Impervious to 650,000 Iraqi deaths

Three Monkeys of the Apocalypse

As reported at Now Public, the United Stupids have denied a visa to one of the recent Lancet Iraqi death study researchers, Dr. Riyadh Lafta, who will instead present his talk in Canada.

An Iraqi medical school professor will talk about the death count in Iraq after the 2003 invasion: causes, types of victims, categories of violence, and other health indicators.

Dr. Riyadh Lafta will be in North America to collaborate with University of Washington colleagues on a research project to document elevated levels of pediatric cancers in Basra, Iraq. The project was conceived as part of a sister university relationship between Basra Univ and the UW. The research project is supported by a grant from the Puget Sound Partners, a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation initiative.

Dr. Riyadh Lafta, who teaches medicine at Baghdad’s Al-Mustansiriya University College of Medicine, co-authored the October 2006 Lancet article that estimated more than 650,000 Iraqis have died as a result of the the American-led invasion in 2003.

Lafta will speak at a public gathering at Simon Fraser University’s Wosk Centre (580 W Hastings in downtown Vancouver BC) on Friday, April 20, at 7 pm.

His talk will be video cast to the UW’s Kane Hall at the same time with the opportunity for interactive audience participation.

Dr. Lafta will be a guest of Simon Fraser University, in part because the U.S. State Department would not issue him a visa to come to the United States.

The public is welcome at either location.

For more information:
Tim Takaro, MD, MPH, Simon Fraser Faculty of Health Sciences
ttakaro at sfu dot ca

Amy Hagopian, PhD, UW School of Public Health
hagopian at u dot washington dot edu
206-616-4989, 685-3676 or Ian Maki 206-543-6020

The ABC records the members of the Coalition of the Gobbling’s infantile reactions to the Lancet study:

GEORGE W. BUSH: I don’t consider it to be a credible report.

JOHN HOWARD: I don’t believe that Johns Hopkins research, I don’t.

Neither Doodoo or the Rodent have scientific qualifications – what we are looking at above, folks, is a classic example of faith-based denial. And if the facts don’t fit the faith, keep those who inconveniently challenge one’s beliefs out of one’s country.

Bliar Blah doesn’t believe the figures either, and is at odds with his own government officials.

Tony Blair also criticised the study. His spokesman said at the time that the figure was not anywhere near accurate.

But in the UK, documents seen by the BBC World Service indicate government experts don’t agree with the outright dismissal.

The Chief Scientific Adviser at the Ministry of Defence describes the study’s methods, house-to-house interviews across almost 50 locations, as close to best practice, and the design as robust.

Responding to the reports that government advisers judged the study to be robust, the British Government issued a statement saying there’s still considerable debate amongst the scientific community over the accuracy of the figures.

But Richard Horton, The Lancet’s Editor, says governments must take account of the findings.

RICHARD HORTON: What we mustn’t do is to be paralysed by this debate. It’s an incredible number, but we now have several lines of evidence that confirm the validity of these findings.

So the onus, I’m afraid, is on the US and the UK governments to really get to grips with the impact of this war on civilians.

The Coalition of the Gobbling should bear in mind that there will doubtless be follow up studies. At some point, they will have to take responsibility for their iniquitous, callous slaughter. History is unlikely to judge any of the three warmongers lightly.

In contrast to his disempowering Whorestralian emissary, George Pell, Pope Benedict XVI decried the results of the warmongers’ folly in foreign lands in his Easter message.

Afghanistan is marked by growing unrest and instability. In the Middle East, besides some signs of hope in the dialogue between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, unfortunately, nothing positive comes from Iraq, torn apart by continual slaughter as the civil population flees.

We note with a wry chuckle that if Benedict’s recent medieval declaration whipping fearful sheep back to the papal fold that “hell is a place where sinners really do burn in an everlasting fire, and not just a religious symbol designed to galvanise the faithful” is correct, the Coalition of the Gobbling aren’t going to have much fun in the hereafter.

NB Origin of the Three Monkeys

The monkey was included as the 9th animal of 12 animals in the Chinese Zodiac about 2600 BCE.

Monkeys have been held sacred and/or in high esteem for centuries: the Hanuman Langur in India, the Rhesus Macaque in China and the Japanese Macaque (Snow Monkey) in Japan. Monkey folklore existed before Taoism, Buddhism or Confuciusism.

Three of the world’s greatest teachers lived and taught in the Far East within the same century.

Buddha (563-483 BCE) born in India, preached for forty five years. Buddhism arrived in China in the 1st or 2nd century and in Japan 522-645 AD. In 788 A.D., a Chinese monk, Saicho, founded the Tendai Buddhist sect in Japan.

Confucius (551-479 BCE) in about 500 BC wrote the Chinese Book of Rites or Li Chi. “Li” means regulation of conduct, custom and law, and “chi” means book. Confucius advises “look not at what is contrary to Li, listen not to what contrary to Li, speak not what is contrary to Li.”(XII.1) Confucius edited the Book of Poems (dating from 1,000 B.C. to 600 B.C.) from 3,000 poems to 300 poems. He said the 300 verses can be summed up in a single phrase, “Don’t think in an evil way.” (II.2)

Lao Tse (604-531 BCE) a Chinese philosopher, founded Taoism. A Taoist folk tradition, known as the Koshin belief or practice, was introduced to Japan from China during the leadership of three succeeding monks of the Tendai Buddhists: Saicho, the founder(762-822), Ennin (792-864) and Enchin (814-891). Koshin worship spread in Japan during the 10th and 11th centuries and flourished until 1868.

Late in the Muromachi period 1333-1568 it became customary for the three monkeys to appear on stone pillars in Japan during the observance of Koshin. Some believe the monk Saicho was the first to have drawn the image of the three monkeys. However Saicho died in 822 and for a period of approximately 700 years not one drawing, scroll, tablet nor koshin stone depicting the three monkeys has been recorded.

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