Friday, November 17, 2006

Statistics Lie -- Again

Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics
Déjà vu All over Again

Through the first 17 days of November 45 U.S. military personnel have died in Iraq. Four U.S. and one Austrian civilian have been kidnapped. At this pace, the 3,000th U.S. fatality will die on or about January 3, the day Congress reassembles.

General John Abizaid, Commander of U.S. Central Command, testified before Congress on Wednesday about Iraq and Afghanistan.

Later that day, General Mike Hayden, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Lieutenant General Mike Maples, Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, also testified.

Read the short excerpts of the testimony presented to the Senate Armed Services Committee. Then look at the statistics for the month and since the fighting began in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Then see if you can answer the one question at the bottom.

General Abizaid:
“I remain optimistic that we can stabilize Iraq.”

“The key to stabilization is effective, loyal, nonsectarian Iraqi security forces coupled with an effective government of national unity.”

“Sectarian violence…[is] still at unacceptably high levels….But it’s not nearly as bad as it was back in August. And I am encouraged by that.”

General Hayden:
“The longer this goes on, the less controlled the violence is, the more the violence devolves down to the neighborhood level.”

“Sectarian violence now presents the greatest immediate threat to Iraq’s stability an future.”

General Maples:
“I think we are making progress….I think we still have the opportunity for success.”

“The coalition forces right now are the element that is keeping Iraq together.”


Iraq

Afghanistan

Total U.S. Military Dead

2,865

350

U.S. Military Wounded

21,572

1,020

Coalition Military Dead

246

154

Total Indigenous SecurityForces Dead

4,444

-

Total Indigenous Civilian Dead

19,629

-

Estimated Excess Mortality from War

655,000 (Lancet)

-

Journalist fatalities

89 plus 35 support staff

-

U.S. Missing in Action

2

-

Number of Countries Originally in Coalition

46

16

Number of Countries still in Coalition

23

37

Average Number of Daily Attacks by Insurgents in January 2006

70

-

May 2006

100

-

October 2006

180

-

Number of U.S. Air strikes in last six months

88

2,095


Dollar Cost to Date of
Global “war” on Terror: $502 Billion
Expected Supplemental
request for 2007: $127-160 Billion

Is this what you voted for last November 7th?

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My comments are in response to the Colonel's commentary on the devolving situation in Iraq and whether this is what we (Americans) voted for. The short answer, the simplistic one is "no". But nothing about this was ever going to be either short or simplistic as any student of the history and geography of Iraq knew.

That leads me to conclude that
George W. Bush was never, is not now, nor will he ever be any type of student of anything beyond his own narrow needs and wants. Based upon serving himself and those who do his bidding, I believe he acted willfully and, and in a unique we-don't-charismatic style shoved his "war games" down our throats. I didn't vote for him or for his war. In spite of video games which glorify rampant and excessive war game violence and unceasing gore without consequence, real life and real war each have consequences; In this case tragic ones beyond our ability to comprehend.

At the heart of this "war without end" is the inescapable truth and its mandatory acceptance, that the Iraqi sovereign country was, and remains, one of tribes and clans, with rivalries so deep as to be unshakeable. Their culture remains fozen ideologically and practically, except for weaponry, several centuries in the past. There can not be, for those of us rooted in rational thought, any real way of creating a "unity" government. That would require integration of people away from their unique tribe and clan identitities into something like a republic of diverse, but equally valued individuals acting for the common good which would include diverse citizens. As long as Islam is permitted to drive and define jurisprudence there can be no diversity. Islam neither permits nor accepts diversity. No amount of weaponry or words or incentives from outside of the people of Iraq will change these essential facts. No amount of Polly Anna-ish hoping or encouraging or cheerleading by military 'experts' will lead to any acceptable, or even to just a terrible outcome. What our military has done in Iraq, in the name of 'freedom and democracy' drags both of those concepts down into depravity. Our citizens, through our inaction against Mr. Bush, and all those, Republican and Democrat alike, who refused to challenge him, are now left to own part of the tragic folly of another unwinnable war. No amount of praying to any god, christian, judaic or muslim can salvage us from what history has already begun to record as stupidity of epic proportion by an American president and analysis paralysis from the citizens he apparently rules.

Sincerely,

M. Lynch,
San Diego, CA

2).

8:50 PM  

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