Tuesday, June 22, 2004

USVI: Iraq safer than the Virgin Islands


StrategyPage has some interesting statistics in their June 21 report (Baghdad is Safer than Washington, DC) which illustrates the vast disconnect between the global media's quagmire meme and the facts on the ground.

Here's a snip:
June 21, 2004: The anti-government violence in Iraq is causing a annualized death rate of 15 per 100,000 population for terrorist activities alone. That compares to a murder rate in the United States of 5.6 per 100,000. European nations have an average rate of about four per 100,000 (although some West European nations are below two per 100,000, while Russia is 20 per 100,000.) Some nations are particularly violent. South Africa has a murder rate of 59, and neighboring Namibia is 45. Colombia, in South America, was over 50 a few years ago, but is now down to the 30s because a crackdown on armed militias. The Middle East tends of have low murder rates, with Turkey having a rate of 2.3. Israel also had a rate of 2.3, until the Palestinians began their terrorism campaign in late 2000. The deaths from suicide bombings and other attacks doubled Israel's murder rate to about 4 per 100,000, although that has been coming down in the past year.

But Iraq has become accustomed to a high murder rate. Saddam's police forces were the cause of many murders, and as far back as the 1970s, the official murder rate was 12 per 100,000. The coalition forces and Iraqi security forces have gotten the non-terrorist murder rate down to about five per 100,000. This, combined with the deaths caused by terrorists, produces a rate of about 20 per year. The murder rate in Washington, DC, is over 60 per 100,000.
To put this into perspective, I've found out that so far (in the first six months of 2004) the US Virgin Islands - with a population of 108,775 - has had 18 murders.

This sobering rate is no statistical aberration either...There were 29 homicides last year (2003).

Not only is Iraq safer than The U.S.V.I., it is indeed now safer than many of the cities that are home to the most vocal critics of the US Administration which led the liberation of Iraq.

Caribbean editors should keep this in mind when they cast their stones from their various glass houses.

You feel dat Jamaica?

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