Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Today's Reading Assignment

From Gateway Pundit, who has some surprising numbers on Iraq. Hint: the situation there is not nearly as bad as you've been led to believe. In fact, some American cities have a higher incidence of violence than Baghdad.

Hat tip: Powerline.

1 comment:

Jason said...

Former member of the intelligence community?
You should try this thing we civilians have called "reading newspapers"

Take the Wall Street Journal for example:

The figure for Iraq, then, is not the "violent death rate"; it is only the rate of violent death from war. (The equivalent figure for the other countries and cities presumably would be zero.) To arrive at a "violent death rate" for Iraq, we would to add in the civil homicide rate...

Furthermore, even if war deaths in Iraq vs. civil homicides elsewhere were a valid comparison, the King figures are a lowball estimate of the former. That's because the numerator--the number of Iraqi "civilian" deaths--excludes soldiers and policemen. But civil homicide rates do include policemen and soldiers murdered in the line of duty--as several hundred of them were on 9/11.

In addition, the comparison with U.S. cities poses a problem of scale. Just as some municipalities here have high concentrations of crime, Baghdad and some other Iraqi cities have high concentrations of military, guerrilla and terrorist activity. A comparison of Baghdad with Los Angeles or a similarly sprawling U.S. city would be more enlightening than a comparison of Iraq as a whole with cities of well under a million people.