. The only number that would be meaningful to use against the US, which is of course the whole purpose, would be the number of people killed as collateral damage. And even that is a judgement call.

      Posted by JerryS on 2006 04 30 at 12:14 PM • permalink


    1. Welcome to our world, IBC…

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2006 04 30 at 12:15 PM • permalink


    1. I remember just prior to the war, watching a news report on the tent city in Jordan that had been set up in anticpation for the refugee influx.  The anti-war movement were talking aobut it non-stop. Never happened. What a blow to them.  And now this.  The insurgents who they supported as being the legitimate response to this ‘war’ carnage end up being the main carnage.

      Posted by Melanie on 2006 04 30 at 12:25 PM • permalink


    1. I have three thoughts:

      1.  The old computer law “Garbage in = Garbage out” applies here.  Lancet used poor data, IBC at least tries to use realistic data, although I wonder that anyone can get a handle on that, given the (lack of) record keeping in Iraq.

      2.  “Lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

      3.  Good luck, IBC, taking on Tim Lambert.  It’s easier to rend steel barehanded than to get Lambert to admit he might be wrong.

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2006 04 30 at 12:29 PM • permalink


    1. Lambert would almost have a point if we would take the time to explain what he’s actually saying. Lambert defends the Lancet data, but refuses to seperate what it says from what people think it says. This is what the Guardian reported:

      About 100,000 Iraqi civilians – half of them women and children – have died in Iraq since the invasion, mostly as a result of airstrikes by coalition forces, according to the first reliable study of the death toll from Iraqi and US public health experts.

      Virtually every element of this claim is false, yet this is what people think the Lancet study says. Lambert’s equivocating claptrap protects this vile and odious lie as fact. He should spend as much time correcting the deliberate falsehoods about the study propagated by his lefitst peers as he does condemning people who dare to question the (bogus) methodology used to create it.

      Posted by Aaron – Freewill on 2006 04 30 at 12:58 PM • permalink


    1. The Iraqi civilian death toll has become a political tool for the left.  We don’t quite see nearly as much interest in the civilian death toll from Sudan because I suspect if it was widely publicised there would be more pressure for something to be done.

      That something would involve the military, and as horrible as genocide is, the left hate the military much more and would prefer to see nothing done rather than its involvement.

      Posted by tdw77 on 2006 04 30 at 01:29 PM • permalink


    1. IBC and Lambert proceed to form a circular firing squad. Hilarity ensues.

      Posted by Some0Seppo on 2006 04 30 at 02:10 PM • permalink


    1. Addamo reports that Lancelet study puts casualties between 200,000 and eleventy-billion, including 100,000 personally killed by Donald Rumsfield while he was CEO of G.D. Searle & Co Pharmaceuticals.

      Posted by Dave S. on 2006 04 30 at 03:45 PM • permalink


    1. Lefties squabbling over the body count.  If that’s not morbid, I don’t know what is.

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2006 04 30 at 04:32 PM • permalink


    1. What is the controversy here?  IRB has stated that the numbers they publish must under represent the true figure and that deaths unreported in these media are not entered into the database.  Furthermore those reports must come from 2 media sources, one of which one must be English speaking.  Obviously any deaths reported by less that 2 news sources, or

      Based on the report by Seymour Hersh in the December 2005 edition of the New Yorker,  a US Air Force press release indicated that, since the beginning of the conflict, the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing alone had dropped more than 500,000 tons of ordnance on Iraq.

      Even if only 10% of these strikes hit legitimate human targets, this statistic alone brings the IRB findings into disrepute.

      Posted by Addamo on 2006 04 30 at 04:54 PM • permalink


    1. Addamo seems to be a supporter of Tim Lambert, at least in that he disagrees with IRB.  Tim Lambert, He Who Is Never Wrong™.

      Just a thought for all, before anyone actually responds to the mind numbing (Addamo’s mind, I mean) comments in #10.

      Personally, I think both IRB and Lancet are clueless on this matter.  But IRB is less so than Lancet.  And Lambert, of course.

