Friday, November 21, 2003

Putting things in perspective

KiwiPete approvingly quotes from an article by Claudia Rosett and claims that it "puts it in perspective":

For Saddam to have presided over the slaughter of 300,000 during the course of his rule meant killing, on average, about 34 human beings per day, or more than one an hour, every hour, around the clock, for 24 years.

A quick glance at the Iraq Body Count counter on the left hand side of my screen shows the current tally of confirmed civilian deaths stands somewhere between 7898 and 9729 since January 2003. That's a generous average of between 24 and 30 a day (I say "generous" because the war - and flow of casualties - didn't start till March; in other words there's two "free" months in there. You do the maths). And of course, IBC underestimates, and restricts its figures only to what is solidly reported and confirmed. This report talks of estimates of 20,000 or more - but goes with the concrete figure from IBC...

To "put things in perspective", the occupation has, on average, killed around the same number of civilians per day as Saddam. And this is supposed to be better?