The BBC’s Jim Muir compares the Iraqi and Syrian death tolls.

As here:

‘The casualty figures have risen dramatically, especially since the two biggest cities, Damascus and Aleppo, became caught up in the violence last July. Since then, the number of people killed has averaged more than 5,000 every month. Even at the height of the sectarian bloodletting in Iraq in 2006, the monthly death count only twice went over 3,000’.

Muir is clearly relying on Iraq Body Count’s figures here (go to ‘Monthly Table’).

The first thing to note is he isn’t even comparing apples with apples. IBC only count civilian deaths from violence, while the UN estimate counts both civilian and combatant deaths, and says that ‘the data sources include records of both combatants and non-combatants’ (p.3)

The second is that he is using a count that is among the lowest of the various Iraq death toll estimates, and comparing it with a count that is among the highest for Syria, to try and portray the conflict in Syria as being worse than the conflict in Iraq.

The Lancet studies? ORB? The WHO study? They don’t even get a look in.

BBC propaganda – perhaps unwitting – in action.

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