Bush Awards Congressional Medal to IBC Czar

WASHINGTON (AEP) – President Bush announced today he was awarding Iraq Body Count (IBC) co-founder John Sloboda the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Bush said, “It’s very important to every person in America that we continue to minimize the true costs of the Iraq War. Mr. Sloboda has done important work in this regard, by giving us tolerable Iraqi casualty figures to promote, instead of the Godless crap you see in the Lancet or Opinion Business Research. Every single one of the American people owes Mr. Sloboda a debt of gratitude, which is why I’m awarding him this medal.”

In October 2004, the British medical journal Lancet published a study in which lead author Les Roberts estimated 100,000 excess civilian deaths in Iraq as a result of the Western military presence there. In October 2006, Roberts and the Lancet updated the estimate to 655,000.

In September 2007, Opinion Research Business (ORB), an independent polling agency based in London, estimated 1.2 million excess Iraqi deaths. This estimate was based on a random survey of around 1500 Iraqi adults, who were asked how many in their household had died as a result of violence instead of natural causes.

By comparison, in September 2004, IBC estimated around 13,000 Iraqi deaths. In October 2006, IBC estimated around 48,000 deaths. As of August 2007, IBC’s estimate was around 74,000 deaths. IBC collects their data by counting the number of Iraqi civilian deaths reported by media outlets.

Said Bush, “The biggest fear big people like myself have is that the U.S. public will successfully organize a movement capable of overthrowing capitalism – the system that sustains and enriches suits like myself. Now, us important people never know what’s going to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Will it be health care? New Orleans? Global warming? Or maybe Iraq?

“But thanks to God-fearing, freedom-loving Americans like John Sloboda, we can make Iraq seem like nothing more than a family spat.”

John Sloboda is British.

Leading Democrats were completely livid upon hearing today’s announcement by Bush. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said, “This is totally outrageous. Who does Bush think he is? He can’t award a Congressional Medal of Honor to someone who’s never served in the U.S. military. God I hope the House impeaches Bush!”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said, “Up to now, I’ve told [House Judiciary Committee Chairman] John Conyers to back off Bush – it would be bad politics to impeach Bush now when we’re so close to getting Hillary in the White House. But this latest move by Bush has me very concerned. Therefore, beginning immediately, I am going to instruct Chairman Conyers to form a committee to take Bush’s impeachment under advisement.

“If that doesn’t scare Bush,” Pelosi added, “nothing will.”

Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) said, “This almost makes me mad enough to leave the Democratic party. But hell, if I haven’t left by now, then by God, I’m never going to.”

Sloboda was grateful upon hearing news of the award: “Frankly, anything that keeps the spotlight on me and off of those gutter trolls over at Media Lens is a good thing. I’m happy to do my part to help the Western war effort – the Nuremberg Principles and the Geneva Conventions be damned! Hell, who’s going to hang any of us?”

Media Lens is a small British media-watch project run by David Cromwell and David Edwards. They have done extensive work detailing British media’s preference for IBC’s lower Iraqi-death estimates over the higher estimates of the Lancet or ORB.

When asked about Media Lens’s work, Bush said, “I was going to hit them the same time as Al Jazeera, but Tony Blair talked me out of it.”

Sloboda said, “Certainly, the U.S. and Britain have made mistakes in Iraq. Western foreign policy is always just a series of mistakes, random errors, or confusions. It’s never systematic, rational policy made by powerful rich men who know what they want and don’t care how many people they have to kill in order to get it. And it is never a war crime. Anyone who tells you differently is a whack-job.” Sloboda then left his office for the remainder of the day; his nose kept knocking his flat-panel computer monitor over, making it impossible for him to work.

Bush said, “My favorite thing about Sloboda is that he’s a scientist. His work is scientifically sound – not like that hack Les Roberts. What does Roberts know? Does Roberts drive a cab or something by day, and pretend to do science by night while taking correspondence courses? Who does Roberts think he is anyway?”

Roberts is an epidemiologist at Columbia University, with a Ph.D. in environmental engineering from Johns Hopkins University. Sloboda is an academician whose field is music psychology.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, an Administration official said the White House hoped to be able to convince Sloboda to start an “Iran Body Count” website within the next few months: “Not that, um, we’re going to need it or anything, you know. I mean, we just want to have it just in case, that’s all.”

The next few months could be critical for the Bush administration. With his poll numbers sagging, Bush may hope that a little music psychology to soothe the “great beast” (Alexander Hamilton’s description of the U.S. population) might be just what the President ordered.

E. B. Patton is a reporter for the Cincinnati-based AEP, and can be reached via e-mail at: ebpatton@yahoo.com. Read other articles by E.B., or visit E.B.'s website.

9 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Kim Petersen said on October 8th, 2007 at 8:13am #

    Mr Patton captures well the futility and immorality of refering solely to the IBC fatality tally because it vastly minimizes the excess death toll (demonstrated by scientific studies); hence, IBC serves — intentionally or not — US-uk occupation regimes’ aims in masking the level of the ongoing genocide in Iraq.

