2006/03/26

Iraqi Civil War by the Numbers

Like a child caught lying, that when pressed stubbornly insists on repeating the same lie, President Neuman reiterated that Iraq is not in a state of civil war. But, by almost any objective measure, the numbers simply don't add up.

Let's take two examples of acknowledged civil wars from the 20th century: One of the longest running, the Guatemalan Civil War and one of the bloodiest, the Bosnian secession from Yugoslavia.

In the former, the Guatemalan army and a mixture of military and civilian governments conducted a 35 year campaign against leftist guerrillas fighting on behalf of the indigenous Mayan majority. At the end of the war in 1996, estimates had 150,000 dead (mostly civilians) and 50,000 missing. Taken together that puts the number of casualties at about 5700 per year.

In the latter, the fall of Yugoslavia's communist regime led to the country's breakup with Croatia leaving first and Bosnia attempting to leave in February of 1992. In the ensuing conflict, started by Serbia ostensibly to protect Bosnia's Serb minority, 250,000 Serbs, Croats, and Muslims lost their lives before the fighting ceased in December of 1995. In other words, 5400+ casualties per month!

Now lets look at Iraq. In the three years of Bu$hCo's war, almost 40,000 civilians have lost their lives (official estimates) or as many as 180,000 (unofficial estimates). If we assume that only 1/4 of these lives were due to sectarian violence, and that a state of civil war has only existed for the last 6 months, the casualty rate is somewhere between 270+ per month (approaching Guatemala's rate) and 1250 per month! Now consider these additional items:
It seems pretty clear that Iraq is in a state of civil war, and the Bush administration, along with their congressional yes-men and political apologists, are simply full of shit for denying it.

14 Comments:

Bush is in a pathological state of denial about the Iraqi civil war. I think the Shiites and Sunnis would have to start wearing blue and grey uniforms before he admitted the obvious.
Bush is in Denial on so many issues, when the hell is Someone going to perform the Intervention???? The math says it all...oh, that's right he doesn't DO math....
Bush isn't in denial - he's just acting like a Republican: Stay on the message and do not deviate from it, no matter what.
You are right, great minds DO think alike! But you broke it down oh so much better. Thanks, great post.
Abi, E4E, Kathy, of course you're all correct, but what I don't get is that this is one case where no amount of administration secrecy can hide what's going on. Bush may not be sensitive to how this makes him look, but Cheney and Rove are no fools and should be crafting some type of media response--some kind of spin--but they're not. Why?

Thanks Helen, I've been thinking about this for a while, but didn't really even know the statistics myself until I started digging in.
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The politics of challenging the media appears to have blown up in their faces. Because, now we've got every correspondent currently in Baghdad saying it's worse than what is being presented, in long, obviously heartfelt, descriptions of just how bad Iraq has become over the last month.

You know, before they "challenged the media" to report the facts, maybe they should've checked the facts.

As example, did you see the Laura Logan interview over at Crooks and Liars this AM?

Mike
Maybe they are at the point where they just don't care about the way things look? That they know half the people have no clue anyway? Is that cynical? I mean, sure the public is starting to understand what people like you and mikevotes have been saying- but really, look at America.

I think they know that reality is becoming pretty unimportant. Dispute global warming despite all the evidence. Accuse anyone who speaks up of partisanship, politics, grandstanding...they will just distort the truth and America will eat it up. Its getting to the point where we need to point fingers at ourselves.

We can talk about carbon taxes, greenhouse gasses- but as long as we are greedy CONSUMERS it is hopeless. As long as we remain blind, manipulated, bought and sold, and complacent- we bear some blame.
Why are you being so negative? We are not in the midst of civil war! This is merely ethnic strife. You are just as bad as the MSM just bringing home negative images from Iraq and not all the good news of..ummm....you know, stuff....
Why are you being so negative? We are not in the midst of civil war! This is merely ethnic strife.

Right you are Stacy.

I think that Condi needs to head over to Iraq and hold a "Why can't we all just get along meeting?" with the major ethno-religious groups. That'll fix things right up. :-)
According to the news this morning that daily count is going up up up. So I would have to classify this as a 'brotherly spat', I believe.
So I would have to classify this as a 'brotherly spat', I believe.

Sort of like the Hatfields and McCoy's only with plastique.
that is so funny, kvatch.
(your last comment i mean)
Bush has advanced his definition of civil war -- a bust up of the army.

That has not happened yet, so it seems. Probably because most Iraqi units can't function on their own so as to bust up. But the police is acting (Interior Ministry) on behalf of the Shiite (SCIRI). There's the Sadrist militia -- which exchange fire with American/Iraqi forces.

Yes, it's a civil war. But Bushco. are full of it.

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