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2006 04 30 at 05:04 PM • permalink


    1. Just a quick note…Nope, haven’t had a reply from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, yet. Will keep you posted…ummmm, don’t hold ones breath…AS of now it’s ME and Salman Rushdie that have the targets painted on….LOL.

      Posted by El Cid on 2006 04 30 at 05:04 PM • permalink


    1. (hand over heart) I will ignore Addamo (crosses heart)

      Posted by Dave S. on 2006 04 30 at 05:11 PM • permalink


    1. Dave, when you really go on the wagon, you’ll probably be ready for the mortician.  Until then, we’ll all still love you in spite of your trifling ways.

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2006 04 30 at 05:39 PM • permalink


    1. Whether I support with Tim Lambert or otherwise is not the point.

      Does the IRB state that it purposely under-reports the numbers?
      Does the IRB not state that it only reports incidents which are reported by 2 or more news sources, one of which is English?

      The_Real_JeffS, your disagreement with both the Lancet and IRB suggests you are drawing your conclusion from a source you consider more credible? What might that be?

      Furthermore, your refusal to accept even IRB figures, suggests that you believe the media is at fault with it’s reporting of deaths in Iraq. This seems pretty odd, given that IRB’s requirement of 2 or more reports
      (one of which must be English peaking) would eliminate mis-reporting.

      One more thing, what do you suppose happened to the 2 million plus ordnance dropped by the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing during the first 18 months of conflict?  Aren’t these things suppose to be precision guided?

      Posted by Addamo on 2006 04 30 at 05:42 PM • permalink


    1. Logic Times does a very good job of debunking the myth of “massive civilian casualties” at the hands of the US military, using the Iraq Body Count’s own numbers.

      Conclusion: the vast majority are in fact armed insurgents or the victims of those insurgents.

      Posted by Spiny Norman on 2006 04 30 at 05:45 PM • permalink


    1. Is it necessary for Addamo’s enormous ego to divert every single one of these comment threads?

      He’s borderline troll, that’s for sure. I’d suggest keeping him, where it not for the deeply dull nature of his posts.

      Posted by Quentin George on 2006 04 30 at 06:05 PM • permalink


    1. Cheers Spiny Norman,

      I just had a quck read and I must say that while the argument is an interesting one, it is a huge stretch to imagine that the American forces have suffered more deaths than Iraqis have at the hands of the US forces.

      If Bush were to release these numbers to the public, he would be hammered by both the left and the right.

      Once again, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing stated that it dropped half a million tons of bombs on Iraq over a period of 18 months. Even if only 1% had struck human targets (a hugely optimistic margin of error), that would have resulted in the deaths of over 20,000 alone.

      Posted by Addamo on 2006 04 30 at 06:10 PM • permalink


    1. Quentin George,

      I have no intent of diverting this thread.  My comments (on this thread at least) have been very much on topic.

      If my arguments are so obviously boring, then by all means, put me out of my misery and offer a conclusive counter-argument.  I promise I’ll desist.

      As for being dull, death and taxes tend to do that to me.  Such is life.

      Posted by Addamo on 2006 04 30 at 06:18 PM • permalink


    1. put me out of my misery and offer a conclusive counter-argument.


      I promise I’ll desist.


      Posted by Dave S. on 2006 04 30 at 06:38 PM • permalink


    1. Addamo on IBC methodology Chernobyl deaths are 100,000+. The actual number to date is less than 50. IBC could be overstating.

      Posted by lingus4 on 2006 04 30 at 06:55 PM • permalink


    1. Go. See. Flight. 93.

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2006 04 30 at 07:04 PM • permalink


    1. If my arguments are so obviously boring, then by all means, put me out of my misery and offer a conclusive counter-argument.  I promise I’ll desist.

      Here’s a way to start Addamo:

      1. Reread the Logic Times piece – and brush up on your understanding of statistics because your quick scan has you on the wrong track.

