Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Did You Know: Iraq Death Toll

In a stroke of uniqueness, I would like to take this time to share with you all a fun fact.

Did you know that the death toll per year for Iraqi soldiers is smaller than the toll accidental deaths on American soil takes on US soldiers. While the death toll stands shy of 2,000 thus far in the War in Iraq, that equates to a relatively meager 760 deaths/year (I say relatively meager because the rate in Vietnam was 6,464 deaths/year over nine years even though the heavy fighting didn't start for three years). However, between 1983 and 1996 (13 years being a good sample size for any historical statistic) 18,006 servicemen and women have died accidentally on American soil in training exercises. That equates to a rate of 1,286 deaths/year, substantially higher than the death rate in Iraq.

Please, I beg anyone reading this, explain to me how it would be a better utilization of our military to keep every single soldier on American soil rather than fight for a debatably worthy cause in which they have a better chance of surviving than by suffering through the grueling training exercises that without wars would be pointless. I don't care what your stance on war is, and I don't care if you think we should have no military, because that logic is just absurd. The simple fact is that even if we were to throw 100% of our armed forces into Iraq and Afghanistan (which we haven't, less than half are serving in the war) they would still be safer, albeit not where they'd choose to be.

The best thing for us to do right now is to stay focused and complete our mission. We are NOT an occupying force, rather we are simply a security force protecting Iraqi interests until the Iraqi security force is fully trained. To leave now would be the most foolish decision since 1975 (I think we all know what happened in Saigon when we pulled out with no warning to the South Vietnamese). We are not fighting a war any longer, we are watching over a frightened people while their fragile infrastructure is rebuilt. When that task is completed, we will gladly step aside and leave the Iraqi people to decide their own fate.

Remember a little thing called the "Gulf War?" I know that many lefties pretend nothing was accomplished in that little scuffle, but I do recall a certain country that would've been completely overrun without our bold efforts to save them. In rescuing Kuwait from the murderous onslaught of Saddam's armies, we gained an ally that still remains fiercely loyal to us. There remain billboards in Kuwait City that portray an American soldier hugging a Kuwaiti child with the text "Thank you, America" in Arabic and English. We can only hope to see this reaction out of the Iraqis, but I doubt it because they harbor resentment towards us for not finishing the job over a decade ago, not for taking over their country in our imperialist quest for oil-rich colonies.

No comments: