So, How Bad Are Things in Iraq Really?

We all know that despite news reports of massacre and carnage, the civilian death toll in Iraq has gone down considerably since the war to remove Saddam Hussein began back in March 2003.

Here are more figures on how the Iraq War stacks up historically:

The recorded Iraqi civilian fatalities (including insurgents, military, morgue counts, police, etc.) were down 16% (16% maximum) in 2005… 38% (48% maximum) less than 2003 (via Leftist anti-war site Iraq Body Count). If you take out the numbers from that horrible day in August 2005 when nearly one thousand panicked Iraqis were trampled or drowned near a Muslim shrine, the year shows striking progress compared to 2003 and 2004 with fatalities one third less than in 2004.


Ann Althouse (via Glenn Reynolds) reported this comparison of Iraqi Civilian War casualties with other conflicts in recent history:

Click on picture to enlarge.

This shows how Iraq War Casualties compares to other American Wars:

(2,471 Iraq War Fatalities as of 5/31/2006)

John Hinderaker at Powerline adds this:

A total of 2,471 servicemembers have died in Iraq from 2003 to the present, a period of a little over three years. That total is almost exactly one third of the number of military personnel who died on active duty from 1980 to 1982, a comparable time period when no wars were being fought. Until very recently, our armed forces lost servicemen at a greater rate than we have experienced in Iraq, due solely to accidental death.

Do you recall that during the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s there was any suggestion, from anyone, that our military policies were somehow disastrous due to fatalities among our servicemen–fatalities that nearly always exceeded those we are now experiencing in Iraq? No, neither do I.

And, please don’t bring up Russian military casualties:

In 2004, Russia lost conservatively 1,100 military men and women- no war.
In 2004, the US lost 848 military men and women- Iraq War.

Here’s more perspective on how the War in Iraq stacks up compared to other US Wars:

Iraq is no Vietnam, or Civil War or War of 1812!

Historically, this war has been a remarkable success.

To further put things in perspective, Newsmax reported yesterday that…

Iraq Is Less Violent than Washington, D.C.

Despite media coverage purporting to show that escalating violence in Iraq has the country spiraling out of control, civilian death statistics complied by Rep. Steve King, R-IA, indicate that Iraq actually has a lower civilian violent death rate than Washington, D.C.

Appearing with Westwood One radio host Monica Crowley on Saturday, King said that the incessantly negative coverage of the Iraq war prompted him to research the actual death numbers.

“I began to ask myself the question, if you were a civilian in Iraq, how could you tolerate that level of violence,” he said. “What really is the level of violence?”

Using Pentagon statistics cross-checked with independent research, King said he came up with an annualized Iraqi civilian death rate of 27.51 per 100,000.

While that number sounds high – astonishingly, the Iowa Republican discovered that it’s significantly lower than a number of major American cities, including the nation’s capital.

“It’s 45 violent deaths per 100,000 in Washington, D.C.,” King told Crowley.

Other American cities with higher violent civilian death rates than Iraq include:

Detroit41.8 per 100,000

Baltimore37.7 per 100,000

Something to think about when you read the next “Iraq the quagmire” headline!

Hat Tip Sugiero

Update: (5:00 PM) Rep. King’s numbers appear to be low. The broader point still holds. I stand corrected.

Update 2: (Thursday 4:00 PM) Here is a terrific comment from an anonymous reader:

Something else to take into account when comparing casualty figures for American Wars–the relative size of the US polulation.

For example, there were a little over 2 million Americans in 1776–3,929,214 on the 1790 census. Our population is 100xs as much as it was during the Revolutionary War. In the War of 1812, the population was just over 7 million (7,239,881 on the 1812 census). For the Civil War, our population was right at 30 million–on tenth what it is now. We were at half of our current population during the second World War, and at 183,285,009 on the 1960 census at the eve of Vietnam.

In other words, while every American life is precious, if you what to know the true imact of war casualties as percentage of population–you need to do the following:

If Iraq 2372

Then, Vietnam=98,9723


Civil War=5,6300,000

Revolutionary War=2,532,400

The simple fact of the ma
tter is that the anti-war movement, many who, if you look at their histories, had no problems with the Soviets in Afghanistan, or the marxists Sandinistas–both who waged much bloodier wars that what we are currently seeing in Iraq–have FRAMED this argument to fool the American people. It is truly disgusting.

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