      2. Not every ordinance used by coalition forces is used on people. Bombs are frequently dropped on empty buildings, bridges and other enemy assets.

      Sheesh, I’m a civilian female and even I know that.


      Posted by The Thin Man Returns on 2006 04 30 at 07:10 PM • permalink


    1. I have seen estimates of French civilian casualties resulting from the D-Day invasion ranging from 20,000 to 67,000, mostly from bombing. Would the French have been better off if they had been left in a condition of subservience to the nazis? Somehow, one doubts it. “Collateral damage” in war time is always tragic, but so are deaths caused by regimes that use torture and genocide as a matter of policy, and that sponsor terrorist attacks against innocent people on a transnational basis.

      Posted by paco on 2006 04 30 at 07:18 PM • permalink


    1. Richard-I was hoping someone would bring it up.  I went last night and sat there throughout the whole thing like a coiled spring.  When the passengers got up to rush the terrorists I had to restrain myself from getting up as well.  I sat there at the end trying to figure out how to convince my wife not to leave me if I volunteered to return to theater.

      It was incredibly powerful.

      Posted by 68W40 on 2006 04 30 at 07:21 PM • permalink


    1. Nora-the USAF FACs who were assigned to us called in air strikes on caves just for practice (for them and the flyboys) more than once.  We probably went on 20+ raids with air cover and they never dropped any ordnance.

      Posted by 68W40 on 2006 04 30 at 07:24 PM • permalink


    1. lingus4,

      Good point. I had no idea that the tally of
      Nora Chernobyl deaths was based on deaths reported by the media.  Do you have a link?  I would be curious to find out if the authors explain how the media manage to mis-report the deaths by several orders of magnitude.


      If the methods and conclusions of the Logic Times piece had any legs, they would have been exploited by the Bush administration long ago.  Surely this information is a goldmine for the pro war position is it not?  What better proof that we are winning hearts and minds?

      Point 2 is a given.  But assuming that a fraction (say 25%) of these ordnance were used on human targets, and assuming that 25% of those successfully killed one human target (per 500 lb bomb), you still come up with numbers way over 100,000 deaths in the space of 18 months.

      Still not convinced?  OK, I’ll do you one better. Take 25% of that again and after 3 years of bombing alone, it still produces numbers above those produced by IRB.

      Posted by Addamo on 2006 04 30 at 07:38 PM • permalink


    1. #24 I have seen estimates of French civilian casualties resulting from the D-Day invasion ranging from 20,000 to 67,000, mostly from bombing. Would the French have been better off if they had been left in a condition of subservience to the nazis?—posted by paco

      I recall reading maybe ten years ago a very soberly essay on Nazi Germany’s conquest of France and its plans for the country and the rest of Europe.  According to the author, the Germans intended to create the following heirarchy of people and privileges:

      —top tier—true German people; included would be Germanic people (Sudenland, Baltic States, Volga region of Russia)
      —second tier—non-German people of an Aryan stock
      —third tier—northern European races including the French and English
      —fourth tier—everyone else

      The top and second tier would rule Europe and eventually the world.  The third tier would be basically turned into a slave race.  The fourth tier was destined for the furnaces.

      Are the French better off suffering collateral deaths and casualties with the defeat of the German armies?  Only a fool would say no.

      Posted by wronwright on 2006 04 30 at 07:43 PM • permalink


    1. wronwright, is that the EU con-stitution?

      Posted by Rob Read on 2006 04 30 at 07:55 PM • permalink


    1. Since IBC uses the Media to gather information I tend to divide their number by 2 which gives a death toll of around 15,000.

      IBC duplicates and overstates a lot of deaths plus they actually believe the casualty numbers printed by journalists.

      How many people on this site trust journalist’s figures.

      Posted by Go Canucks on 2006 04 30 at 07:58 PM • permalink


    1. Well!!

      Is it a half million tons at 10 and 18, or is it 2 million plus at 15?

      Frankly, I hope that 100 percent of the ordnance hit “legitimate human targets”.
      Some of us qauintly call legitimated human targets “terrorists”.

