Saturday, December 03, 2005

WorldNetDaily: Iraq Safer for Coalition Forces than California

Roger Ailes (the Good One), nails WorldNutDaily for continuing to be nuts, and he starts off with an excellent title: The Hume-N Stain.

The Nuts at WorldNutDaily, like Brit Hume originally did, are back to comparing the murder rate of the general populace in California with the death rate of coalition forces in Iraq. Because there's nothing like comparing apples to a giant stinking corpse flower.

According to the report "Crime in California 2004," compiled by California Attorney General Bill Lockyer, there were 2,394 reported homicides in the Golden State last year. That compares with 905 deaths of coalition forces in Iraq, chiefly Americans and Brits, during the same time period.

The comparison is made between Iraq and California because they are approximately similar in size and population. The point they would make is that the war in Iraq is going well for a conflict of its size and duration.

Since there are 35,893,799 people living in California, that means that out of every 100,000 people, 6.7 are murdered.

With a population of 26,074,906, the 905 coalition forces killed makes the death rate in Iraq a much safer 3.47 per 100,000 people.

Iraq is twice as safe as California!!!! Call your travel agent to book your reservations, I hear the Hanging Gardens are an excellent place to enjoy the giant stinking corpse flower.

Except that the 905 number means the general population of Iraq is not being counted, because to the nuts at WND, the general population of Iraq does not count. So the rate should be compared using the number of coalition forces actually on the ground in Iraq, which, in 2004, was 153,883 (130,000 US troops, plus 23,883 coalition forces -- I reduced the numbers according to when certain countries withdrew in 2004. For instance, the Philippines withdrew their 80 troops in July, so I only counted 40 as being present for the whole year.)

That makes the death rate of Iraq a staggering 587.7 deaths per 100,000 people.

I hope you had cancellation insurance on your travel plans.

And even though we really shouldn't be comparing the murder rate in one general population to the death rate in another general population, they started this. So what is the death rate (people killed directly and indirectly by, but not including natural causes unrelated to, war) in Iraq if we actually count the general populace, comparing it to the murders in the general populace of California?

6215 civilians were killed in 2004, according to Iraq Body Count. Adding 905 troops (not including Iraqi Security Forces) = 7120. For every 100,000 people in Iraq, 27.3 are killed.

Not as breathtaking as 587.7, but still mighty sobering.

Still, lest I be accused of never reporting on the bright side of Iraq and keeping it in perspective, four countries -- Colombia, South Africa, Jamaica, and Venezuela -- have more per capita murders than Iraq's war-related deaths. Colombia has 61/100,000. The US would save more Colombian lives by fighting a two-and-a-half year war with Colombia than if the US didn't invade. That looks like a humanitarian reason to me.

Progressive Women's Blog Ring
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