Thursday, July 14, 2005

The wheels they turn, the gears they grind

The Iraq Interior Ministry released civilian casualty numbers. Over the last ten months, 8175 Iraqi civilians or police officers have died because of insurgent attacks. That is, Iraqis have 9/11 change everything every 4 months or so.

The daily death rate is about 26.8. So they have a London bombing every two days.

They die at ten times the rate of American soldiers.

But it gets worse:

In June the interior minister, Bayan Jabr, told reporters that insurgents had killed about 12,000 Iraqis since the start of the American occupation - a figure officials have emphasized is approximate - an average monthly toll of about 500.

If, in 24 months, 12,000 Iraqis were killed by rebels, and in 10 months, 8175 were killed, that leaves 3825 for the first 14 months of the occupation. So, year over year in the American occupation, the number of civilians dying has actually doubled.

On the other hand, Jabr's number is probably low: puts the number at 22000-25000 today. Still worse, if you read Iraq Body Count's methodology FAQ, they only add to their count when a death appears in two independent news sources; they admit that they are only getting a sample on the real number.

On an oh-so-unrelated subject, I've wondered to myself in the last few days how we were doing at guarding the ammo dumps we failed to secure when we entered Iraq. Is all of it gone by now? Security tight? I don't know why, I just thought it had some vague thing to do with why we went to Iraq in the first place.

But all this calculation is fatiguing my memory. No wonder the Pentagon didn't release its metrics for the war; they forgot too.

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