      Frankly, you have no idea what ordnance the 3 Marine is throwing, let alone derive figures from what that ordnance might produce.

      Posted by yojimbo on 2006 04 30 at 07:59 PM • permalink


    1. 91B30 — Of course, it had to be made in England, by a British writer and director, with French money, because Hollywood was busy speaking truth to power and warning us about oil companies in Syriana and deranged presidents on 24 and white neonazis with nukes…

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2006 04 30 at 08:10 PM • permalink


    1. A major lesson learned from the Vietnam War (y’know, the one all the lefties point to as an example of “quagmire”) is that any body count is suspect.  Someone, on the battlefield, has to count corpses and body parts just to get an estimate of the enemy dead.

      Or take the World Trade Center after 9/11.  How long did it take simply to get an accurate count of the dead there?  Months?  And we had records out the kazoo, DNA testing, and relatives coming forward to help.

      Yet Lancet and IBC presume to argue over who has the more “accurate” body count in a country none of them work out of, a place where record keeping is sporadic at best.

      The level of arrogance grows every day.  And that ignores the basis of the argument: who has the higher body count.  Which smacks of something coming out of MACV in Saigon, circa 1968.

      Lambert/Lancet and IRB clearly don’t see the irony here.

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2006 04 30 at 08:17 PM • permalink


    1. Richard, you are coming perilously close to questioning Hollywood’s patriotism…

      Posted by Dave S. on 2006 04 30 at 08:17 PM • permalink


    1. Richard-Oliver Stone is going to release a 9/11 movie soon.  From what I hear he will be playing it straight (I know, I know).

      I am skeptical, but if he comes through it might go a long way towards me overlooking JFK.

      The rest of his body of work will have to wait for future good works.

      Posted by 68W40 on 2006 04 30 at 08:27 PM • permalink


    1. Dave S. — I have no questions at all about Hollywood’s patriotism.  Or its liberalism, for that matter.  I’ve seen them in action when it counted. They’re not so much patriots or progressives as Boers with pretenstion to Bourbon.

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2006 04 30 at 08:34 PM • permalink


    1. Once again, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing stated that it dropped half a million tons of bombs on Iraq over a period of 18 months.


      And if your only source is Hersh, we have no reason to believe that this is even within a factor of 100 of the real figure.

      Posted by Pixy Misa on 2006 04 30 at 08:59 PM • permalink


    1. #18 Addamo

      I just had a quck read and I must say that while the argument is an interesting one, it is a huge stretch to imagine that the American forces have suffered more deaths than Iraqis have at the hands of the US forces.

      Try looking a little closer. It does not say that. The small number (less than 1,000) they’re talking about are non-combatants who’ve died at the hands of US and Coalition forces. The Iraq Body Count is trying to suggest that ALL of the reported 33,000+ deaths are innocent civilians senselessly and needlessly murderedby the horrid American military.

      I reiterate, since you chose to ignore it the first time: the vast majority of the 33,000+ dead (a number reported by the Media – who go out of their way to find them) are in fact armed insurgents killed by Coalition military action or the civilian victims of those insurgents.

      Posted by Spiny Norman on 2006 04 30 at 09:02 PM • permalink


    1. Spiny Norman

      While not as smug and arrogant…although there are flashes of those two items…plus a tad vicious to one young lady here, nic’ed Melanie (in revealing some personal stuff of her)…in adamno…you are dealing with a lower IQ’d Gordon, much lower…:).

      Posted by El Cid on 2006 04 30 at 09:18 PM • permalink


    1. Lambert’s had a bad few weeks. Every bit of misinformation and dishonesty he supported and propounds seems to be coming unstuck.
      I almost feel sorry for the fatchecker until I realize that it’s Lambert.

      Posted by powderkeg on 2006 04 30 at 09:22 PM • permalink


    1. #28: “Are the French better off suffering collateral deaths and casualties with the defeat of the German armies?  Only a fool would say no.” C’mon, Wronwright, you’re not supposed to give Addamo the answer; see if he can figure it out.

