Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Matter of Perspective: US Death Toll in Iraq

US Death Toll in Iraq Hits 4,000 BAGHDAD - "U.S. officials said Monday they will press forward in the fight against extremists in Iraq a day after the overall U.S. death toll in the five-year conflict rose to 4,000."

Seems that many people are having trouble dealing with the US Military death toll in Iraq. The number just hit 4,000 for the 5 year long "war". That comes to 800 a year, or 2.2 a day. While the death of anyone during conflict is something to be avoided whenever possible, the numbers should never be looked at in a vacuum. As a comparison, we can look at the estimates for the invasion of Normandy on D-Day. Most historians put the number between 2,200 and 2,500 with the vast majority occurring on Omaha beach. That's 2,200 in one day. Compare that to 2.2 a day and see how it balances out.

For a different perspective, we can look at the number of traffic deaths in a year. The numbers for 2005 were 43,443 for all of the US. That comes to 11.9 deaths a day. If you were to make an estimate for a total over five years it comes to just under 220,000 deaths. To me, this is a far more unsettling statistic than the Iraq numbers. There should be many more marches, rallies and protests for this loss of life.

It just seems to me that people aren't capable of making informed decisions anymore.

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