Scott Tibbs
blog post
November 17th, 2004

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Perspective needed in reporting on Iraq casualties

Flashback: Terrorists kill 1000 Americans during occupation... of Germany! Newsmax reports:

"From May 8, 1945 until June 1946, over a thousand Americans and their dependents were killed by German terrorists," he explained, while discussing his new book, "War Stories II: Heroism in the Pacific."

So, how did the U.S. eventually quell the violence?

"General Eisenhower went to [interim German leader] Konrad Adenauer, the guy we hand-picked to run the new government," said North. "And he told him, 'You either stop this or we'll get a new guy to run this country.'"

Basically, we need to stop focusing on the numbers, and look at the big picture. Despite what the mainstream media and opponents of the Iraq war will tell you, the occupation has not been a disaster.

I would like to remind readers of a post from September:

We have now reached a milestone: over 1000 American soldiers have been killed in Iraq since the war began about a year and a half ago. I think some perspective needs to be added to this number. Let us compare the number of Americans killed in Iraq to some other statistics:
  • 17,013 people were killed by drunk drivers nationwide in 2003.
  • 14,054 people were murdered in the United States in 2002
  • 195,000 people died annually from 2000 to 2002 from mistakes made by the medical community.
What about other wars we have fought? This Web site provides some statistics on American soldiers killed:
  • 482,130 killed (on both sides) in the Civil War
  • 408,306 killed in World War II
  • 58,219 killed in Vietnam
No one ever said that invading and rebuilding Iraq would be easy, especially given the active role terrorists are playing in the resistance to the occupation. I think, given the statistics presented above, the reaction to the 1000+ Americans killed in Iraq has been a bit overblown. This does not mean that the deaths in Iraq are any less tragic or regrettable than the deaths from the other wars, or from things like drunken driving. But this war needs to be kept in perspective, something that is sorely lacking in media coverage of this war.

The sacrifices made in Germany were worth it. We turned a powerful enemy into a powerful ally. In the long run, the benefits of occupying Iraq will be worth it as well.

We should not forget that there are forces both in Iraq and in the Middle East that will stop at nothing to make sure Iraq does not become a representative republic. Democratic tendencies and freedom are anathema to Islamism. As President Bush said, we need to "stay the course".