Safer today than under Saddam?

Duncan Maxwell Anderson at The American Thinker crunches some numbers. Emphases added by Sig.
[quote]According to the French wire service AFP, which is not known for its support for U.S. interests, in Iraq as a whole, 840 Iraqi civilians were killed last month by militias, bombs, or armies-or 28 people per day. That's a 50-percent drop, down from 1,771 in August

. . .

If we're talking about only civilians and political prisoners, the toll for Saddam's 23 years in power was at least 300,000 people murdered; that's 13,043 per year; 1,086 per month; or 36 per day.

At that rate, if AFP's estimate is the correct one, for an Iraqi civilian, it's safer to be in the middle of a hot war under American rule today, than "at peace" under Saddam. And of course, Saddam's 300,000 political murders are a number apart from the 500,000 or so Iraqi soldiers he sent to their deaths in his bizarre invasions of Iran and Kuwait. And the hundreds or thousands of murders around the world that he caused as a financier of terrorism.[/quote]
Read the whole thing. He makes a very good point about the necessary evil of our invasion of Iraq in relation to the ongoing evil caused by our inaction. It's always easier to say no, to opt out, to do nothing, but that doesn't mean that it's the better choice.

Sig

Comments

Devil's Advocate

While I agree with what you're saying here, I can't help but play devil's advocate by pointing out that the first number is a "50-percent drop" from August - meaning if you did this same comparison for August instead of September, you would have 57 civilians killed, noticably higher than 36.

Of course, this just serves to illustrate the absurdity of this kind of comparison. Not only do these numbers fluxuate wildly over time (it's not like Saddam had a quota of 36 people per day), but it's comparing apples to oranges - Saddam was abducting and murdering civilians, and you can't really compare that to military action.

Daily quota?

[quote=Scott Vandehey]While I agree with what you're saying here, I can't help but play devil's advocate by pointing out that the first number is a "50-percent drop" from August - meaning if you did this same comparison for August instead of September, you would have 57 civilians killed, noticably higher than 36.

Of course, this just serves to illustrate the absurdity of this kind of comparison. Not only do these numbers fluxuate wildly over time (it's not like Saddam had a quota of 36 people per day), but it's comparing apples to oranges - Saddam was abducting and murdering civilians, and you can't really compare that to military action.[/quote]

That brought a good visual to mind:

Saddam making a daily to-do list:

1) find another body double
2) taunt Americans via mass media
3) make another statue of me...somewhere
4) look for plutonium or U-238 on Ebay
5) go "palace-shopping"
6) kill 36 people*

*- Especially Kurds, if we can find them

Ok, I'm officially twisted...

Apples and oranges

Not arguing that the numbers are only for one month. Still, you can't pretend that the downward trend isn't there. Time will tell whether it's a sign of things to come or a lull before the storm--the fact that it's not even really being reported is predictable but depressing.

As for absurdity in comparisons, we are regularly blamed for all civilian deaths in Iraq, regardless of whether they had anything to do with us. We either killed them directly by accident, murdered them while on a bloodthirsty criminal PTSD-and-Bushitler-induced rampage, or caused them to die by failing to restrain their own criminal elements. If it's always our fault when they die, why is it automatically some other factor when they don't?

Please note that I'm not saying you hold to this view, but there are people who will claim with absolute moral certainty that anything good that happens in Iraq happens in spite of our efforts, and not possibly because of them. 1 in 5 self-described democrats in a recent poll would rather we lose in Iraq. I can't even comprehend that mindset.

I'm also not saying that this proves definitively that we have won in Iraq and we're all done. But I don't think it's grasping at straws to say that less dead civilians is a positive sign.

Sig