Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Death by the numbers

The Left and the MSM (assuming they're different) love to point out that there have been 1,700 casualities in Iraq to date -- a number they insist justifies abandoning the task we've set for ourself (which, incidentally, will confirm Arab belief in our softness and encourage further attacks on American soil). Please don't think I'm belittling each individual sacrifice and each personal tragedy -- I'm not. I'm deeply grateful for the American troops who have given their lives to preserve freedom for my family and my country. But still, one has to put things in perspective. Phibian helps put things in perspective by linking to a powerful visual showing that, in a huge country, the casualties occurred along a basically narrow corridor. Although each is a child lost, a parent gone, a spouse murdered, they're also small numbers for a large country and a long war. Did I mention perspective? Take a look at these numbers, all in wars in which we stayed the course: The American Revolution: 4,435, out of a population of 3,500,000. The War of 1812: 2,260 out of a population of 7,600,000. The Mexican War: 1,733 combat deaths and 11,550 other deaths (disease, privation, accidents, POWs) out of a population of 21,100,000. The Civil War: 184,594 combat deaths and 373,458 other deaths (disease, privation, accidents, POWS) out of a population of 34,300,000. The Spanish-American War: 385 combat deaths and 2,061 other deaths (mostly yellow fever, I think) out of a population of 74,600,000. World War I: 53,513 combat deaths and 63,195 other deaths (many probably from the Spanish Influenza) out of a population of 102,800,000. World War II: 292,131 combat deaths and 115,185 other deaths (disease, death marches, POW camps, etc.) out of a population of 133,500,000. By the way, this was more than 6,600 dead per month. (Because this was the first truly modern war, the number of surviving wounded was huge: 670,846.) The Korean War: 33,651 combat deaths out of a population of 151,700,000. (Showing the advent of modern medicine, the Korean War, like WWII, was stunning for the number of wounded who didn't die: 103,284.) The Vietnam War: 47,369 combat deaths and 10,799 other deaths out of a population of 204,900,000. The First Gulf War: 148 combat deaths and 145 other deaths out of a population of 260,000,000. In many ways, this war set up a terrible template, in that it seemed to convince people -- certainly people on the Left -- that a war could be fought successfully with virtually no casualties. The Iraq War: 1,700 deaths out of a population of 281,421,906. Simply put, this war, while producing 1,700 individual tragedies, is not one of the big ones. And to put things another way, I've never, ever, ever, read or heard anywhere -- and I've done a lot of reading and listening -- that in the two biggest 20th Century wars the US fought (WWI and WWII) anybody, regardless of their political stripe, was demanding that the US withdraw immediately, or that it telegraph its timetable to the enemy. You fight wars to win. Period.