Adam’s Blog

That’s my thing, keepin’ the faith, baby. –Joe Friday

The Cost of War, the Cost of Peace

Posted by Adam Graham on January 3, 2007

Cross-posted from WhereIStand

One of my favorite bloggers has a post up where he puts death tolls coming out of Iraq into perspective:

With 16,273 deaths in 2006, is Iraq still at war? AP called fighting in the Sudan “the world’s worst humanitarian crisis” after the U.N. estimated 200,000 people died violently since 2003 — or twice the carnage of Iraq in the same time period.

Sudan’s population is estimated at 6.5 million; Iraq’s is four times that.

By the way, the 16,273 violent deaths in 2006 compares favorably to the 600,000 documented deaths under Saddam Hussein. Many more are likely.

Hussein’s carnage averaged 70 to 125 civilian deaths every day for the 8,000 days he reigned. His 20,000 civilian deaths a year (on average) were considered “peace” while last year, under war, there were 14,298 civilians deaths.

Now, of course Hussein’s slaughters would often occur in grand numbers with the gassing of a couple hundred thousand Kurds (you never could tell when that dictator felt the need for some old fashioned genocide) the deaths through the insurgency have been a steady stream. The numbers from Iraq are horrific when you don’t understand the reign of Hussein. Sadly, the numbers from the past year qualify as normal or near it from a pure body count standard.

Certainly, much needs to be improved and better policy is needed, but perhaps for a moment we can realize things are not as bad as they once were and salute the fine work of our brave soldiers in uniform who are fighting politics to try and win the peace in a land where peace will be hard to find.

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