Now it turns out the early studies were probably correct. What they perhaps got wrong was not the number of fatalities but the cause--almost half were related to the war but not directly caused by the weapons of war. But: a half million died in any case. So, sadly, my book on the media and the war, So Wrong for So Long, had it right.
From NBC just now:
About a half million Iraqi people died during the eight-year war in that country, and among those casualties roughly four in 10 perished due to Iraq's decimated infrastructure — from crippled health-care and power systems to interruptions in water and food supplies, according to a study released Tuesday.
U.S. researchers hired Iraqi physicians to go door-to-door at randomly selected homes in 100 Iraqi neighborhoods to ask families what members died between 2003 and 2011 and how they lost their lives, the report states. Among non-violent deaths tied to the war, the most common cause was heart attacks or cardiovascular conditions, followed by infant or childhood deaths other than injuries, chronic illnesses and cancer.