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Putting the Death Toll in Perspective

Prose Before Hos looks at civilian death statistics:
Every 9.62 days, there is an equivalent amount of casualties in Iraq & Afghanistan as September 11th. (...) In 11 days as many Iraqi & Afghani civilians are killed as the entire amount of American military personnel killed since the invasion of Afghanistan in 2002 and the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
I guess, the message is: Given the huge influence 9/11 had on the American psyche, it is hard to underestimate the impact of war on the Iraqis. Likewise, I have read somewhere: Although many more Turks died in PKK attacks than Americans died on 9/11, Turkey has not invaded Northern Iraq yet, but the pressure is increasing and the United States is trying hard to prevent an invasion. If people are attacked, esp. if they lose family members, then there is an (irrational) urge to hit back.

• Different topic, but also about statistics and demographics: Reader ArnoNymus recommends the Economist article "Suddenly, the old world looks younger: Reports of Europe's death are somewhat exaggerated" as a contrast to Mark Steyn


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alec on :

Joerg: Thanks for the link. My idea was really to be apolitical about the statistics, but I suppose when you are dealing with death tolls that is a difficult thing to embrace. My point that I didn't state explicitly is how much we hear about Islamic terrorism in the West and how much is reiterated about the various attacks on Western soil compared to the amount of air time given to the situation for civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Zyme on :

"If people are attacked, esp. if they lose family members, then there is an (irrational) urge to hit back." I would not call it irrational, as it is about teaching a lesson. We shouldn´t have any illusions in one regard: the public reaction would be no different here.

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