      Posted by paco on 2006 04 30 at 09:51 PM • permalink


    1. On Lambert’s site, below the IBC stuff, he links to a discussion about DDT, which is worth reading to appreciate the response when he tries to bullshit people who actually know what they are talking about.

      Posted by Ross on 2006 04 30 at 09:55 PM • permalink


    1. Addamo please explain how you arrived at this relationship

      Even if only 1% had struck human targets (a hugely optimistic margin of error), that would have resulted in the deaths of over 20,000 alone.

      I am unaware of some principle of bombing that says 5000 tons equates to 20,000 dead. Source please.

      Posted by the nailgun on 2006 04 30 at 10:08 PM • permalink


    1. Pixy Misa

      Hesh is quoting a press released issued by the US Air Force.  While I am unabel to link to it, but in the absence of it, I assume he is accurately quoting from his source. If you have a problem with the numbers, best you contact the Air Force youself and set them straight.


      Given the choice of starving to death in a prison, or being blown apart into a cloud of pink mist, I would probably take the letter, not that it makes a difference who your killer is.  You can’t claim to have peace of mind when you no longer have one.

      The French asked the allies to invade,  I don;t remember the Iraqis asking for Shock and Awe.

      Posted by Addamo on 2006 04 30 at 10:22 PM • permalink


    1. Addamo—

      Actually, the legitimate French government, duly established by legal succession from the parliament of the Third Republic, did not request an invasion, but instead actually took up arms on behalf of the Germans.  And there were hardly any other legitimate bodies available to give French blessing; the only French organizations which supported the invasion were a small number of exiles living in London recognized by Britain purely for convenience’s sake and small number of rebels in France proper.

      Our invasion of Iraq was similarly blessed by the Iraqi National Congress (fully as legitimate a national government as Free French was) and by militant groups in Iraq itself (which, including the forces in actual soverign control of Kurdistan, were actually far more powerful and legitimate than the French Resistance).

      Posted by Warmongering Lunatic on 2006 04 30 at 10:33 PM • permalink


    1. the nailgun

      Souces of tonnage dropped by 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing in the period March 2003 – September 2004 comes from Seymor Hersh’s piece:

      The rest is just throwing numbers around:

      Tonnage dropped on Iraq in 18 month persiof (3rd Marine Aircraft Wing only) = 500,000

      Total number of ordnance (assuming the majority of those ordnance are 500 lb) = 2,200,000

      Assuming instances of ordnance incurring collateral damage to civilians to be 1%, and that each 500 lb bomb kills only one human being =  22000 civilian deaths

      Posted by Addamo on 2006 04 30 at 10:36 PM • permalink


    1. Warmongering Lunatic

      Thanks for the clarification re France.

      Unlike France, Iraq was not occupied at the time, but ruled by it’s own government.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but I doubt that the INC had the authority to bless any such governmental overthrow, much less an invasion.

      Posted by Addamo on 2006 04 30 at 10:47 PM • permalink


    1. Thanks for your honesty that the rest is “just throwing numbers around” the problem with that of course is I could just as easily say the average bomb was 1000lb or only 0.5% results in a civilian casualty and get a completely different figure.
      Given the gravity of the issue you are talking about I think perhaps you should refrain from just “throwing numbers around”

      Posted by the nailgun on 2006 04 30 at 10:57 PM • permalink


    1. Oops post #48 is addressed to Addamo obviously

      Posted by the nailgun on 2006 04 30 at 10:58 PM • permalink


    1. Addamo — 3rd Marine Air Wing has about 72 F-18’s (Assuming all a/c are operational and in theatre, which is unlikely) and approximately 48 AV-8B Harriers (Same).  Both have 7 pylons that can carry ground delivered ordnance.

      Assume that all 120 combat aircraft are carrying 7 500lb bombs per sortie (840 bombs). That’s 420,000 pounds per full wing sortie. Then each of those aircraft flew less than six sorties.

