More fun with statistics: Iraqi death toll

· Geopolitics

This morning I heard a report on TV – Fox I think, but it could have been CNN, about the mounting death toll in Iraq. The hawk guest quickly noted that Saddam killed an estimated 35 people per day from the time he took control of Iraq. 35 per day! That’s a staggering number.
And then I thought, hmm, how many people have died since the beginning of the war? The war started on March 19, 2003 and has been going for 467 days if my math is correct.
Casualties:
Iraqi civilians (estimate): 9451 to 11,333
Iraqi soldiers (estimate): 4,895 to 6,370
U.S. soldiers: 854
This is certainly not a complete list, but for the sake of argument let’s assume it is, and let’s just look at the Iraqi casualties mentioned here. With that we have the following estimates:
(9451 + 4895)/467 = 30.7 dead Iraqis per day minimum
(6370 + 11,333)/467 = 37.9 dead Iraqis per day maximum
So, to liberate Iraq from a dictator who killed 35 Iraqis per day, on average, our actions have directly or indirectly caused the deaths of 31 to 38 Iraqis per day, on average. In other words, it is basically a statistical wash.
I’m sure Iraqis take comfort in knowing that, though they are dying at the same rate, they are dying for a better cause.
Let freedom reign!