Random thoughts on almost anything and everything, with an emphasis on defense, intelligence, politics and national security matters..providing insight for the non-cleared world since 2005.
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.
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.
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