      Of course this is nonsensical.  If you assume they were using 1000 pounders, either snakeyes or with some sort of PAVE package, the numbers make even less sense.  The planes OBVIOUSLY flew more sorties, but most of those would have been with lighter payloads precision-guided ordnance such as PAVE TACK guided bombs or teleguided Maverick missiles.

      Of course, its harder to claim we’re randomly bombing innocent civilians with precision guided weapons, but anyway you slice it, Hersh has no idea what he is talking about.

      It’s entirely likely that Hersh is conflating 3MAW’s Afghan (over 750 sorties) and Iraqi campaigns.

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2006 04 30 at 11:24 PM • permalink


    1. Hell, Rich, at this point we should be grateful he hasn’t started talking about “depleted uranium bombs.”

      Posted by Dave S. on 2006 04 30 at 11:31 PM • permalink


    1. I don’t really care about how many bodies were dead on this or that side, except as it relates to how many of my fellow Americans are in the count.  I don’t care.  I think it is outrageous to attempt to paint our forces as evil when they are fighting a war against civilians.  How many of our people died because the enemy used a pregnant woman, or a group of women and children, to blow them up?  If these cowards use their women and children as shields, it is up to the other civilians to put a stop to it however they may.  If they can’t do it themselves, then the faster we kill the terrorists, whether they are using civilian shields or not, the better off the innocents will be.  The faster a population figures out that war against the US and its allies is a dead end – literally – the better for everybody.

      This ghoulish toting up of casualties for the purpose of ascribing evil to the Coalistion is immoral.  The US spends an enormous amount of money trying to spare the civilian population of a country, and the infrastructure and wealth as well.  We’ve trained our people to be as careful as possible, to the (I think immoral) point of risking their own lives more than is already necessary in the situation.  We’ve done all we can, yet because we have spent the time and the money, and now possess the technology, i.e., because we have made sure we are strong, that we are vilified all over the world – including by our own people.  The only thing the enemy has going for them is that they are weak and unable to kill us as fast as we kill them.  That is all their so-called moral rightness depends on.  Weakness.

      Ask youself what the alternative is and you will see what I mean when I say this mind-set is immoral.

      And God please won’t somebody just shut that !@#$&% up.  He continually spits on the Coalitian and the bodies of the fallen.  I’m sick of hearing him call them murderers.

      Posted by saltydog on 2006 05 01 at 12:05 AM • permalink


    1. OK, I have problems with this “500,000 tons of ordnance” that Addamo keeps on talking about.  It’s Addamo, and therefore suspect.

      First, I couldn’t find any press release concerning the 3rd MAW dropping ordnance in Iraq.  I checked the 3rd MAW web site (here), Multi-National Forces, Iraq (here), and the New Yorker article that Addamo refers to (here).

      I bring up the last because this is what the article actually says:

      One insight into the scope of the bombing in Iraq was supplied by the Marine Corps during the height of the siege of Falluja in the fall of 2004. “With a massive Marine air and ground offensive under way,” a Marine press release said, “Marine close air support continues to put high-tech steel on target. . . . Flying missions day and night for weeks, the fixed wing aircraft of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing are ensuring battlefield success on the front line.” Since the beginning of the war, the press release saidthe 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing alone had dropped more than five hundred thousand tons of ordnance. “This number is likely to be much higher by the end of operations,” Major Mike Sexton said. In the battle for the city, more than seven hundred Americans were killed or wounded; U.S. officials did not release estimates of civilian dead, but press reports at the time told of women and children killed in the bombardments.

      First, the New Yorker article specifies a “Marine press release”, which makes sense, as the Air Force doesn’t control the Marine Air Wing.  But that’s a ding against Addamo, as he said “US Air Force”.

      Second, when you actually scroll through the 3MAW press releases in the fall of 2004 ((here), there are no press releases of this description.  I also tried the Marine Corps HQ Public Affairs web site—same deal.  Indeed, they had the same press releases, which should be of no surprise.  But it’s not there, which is likely why Addamo can’t link to it.  Ding ding, Addamo!