  2. sk said on October 8th, 2007 at 6:09pm #

    Iraq Body Count’s specialty is in minimizing the number of excess deaths in Iraq, and New York Times columnists’ specialty is in inflating the numbers killed in Sudan:

    Three months later, on 3 May, Kristof noted with dismay that not only had ‘Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick pointedly refused to repeat the administration’s past judgment that the killings amount to genocide’: he had ‘also cited an absurdly low estimate of Darfur’s total death toll: 60,000 to 160,000’. As an alternative, Kristof cited the latest estimate of deaths from the Coalition for International Justice as ‘nearly 400,000, and rising by 500 a day’. In three months, Kristof’s estimates had gone up from 10,000 to 15,000 a month. Six months later, on 27 November, Kristof warned that ‘if aid groups pull out . . . the death toll could then rise to 100,000 a month.’ Anyone keeping a tally of the death toll in Darfur as reported in the Kristof columns would find the rise, fall and rise again very bewildering. First he projected the number of dead at 320,000 for 2004 (16 June 2004) but then gave a scaled down estimate of between 70,000 and 220,000 (23 February 2005). The number began once more to climb to ‘nearly 400,000’ (3 May 2005), only to come down yet again to 300,000 (23 April 2006). Each time figures were given with equal confidence but with no attempt to explain their basis. Did the numbers reflect an actual decline in the scale of killing in Darfur or was Kristof simply making an adjustment to the changing mood internationally?

  3. Calm said on October 9th, 2007 at 3:51am #

    If the politicians refuse to cut the Iraq War funding, then why don’t the anti-war folks just walk down to their local bank and ask for their money in Canadian dollars? It would bring Bush and The Clowns to their knees overnight.

    Nobody would lose any money because the more people who demanded Canadian dollars, the higher the value of the Canadian dollar would become.

    It sure beats depending on street protests and having to schedule time to attend protests.

    By exchanging funds at the bank, you could do it on your own time and quietly without much scheduling problems.


  4. cemmcs said on October 9th, 2007 at 9:28am #

    Is this a joke?

  5. cemmcs said on October 9th, 2007 at 9:30am #

    C’mon!!! This is a joke. It’s gotta be.

  6. cemmcs said on October 9th, 2007 at 9:33am #


  7. Calm said on October 9th, 2007 at 1:48pm #

    I think it is a simple deal. Just thousands and thousands of people exchanging U.S. dollars for Canadian dollars. It requires no organizational efforts except to encourage people to do it. You can’t get arrested for it and there is no possibility of violence. A person would not need to travel any great distance and could do it on any day they please, thus no scheduling problems.

    I would think that any anti-war protest has the “solid” support of at least 25% of the population. But, only .0000001 percent of people actually find the time to particpate because it is a “scheduled” event. But, exchanging U.S. dollars for some other type of currency could be done by a short walk to your local bank and at the time of your choosing.

    My real question is … would it work?

    It would certainly have a larger impact then a one-day event of 10 thousand protester picket signs. I would think that the U.S. government would need to respond and not simply sluff-it-off like they do with any street protest.

    I’m not tryin’ to be an idiot. I seriously think that it would bring this war to an end within 60 or 90 days.


  8. Nicholas said on October 10th, 2007 at 3:18am #

    This article is a pretty unpleasant personal smear disguised as feeble satire. Presumably written by a disciple of Medialens – who are known for their lack of humour (as Peter Wilby of the New Statesman wrote, “they don’t do humour”).

    If you want to read Sloboda’s views on the Iraq war and the war criminals responsible for it, try here: http://tinyurl.com/289es4

    If you want to see how Medialens get their facts wrong, see here: http://www.mediahell.org/community/07100901.htm

    I used to like Dissident Voice before I read the above. But this is pretty dismal.

  9. Justin Alexander said on March 28th, 2008 at 6:57am #

    Mr. Patton,

    It is very important that we critically analyse all the data related to the suffering of the Iraqi people in order to properly remember the victims of this war, attempt to hold the perpetrators to account, make restitution where possible and prevent future wars. John Sloboda and the other volunteers at Iraq Body Count have been doing this with dedication for five years. You are perfectly welcome to question their methodology and suggest improvements – I know they welcome constructive feedback – but the personal vilification in this “satirical” article is undignified and unhelpful.

    I am personally committed to peace and justice for Iraqis. I have campaigned against sanctions and war on Iraq with Voices in the Wilderness since 1998 and volunteered in Iraq with Christian Peacemaker Teams in 2005, supporting Iraqis who were non-violently challenging the occupation and working for the rights of war victims and detainees. I have seen too many close friends, Iraqis and internationals, killed in Bush and Blair’s pointless war. I mention this to provide you with a context for my assessment.

    I know John and the IBC team well. They are good people and firm opponents of the war who care deeply about its victims – this is why they have given over thousands of hours of their time to the traumatic task of gathering every media article related to casualties, along with data from morgues and other sources, and compiling a database with detailed and verifiable data about the victims. As a result IBC has played an important role in highlighting the horrific outcomes of this war. Their data is far from complete because many deaths go unrecorded, as IBC recognises. They don’t present their casualty data as the totality, but just as the verifiable component. Statistical surveys can also reveal another piece of the picture, although they can also have limitations and errors.

    The IBC team’s long term goal goes beyond their media analysis or the statistical surveys. They want every victim of this war (and other wars) to be recorded and remembered as named person, not just a statistic, as every US or British soldier already is. This is a goal we could all campaign for, isn’t it? I hope you will retract this article and use your writing skills to document the brutality of the war, instead of slandering people who are speaking up for Iraqi victims.

    In peace,