I love when I get people who cite the 4,000 people who have died in the Iraq war and point to that as some kind of atrocity and that we should tuck tail and run. These are deaths in single BATTLES. Not wars;
Just providing a little needed perspective.
Funny how Clinton managed to kill more than Bush..
I think something like 1,500 of those deaths are due to accidents. When the Iraqi deaths were big in the media, I wanted to find the number of soldiers who died in Europe since the end of WWII. I seem to remember that the rate of accidental death is less than that of the civilian population, but because of the shear numbers of soldiers it does add up. I don't want to diminish the bravery of soldiers, it does take guts to do what they do in Iraq. I just wanted to try to put the numbers in perspective.
So unlike you to not read footnotes on data. The casualties include injuries, missing and capture as well.
That said I actually find the 4,000 number to not be that large considering previous wars not to mention natural disasters.
The key question is what was the ROI on these American soldiers lives. While the "gain" is widely debated, I think the vast majority would agree this "loss" has not been worth it.
The Iraq War has the lowest death rate of any war in US history with only 2.1 deaths per day of ground combat.
In contrast, we lost an average of:
Civil War: 600 soldiers per day
WWII: 416 soldiers per day
WWI: 279 soldiers per day
Korea: 45 soldiers per day
Vietnam: 26 soldiers per day
Over 22% of Iraq War deaths were from non-combat causes. While other wars had high figures in this area, they were mostly from disease while the Iraq War has a relatively high incidence of motor vehicle and aircraft accidents.
In fact, the death rate of US soldiers for the past several years is lower than the peacetime military death rate of the early 1980's.
Of the 48,000 soldiers who have been wounded in Iraq, more than half returned to duty within 72 hours and 25% returned to duty within 2 weeks.
This saving of lives has not come without monetary costs. We have literally traded dollars for lives by employing far more technology than ever before. Also, soldiers have never, in the history of mankind, been more generously rewarded for their service.
The only purpose for inflating perceptions about Iraq War casualties is to undermine support for the war - an act of treason.
Thank you Robert for your per day death toll.
It summarily shut up a bunch of anti-American leftists whose comments I refused to post as they more or less ignored the primary intent of the post and went on the typical "critique the details"
If that isn't enough, the Battle of Somme alone cost over 1.5 million lives.
I don't want to hear any complaints about the cost of the Iraq war (no disrespect to those who did pay the ultimate price). End of story.
Good numbers, Robert. However, this stood out to me;
"The only purpose for inflating perceptions about Iraq War casualties is to undermine support for the war - an act of treason."
I find such thinking to be profoundly disturbing. Everyone who opposes a war is committing treason? Aren't those people supposed to be executed? Have you ever opposed a war before, under any administration?
I'm just wondering how many people you think ought to be executed by the government, since by the criterion you just mentioned I'd say it's far more than half of the population. Scary stuff; you can't really mean that, can you?
Let's not forget Verdun
1 million injured
Onthe French side.
WWI: The war that killed Europe.
Two points, if I may (given my "street cred" [finger quotes], I think I may)?
First, will you KINDLY refer to it as the Battle of THE Somme? It's a PLACE, for the love of Pete. Thank you.
Second, the first day of the Somme, just to put total deaths in perspective, cost some 20,000 dead outright, including those "missing" who were presumed to be blown into pieces so small as to be unidentifiable.
Third, we should also look to other military single day attacks; Pearl Harbor, for example, where 2,345 American servicemen died in three hours or so.
The current Iraq War is an amazing achievement of the American military, to be conducted at such a low cost in American lives for such an extensive campaign. Recall what American casualties were like in another counterinsurgency war we were involved in forty years ago, for example.
Iraq not worth it? Ask the Kurds or the Shi'a about that one. Perhaps they might have a somewhat different view of the action that stopped Saddam from letting somewhere between fifty and one hundred thousand of them die each year for lack of food and medicine.
Don't get me wrong; war is certainly Hell. Sometimes an unjust peace is a greater Hell, though.
"Iraq not worth it? Ask the Kurds or the Shi'a about that one."
Of course foreigners think it's a good deal to trade American lives for their own position. The question is whether their opinion should matter when we make that decision.
By that logic, why should we have helped out Britain prior to Pearl Harbor? Nazi Germany was never going to expand into the Western Hemisphere by any rational calculus to threaten our interests.
Ryan, when the death rates suffered by the Kurds and Shi'a under Hussein exceed our casualty rates by no less than two orders of magnitude, we might infer that we might be able to justify intervention, no?
There are certainly some cases where intervention is a fool's errand, and I myself feared that Iraq was so all the way back in 2003. Let's consider the results now, OK?
"Everyone who opposes a war is committing treason? Aren't those people supposed to be executed?"
No, there are many legitimate reasons to oppose a war. Some, though, have reasons contrived to make treason appear to be respectable. There is a dictionary definition of treason and a Constitutional definition. I am speaking of the former, not the latter. I think no one should be executed for opposing the war, but some people deserve jail time for impeding military recruitment and undermining the war effort with deliberate lies.
"Of course foreigners think it's a good deal to trade American lives for their own position. The question is whether their opinion should matter when we make that decision."
No Ryan. The question is whether we value human lives and freedom in other countries as much as we value our own lives and freedom. We have intervened to save lives in many countries at the cost of American blood. We are especially keen to undertake such a venture when the security of ourselves and our allies are also at stake.
Good grief people, read what I wrote, not what you wish I'd say so you'd have a straw man to beat on. I said that the decision should be ours, posed the question whether others who don't value our lives shouldn't have much say over whether we ought to be sacrificing ourselves for them.
What I did not say was that getting involved to save the Kurds was necessarily a bad idea. Asking if they think we should is one of those "duh, ya think?" kind of questions.
But hey, since you obviously want a directly opposing opinion badly enough that you'll fantasize one whether I actually express one or not, here goes:
"No Ryan. The question is whether we value human lives and freedom in other countries as much as we value our own lives and freedom. We have intervened to save lives in many countries at the cost of American blood. We are especially keen to undertake such a venture when the security of ourselves and our allies are also at stake."
Feel free to do it on your own dime. I wouldn't die for the Kurds any more than I'd die for the asshole upstairs who plays his music too loud too late at night. I'm still trying to figure out why I ought to be paying others to do it. Oh, it's because Iraq was such a huge threat to us, right?
Here, a comedic look at what our benevolent interventionism has wrought us: http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index.jhtml?videoId=91998&title=billions-and-billions
But hey, I'm with you guys! Lets hope we can make Iraq into a powerful Shiite state (which is how "Democracy" is pronounced in the Shiite-majority Iraq) who will then be all buddy-buddy with Shiite Iran, and then we can start sacrificing ourselves to keep those two from tag-teaming the Saudis or God-knows who else. Hooray, military adventurism! This always works out well, and there's no way it can backfire, right?
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