      Third, Hersh quotes a Major Mike Sexton.  When one does a Google search for “Major Mike Sexton”, all the results quote Hersh’s article.  This name does not appear in the USMC press release database; since DoD policy does allow quotes in press releases, I thought it might help.  A search of variations in name (e.g., “Major Sexton”) are inconclusive.  In fairness, Hersh may have called the USMC Public Affairs for a follow up quote, and this MAJ Sexton answered the phone.  This means little, except that I used the name to try and find the source press release.  Flag this one as “inconclusive”, and Addamo can relax.

      Finally, in searching around, I found this discussion, which provides this comment:

      500,000 tons? That looks like a decimal point error to me – I did some back of the envelope calculations about this kind of thing when investigating a similar error in Sven Lindquist’s History of Bombing which he’d repeated from somewhere else. This one referred to the weight of bombs a squadron of Lincolns could drop on (or about) the Mau Mau in 3 years. Round-the clock ops can only just get you to 50,000t, which was Lindquist’s duff figure.

      1000 tons a day? Nah. A brief Clancy moment informs me that the F/A18 can carry 17,000lb, AKA 8.5 tons. Fox news tells me that there are 4 squadrons in an MAW (says 3 attack and 1 fighter, but we’ll assume the fighter’s been replaced by an attack), and FAS tells me that there are up to 18 planes in an attack squadron. 72 * 8.5 = 612 tons. That works out at more than one and a half sorties a day, every day. Nah. Sy’s got this one wrong.

      Chris Williams, 5 December 2005

      While not conclusive, it demonstrates that the 500,000 tons of ordnance is probably an overstatement due to someone misplacing a decimal point.  Easy to do, I think.

      But, ding ding!, Addamo has another ding.

      And I think we can put paid to this argument.  Once again, Addamo demonstrates his cluelessness in things that matter.

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2006 05 01 at 12:06 AM • permalink


    1. Heh, richard!  Good one, you beat me on the sorties numbers.  Great minds think alike, eh?

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2006 05 01 at 12:08 AM • permalink


    1. The Real JeffS — Keep in mind, CAN carry 13000 lbs doesn’t mean DOES carry 13,000 lbs.  Even assuming they don’t carry a lighter payload for lack of observed targets and increased loiter time, some pylons will be taken up with lighter ordnance or defensive pods (ECM/ECCM, etc.).  It’s not like the old Arc Light bomb the grid square days…

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2006 05 01 at 12:19 AM • permalink


    1. 700 Americans killed or wounded for Falluja? More than an entire battalion of Marines?

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2006 05 01 at 12:24 AM • permalink


    1. Yes—Fallujah (the second battle) was hard fought.  But the terrorists took it on the chin.

      As for the aircraft…..yeah, that’s right.  No BUFFs dropping an entire load at once, that’s for sure.  The bottom line is, the 500K tons of ordnance waved about by Addamo is a crock.  There are several different demonstrations of why that’s so, but it is the bottom line.

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2006 05 01 at 01:34 AM • permalink


    1. Richard McEnroe and The_Real_JeffS – well done fella’s. I tried to pin him down on this on the Fisk thread but you guys have done a far superior job. I found the hersh quote too and wondered about a decimal place error as I found another report saying only 40,000 tons in the 3 weeks of the invasion. I think this sort of stuff goes to the heart of the issue with body count especially Lancet. When ever left presented with a “fact” supporting their cause they never do their “due diligence” and check its validity and instantly start sprouting it. It appears Addamo is no different. Nice work

      Posted by the nailgun on 2006 05 01 at 02:15 AM • permalink


    1. It strikes me as a little strange. Both are argueing over “gesstimates”. Bagdad is a major strike point for the terrorists so of course the numbers taken from the mourge there will be skewed.
      To times 1 mourgue in a major terrorist strike zone by the population of iraq as a whole and you could get some fantastic figures.
      Why not try the same “method” of counting in the Kurdish areas biggest city?

