Lie: Iraq Safer Than Washington DC
Neo-Con publication claims that were parroted by the New York Sun, Rush Limbaugh and others purporting Iraq to be safer than Washington DC have been thoroughly debunked as having used old and distorted figures.
On Monday under the headline, 'Iraq Less Violent than Washington, D.C.', Newsmax reported,
"Despite media coverage purporting to show that escalating violence in Iraq has the country spiraling out of control, civilian death statistics complied by Rep. Steve King, R-IA, indicate that Iraq actually has a lower civilian violent death rate than Washington, D.C.
Using Pentagon statistics cross-checked with independent research, King said he came up with an annualized Iraqi civilian death rate of 27.51 per 100,000.
While that number sounds high - astonishingly, the Iowa Republican discovered that it's significantly lower than a number of major American cities, including the nation's capital.
"It's 45 violent deaths per 100,000 in Washington, D.C.," King told Crowley."
As to be expected, the warhawks' argument is based around phony numbers, illogical comparisons and selective data. Think Progress crunches the numbers to illustrate the fraud.
For a start the King report uses outdated 2002 data for Washington DC, which just happens to be the same year snipers Malvo and Muhammad inflated the casualty numbers of violent deaths. 2004 data gives the real figure of 35.8 deaths per 100,000 in DC.
The Pentagon's own report released yesterday lists an average of 94 violent casualties per day in Iraq between February and May of 2006. This translates into 34,310 deaths per year in Iraq. Iraq's 26.7 million population, plus another 150,000 coalition forces gives us a number of 128 deaths per 100,000.
The Boston Globe also reports that insurgent attacks are at their highest levels since records began.
King is comparing one American city, known as the 'murder capital' of the USA, to the entire country of Iraq. Not to Baghdad, Tikrit or Fallujah, but to the entire country, and including large swathes of population numbers that are untouched by the turmoil due to their remote rural locations and don't know a car bomb from a laptop computer. This is blatant attempt to distort the figures in order to arrive at a pre-ordained result.
Comparing the entire country of Iraq to America and not just DC, the murder rate for all of America in 2004 was 5.5 per 100,000.
In addition, King's Iraq figure does not include deaths from civil homicides, only from war. The Wall Street Journal beaks this down further.
In March 2006 GOP congressional candidate Howard Kaloogian was forced to apologize after his campaign website carried a photograph of a peaceful city corner (seen above) with the following caption.
"We took this photo of downtown Baghdad while we were in Iraq'' which is "much more calm and stable than what many people believe it to be. But, each day the news media finds any violence occurring in the country and screams and shouts about it -- in part because many journalists are opposed to the U.S. effort to fight terrorism.''
Several eagle eyed bloggers began to notice details that weren't quite consistent with Iraqi streets - people holding hands, wearing western clothing, and billboards written in Turkish.
In reality the photograph depicted a suburb of Istanbul, Turkey. The tell-tale signs are explained in the graphic below.
Despite the Bushite media's insistence that there is some kind of liberal conspiracy to hype violence in Iraq and make the administration look incompetent, the reality is that the turmoil is indicative of a complete success on the part of Bush and his handlers.
Neo-conservative and Israeli strategy documents dating back to the eighties describe an agenda to break up Iraq into different sectarian factions and promote inter-Arab conflict.
From that perspective the quagmire is exactly what the PNAC warmongers desire and the left-wing and progressive blog sites should avow themselves of this information if they wish to truly understand what is unfolding in Iraq.
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