On Sunday, the New York Times described the US invasion of Iraq as “a debacle.” To read the liberal MSM, you would think the occupation of Iraq was a bloodbath resembling in casualties the battle of Verdun. Proud Kaffir at Red State Diaries cites some illuminating statistics:
Take a look at the actual US Military Casualty figures since 1980. If you do the math, you will find quite a few surpises. First of all, let’s compare numbers of US Military personnel that died during the first term of the last four presidents.
George W. Bush . . . . . 5187 (2001-2004)
Bill Clinton . . . . . . . . . 4302 (1993-1996)
George H.W. Bush . . . . 6223 (1989-1992)
Ronald Reagan . . . . . . 9163 (1981-1984)
Even during the (per MSM) utopic peacetime of Bill Clinton’s term, we lost 4302 service personnel. H.W. Bush and Reagan actually lost significantly more personnel while never fighting an extensive war, much less a simulaltaneous war on two theaters (Iraq and Afghanistan). Even the dovish Carter lost more people duing his last year in office, in 1980 lost 2392, than W. has lost in any single year of his presidency. (2005 figures are not available but I would wager the numbers would be slightly higher than 2004.)
In 2004, more soldiers died outside of Iraq and Afghanistan than died inside these two war zones (900 in these zones, 987 outside these zones). The reason is that there are usually a fair number that die every year in training accidents, as well as a small number of illness and suicide. Yet the MSM would make you think that US soldiers are dying at a high number in these zones, and at a significantly higher number than in past years or under past presidents. This is all simlpy outright lies and distortion.
Taken all together, it is clear to see that the military is actually doing a fine job and suffering very low casualty rates. It also shows that our enemies are not quite as efficient as the MSM and world press would like them to be.
I think the best historical comparison of scale for the US occupation of Iraq would be to the century-ago Phillipine Insurrection.
PHILLIPINE INSURRECTION versus US OCCUPATION OF IRAQ
Hat tip to Glenn Reynolds.