      And may I say for the record that anyone who is too gutless to come out and say what they delight in hinting at, which is, that the coalition troops disregaurd or even ACTIVELY TARGET CIVILLIANS.
      Either piss off or state plainly what you believe to be true. None of this flinging figures around and leaving your vile accusations unspoken…

      Posted by thefrollickingmole on 2006 05 01 at 02:56 AM • permalink


    1. Assume that all 120 combat aircraft are carrying 7 500lb bombs per sortie (840 bombs). That’s 420,000 pounds per full wing sortie. Then each of those aircraft flew less than six sorties.

      No, he means 2 million 500 lbs bombs (= 500,000 tons), not 2 million lbs worth of bombs. In other words, he’s implying that each of those 120 craft flew about 2400 sorties in around 500 days, and they dropped their entire ordnance every single time.

      I shudder to even work out the potential logistics of that…

      Posted by PW on 2006 05 01 at 03:26 AM • permalink


    1. Whoops, I see Jeff has already crunched the numbers from another angle. Never mind.

      Posted by PW on 2006 05 01 at 03:27 AM • permalink


    1. yes, concur. Talked to a friend in HI and that figure is way, way off, more than all air-dropped ordnance the marines have delivered to unwilling customers in the past few years. They have not DELIVERED that much bang to the USMC in the sandpit in that time.

      He means 50,000 tons, but that figure includes all air-expended ordnance including aerial expendibles (flares, even jugs for fixed and rotary, etc), from what my friend could tell.

      The USMC has little arty because the Wings provide that, so they do a lot of air-to-mud. It is what they are for.

      A cursory look at Fallujah post seizure shows that the leftard gibber of ‘carpet bombing’ was a crock. Too many reruns of Twelve O’Clock High for the MSM. methinks. Things have moved along since then.


      Posted by MarkL on 2006 05 01 at 08:07 AM • permalink


    1. I wonder if anyone called Hersh on this?  His article started this, after all.

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2006 05 01 at 09:29 AM • permalink


    1. The_Real_JeffS,

      A tad unfair to describe me as clueless mate.  It’s not like I made these numbers up now is it?  So you asked a colleague who doesn’t think the numbers are Kosher.  Fair enough.

      Agreed it would be handy to get this cleared up by Hersh himself.

      And yes, I previously stated that the stats were released by the 3MAW press releases, but also quoting from a second source that mentioned the Air Force.  My bad for the oversight.

      I would have liked to have been able to trace the said press release that Hersh was referring to.  In any case, let’s assume your decimal figure argument is correct.

      19 month have passed since that “alleged” press release, so extrapolating that average, we come to close to 110,000 tonnes since hostilities began, from 3MAW alone.  Do you have any details as to how many Marine Air wing units are operating inside Iraq?

      Being clueless as I am, I will assume there is only one OK?

      What about the tonnage dropped by the air Force and the US Navy?  Surely these units have been doing heavier lifting that the 3MAW, not to mention that missiles are probably not included in the numbers.
      So conservatively speaking, if the Air Force Units and US Navy were only dropping the same tonnage as the 3MAW, we still end up with 330,000 tonnes since March 2003.

      BTW.  Is it true that the coalitions are also ramping up their air strikes?

      Posted by Addamo on 2006 05 01 at 06:12 PM • permalink


    1. For those who would use Mr Hersh as a reliable source, a read-through of Loose … Truth might be of interest.


      Posted by J.M. Heinrichs on 2006 05 01 at 11:12 PM • permalink


    1. Addamo — We don’t regard you as clueless.  Iggerint and dishonest, yes…

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2006 05 01 at 11:22 PM • permalink


    1. You’re right, richard, but, as a rule, I prefer “clueless”.  It’s sounds better.

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2006 05 02 at 01:08 AM • permalink


    1. JMH—based on that one New Yorker article alone, I question using Hersh as a reliable source.  There several glaring contradictions in his rant that (in my eyes) undermine his credibility.

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2006 05 02 at 01:09 AM • permalink


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