Monday, July 24, 2006

It's not a civil war?

The Daily Star - Politics - Iraqi PM rules out civil war despite mounting violence

The Iraqi prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, acknowledged that 100 civilians a day are being killed in Iraq in what the article describes as "mounting sectarian violence." He then asserts that "civil war will not happen in Iraq."

What? Dude, it's happening now. I mean, how many deaths does it take before "sectarian violence" becomes "civil war"?

I thought of the number of deaths and their impact on Iraqi civil life:

Population of Iraq: 26,783,383 (source is the CIA Factbook)

100 deaths per day=
3000 deaths per month=
36,000 deaths per year

I think that the number of deaths per year represents approximately .001 of the total Iraqi population. (Feel free to check my work, math people, and make any corrections.)

If the level of violence currently afflicting Iraq was occurring in the United States, at a proportionate rate, here's a rough idea what it would look like:

Population of United States: 298,444,215 (source is the CIA Factbook)

829 deaths per day=
24,870 deaths per month=
298,444 deaths per year

For a point of reference, the FBI reported 16,137 murders in the United States in 2004. As another point of reference, remember the panic during the Belway Sniper killings in 2002? The Washington DC area was thrown into a panic when 10 people got killed during a 3-week time frame.

Can you begin to imagine what life is like in a country facing this level of violence? Iraq has now become so mind-bogglingly horrible that it's hit the realm where the normal American mind shuts it off--it becomes steady background noise from yet another third world hellhole, too awful to stop and truly contemplate.

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