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My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.
|Why Can't Anybody Do The Math For Themselves?|
From the LATimes: President Bush said Monday that the war in Iraq had claimed the lives of 30,000 Iraqi citizens in addition to 2,140 U.S. troops, but that the establishment of a durable democracy there would ultimately justify the sacrifice.
From the AP: In a rare, unscripted moment, President Bush on Monday estimated 30,000 Iraqis have died in the war, the first time he has publicly acknowledged the high price Iraqis have paid in the push for democracy.
From Reuters: U.S. President George W. Bush said on Monday about 30,000 Iraqis have been killed since the Iraq war began and predicted this week's election will not be perfect but will be part of a Middle East turning point.
None of these "news outlets" bothered to do a little simple math after breathlessly reporting the sensational number of Iraqi dead. So, allow me:
So far, we have found in mass graves the bodies of roughly 400,000 Iraqis--and that's supposedly the low-end number, and that's only of the ones we know about. So if go with that number, and we know that Saddam was in power for, what, 30 years? That's an average of . . . let's see . . .carry the one . . . 39 . . . . an average of about 13,000 Iraqis killed by Saddam every year. And, like I said, that's just the ones we know about.
So, if the invasion started 1000 days ago (as Brian Williams boldly stated on tonight's news), that means we've been there for . . . let's see . . . about 2.75 years.
SO . . . (I'm going slow for CS) in the normal life of Iraq, pre-invasion, during a 2.75-year span, on average 35,750 Iraqis would have been murdered by Saddam. And that number doesn't include the number tortured, raped, with limbs cut off, the children brutally killed in front of their parents, the wives disfigured in front of their husbands--all for nothing but the advancement of a murderous regime.
On the other hand, the 30,000 who have died since the invasion include the hundreds of brave Iraqis killed at police training centers, killed while standing in line to sign up to be in the Iraqi army, and killed while trying to push forward the cause of democracy.
In other words, the last two-plus years in Iraq have been slightly better than average in death toll, while moving the country a great deal down the road towards self-determination.
Did any media outlets bother to report this? Heh. I'd be surprised if any of them bothered to do the math--assuming they had anybody capable of it (maybe an intern, or a delivery boy, or something . . .)