Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The "Numbers" Game


Uncle Jimbo over at BlackFive had an interesting idea of attempting to calculate the insurgent body count so we can get a better idea of how we are eliminating the insurgency, one bad guy at a time. I decided to spin off Uncle Jimbo's idea and take a look at numbers comparatively speaking from OIF, Vietnam and four major US Cities to attempt to put things in perspective as far as the left's obsession with "the rising toll of casualties in Iraq."

Just a quick thought on the body count that Uncle Jimbo requested. While researching for this post, something striking came to light. There are many organizations tracking casualties, both military and civilian who are actually counting civilian deaths and blaming them on the Coalition Forces indiscriminately. That is to say, if a suicide bomber walks through a crowded Baghdad market and kills 37 innocent civilians, that is, overall, blamed on the Coalition Forces in a twisted attempt to say that these individuals were some sort of collateral damage from Coalition operations. No one is tracking how many civilians are killed by the insurgency vs. Coalition operations, they are simply collectively attributed to the Coalition. This also is the case with those who are wounded as well.

This is always a delicate position because of the idea of making the lives of our military men and women appear as simply numbers devoid of human life, tragedy and the mourning of family and friends. Make no mistake about it, I am not, nor would I ever reach such depths of disrespect for these heroes. I personally know the sense of loss that family members are left with as I too have people close to me who still have yet to be found and returned from Vietnam, the pain never truly subsides.

Albeit, there are others who do not value these lives as most of us do, for others, these lives are merely numbers that they use to justify their arguments, either on the Senate or House floors, in the press, on Sunday Morning talks shows, on demonstration platforms or even here in the blogosphere. So, in order to defend those who are still on the battlefield eager to finish the fight and bring true democracy to the people of Iraq, I have attempted to put together some data that truly does substantiate the claim that we have suffered very few casualties in OIF.

At the time of this post, the number of US Casualties is at 3,125 in close to 4 years. The DoD gives an average of 170,000 troops on the ground at any given time (pre "Surge"). Now, to get into the stats:


NYC - 596 homicides
LA - 505 homicides
CHI - 600 homicides
PHI - 347 homicides

total: 2,048 homicides

OIF - 486 casualties

*Nam - 2,000 casualties

*1965 first year with 175,000 troops on the ground

Our fighting men and women, who are in a war zone, fighting the insurgency yet they have less than an quarter the number of casualties with the same general number of troops on the ground. They also have less than a quarter of the number of casualties compared to homicides reported in the four most populated cities in the USA; New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and Philiadelphia. (NYC, CHI and PHI stats here)

So, where is the outrage? Where are the bills before Congress making more stringent sentences for homicides? Where are the government programs to help curb violence in out major cities? If these numbers are unacceptable for our military why is it not unacceptable for our civilians to kill each other on the streets of our cities? Why aren't stats like these front page news everyday?

Ready for more?


NYC - 570 homicides
LA - 489 homicides
CHI - 445 homicides
PHI - 330 homicides

total: 1834 homicides

OIF - 848 casualties

**Nam - 5,300 casualties

**1966 Second year of war with 390,000 troops on the ground



NYC - 540 homicides
LA - 489 homicides
CHI - 448 homicides
PHI - 377 homicides

total: 1,854 homicides

OIF - 846 casualties

**Nam - 9,500 casualties

**1967 Third year of war with 490,000 troops on the ground



NYC - 582 homicides
LA - 489 homicides
CHI - 423 homicides
PHI - 406 homicides

total: 1,900 homicides

OIF - 821 casualties

**Nam - 14,600 casualties

**1968 Fourth year of war with 549,000 troops on the ground


It is worth restating, that if the left is going to use the casualty number against us, even as uncomfortable as it is for us to use these numbers for any reason, we must defend the argument.

In the close to four years of this War on Terror we have lost (not "wasted" - รก la Obama) approximately 3125 American lives in Iraq. Yet on the streets of our major cities we have lost 7,636 lives. Keep in mind that these numbers come from just four US Cities.

So, again, we need to ask Congress to why they choose to focus on Iraq's numbers yet maintain blinders on with regard to the number of homicides. Is it because Iraq allows them a platform to throw knives at the Administration with the DoD as an added bonus? Could it be because threatening to control the troops' pursestrings is sexier than homicide? Could it be because the MSM finds it sexier as well? Dare I go on?

Point being, these OIF casualty numbers are a resounding HOOAH!! to US Troops on the ground, their training, their dedication to each other and most poignantly, their dedication to this nation. They want to finish the job and come home victors, which was something that Vietnam Vets were denied for the very same reasons that we see today. On the global scale, we need to be victorious to confirm our place as the true super power, maintain our foothold at the UN and most importantly, end the War on Terror with a deafening roar. After all, the world is watching.

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