The Numbers Are ***Not*** On Teddy’s Side

In regards the most noticed line from Edward Kennedy’s ill-time, but impasioned speech about the US presence in Iraq. Kennedy said,

We have reached the point that a prolonged American military presence in Iraq is no longer productive for either Iraq or the United States. The U.S. military presence has become part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Leaving aside the delusional idea that a quick cut-and-run by US forces would be beneficial, there is some support for Kennedy’s assertion according to a forthcoming report on the BBC’s news magazine show Panorama. New statistics from Iraq show that coalition and Iraqi forces are responsible for more deaths than insurgents.

Conflict-related civilian deaths in Iraq. July 2004 to January 2005

  • 3,274 civilians killed in total
  • 2,041 by coalition and Iraqi security forces
  • 1,233 by insurgents
  • 12,657 civilians wounded in total
  • 8,542 by coalition and Iraqi security forces
  • 4,115 by insurgents

Of course the numbers aren’t directly comparable. 1,200 to 1,500 insurgents were killed in Fallujah in the November battle to retake the city and it’s not entirely clear how many of that number are excluded from the coalition totals or if other casualties that may not be “innocent” civilians are part of the total.

The numbers prove one thing though… it’s still war.

*** Update: Turns out the numbers aren’t on Kennedy’s side. The BBC was lying… The corrected BBC report is here.

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