Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Civilian Deaths in Iraq

CNN has taken data from one of the more virulent anti-American, anti-Bush websites and made it into a news story. So, in the name of moral relativism, lets conduct this exercise again.

Survey: 25,000 civilians killed in Iraq war

The Iraq Body Count -- a London-based group comprising academics and human rights and anti-war activists -- said on Tuesday that 24,865 civilians had died between March 20, 2003 and March 19, 2005.

Alright, so that is 12,432.5 civilian deaths in Iraq annually since the beginning of hostilities in 2003.

Between 1979 and 2003, Saddam executed approximately 600,000 Iraqis. In addition, approximately 100,000 Kurds were murdered at various times for a grand total of 700,000 deaths. These are low end estimates. Divide that by the 24 years that Saddam was in power and you get:

700,000 / 24 = 29,166.67

So, using ‘Iraq Body Count’s’ data, the US invasion of Iraq is saving:

29,166.67 – 12,432.5 = 16,734.17 lives annually

Of course, none of this data is mentioned in the CNN article or on the Iraq Body Count website. I won’t go into my usual condemnation of the press, but I think it is very clear how skewed the news we receive is.

"But if journalism is the first draft of history, then this dossier may claim to be an early historical analysis of the military intervention's known human costs."

So why isn’t ‘history’ going to record the ‘known’ human savings?

"Assurances that military forces 'make every effort to avoid civilian casualties' are no substitute for real data-gathering and analysis, and can have no basis without it."

Well, how about presenting all of the relevant data. This group uses 0 as its basis rather than the number of murders prior to the invasion. If my analysis does not convince you that some of your news is slanted to project a certain point of view, then there is absolutely nothing I can do to help you.

So much for Light Tuesday.

In Sports:
Nats 4, Rockies 0