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Sunday, May 06, 2007

Leftists lying with numbers

I just read this gem of an article at a bizarre leftist site called MWCNews.net, by a Dr. Gideon Polya:
THE HUGE HUMAN COST OF ISRAEL
Using UN Population Division data [1] it has been possible to calculate the avoidable mortality (technically, excess mortality) for every country in the World since 1950. Avoidable mortality (excess mortality) is the difference between the ACTUAL mortality in a country and the mortality EXPECTED for a decently-run country with the same demographics [2]. The post-1950 avoidable mortality has totalled 1.3 billion for the World, 1.2 billion for the non-European World and 0.6 billion for the Muslim World (a Muslim Holocaust indeed). These horrendous figures are corroborated by independent calculations of under-5 infant mortality for every country in the World since 1950 - thus the total comes to 0.9 billion of which all but 25 million deaths have occurred in the non-European World and about 90% have been avoidable.

The First World (notably the US, UK, France, Portugal and Russia) have had major complicity in the huge avoidable mortality and under-5 infant mortality in the Third World in the post-war era, mainly through impositions such as colonialism, neo-colonialism, malignant interference, militarization, debt, corrupt indigenous client regimes, war, civil war, economic exclusion and economic constraint [2]. Analysis of avoidable mortality (excess mortality) can determine the actual human cost of specific militarist enterprises such as illegal Zionist expansion in the Holy Land and the illegal US invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.

What has been the human cost of Israel and US occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan?

The 1950-2005 avoidable mortality (and expressed as a percentage of the current population in parentheses) has been 0.1 million [1.4% of the 2005 population] (Israel), 0.7 million [17.7%] (Occupied Palestinian Territories), 19.8 million [26.5%] (Egypt), 0.6 million [11.0%] (Jordan), 0.5 million [14.2%] (Lebanon), and 2.2 million [11.8%] (Syria). Further, the 1950-2005 avoidable mortality in countries attacked but not occupied by Israel has been 5.3 million [19.9%] (Iraq), 0.8 million [13.6%] (Libya), 1.6 million [15.8%] (Tunisia), and 11.1 million [40.3%] (Uganda).

The 1950-2005 under-5 infant mortality (and expressed as a percentage of the current population in parentheses) has been 0.09 million [1.4%] (Israel), 0.3 million [7.7%] (Occupied Palestinian Territories), 14.1 million [18.9%] (Egypt), 0.3 million [5.8%] (Jordan), 0.2 million [6.3%] (Lebanon), and 1.7 million [9.2%] (Syria). Further, the 1950-2005 avoidable mortality in countries attacked but not occupied by Israel has been 3.4 million [13.0%] (Iraq), 0.6 million [10.9%](Libya), 1.6 million [15.8%] (Tunisia) and 6.3 million [22.8%] (Uganda).{mosgoogle right}

The 1950-2005 avoidable mortality and under-5 infant mortality in Israel's neighbours total 23.9 million and 16.7 million, respectively. The 1950-2005 avoidable mortality and under-5 infant mortality in all countries Israel has attacked militarily total 42.6 million and 28.7 million, respectively (these estimates excluding the USA by setting aside the 1967 Israeli attack on the defenceless USS Liberty that killed 34 Americans and wounded a further 172)

Threat, militarization, war and consequent economic distortion have clearly contributed to the horrendous avoidable mortality in countries with which Israel has been in conflict. While Israel is clearly complicit in the huge avoidable mortality in its neighbours, the actual extent of Israel's responsibility is difficult to assess. However the Ruler is responsible for the Ruled and accordingly Israel has an unequivocal responsibility for the avoidable mortality in the Occupied Palestinian Territories since the Israeli invasion in 1967. Using UN Population Division data [1] it has been estimated that the post-1967 avoidable mortality (excess mortality) and under-5 infant mortality in the Occupied Palestinian Territories have been 320,000 and 170,000, respectively.
It goes on and on, but the gist of it is that the difference between the mortality of Palestinian Arabs and what he thinks the expected mortality of Palestinian Arabs comes out to some arbitrary number of about a half million.

The holes in his theory are larger than the numbers he is claiming.

First of all, he is blaming the mortality of third-world countries on first world countries. Practically all of what he terms "avoidable mortality" occur in poorer countries, and he lists a litany of sins to blame the West for almost all of them. In other words, he first has a thesis that all Third World deaths are the West's fault, and then he tries to find any numbers he can to prove it. This is not science - this is activism pretending to be science.

Secondly, his main sources are the UN World Population Database and his own website. The UN provides raw population data but gives no indication of "expected mortality." Those numbers, according to his footnotes, can be found on his own website, and a quick review of his website shows literally no statistics to back his claims up. He is so dishonest that he writes articles, footnotes his own work and doesn't give any indication of any primary sources for his entire major statistic.

If anything, the UN statistics on infant mortality in the Palestinian Arab territories show an amazing drop in infant mortality during that horrid "occupation" from 125 per 1000 births in 1965 to 25 per 1000 in 2000.

And, assuming PalArab population figures are accurate, I calculated 1.6 million more PalArabs alive today because of Israel!

Now, I am no statistician nor a demographer. (I suspect that the PalArab demographic claims are way overstated and therefore my numbers are as well.) But - surprise, surprise - neither is Polya. Even though he writes lots of articles based on this completely bogus and probably imaginary statistics, his PhD is in biochemistry and his BS was in zoology and chemistry.

In other words, we have an Australian professor at a German university, who is not a mathematician, statistician or demographer, who clearly already has rabid anti-Western views, making up statistics and giving them to people who know nothing about mathematics where they happily reproduce it as if it proves, scientifically, that the West is evil incarnate.

Sadly, this travesty of science and mathematics seems to be more the norm in the liberal world than the exception.