And The George Orwell Award For The Day Goes To…

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Sometimes, it’s just too blatant to ignore.

I’ve been waiting for the desensitization to come.  After all, the Bush years have gotten to the point of being so Orwellian, that even calling them Orwellian has grown cliche.  And as public support for the Iraq War has hit the doldrums, the 26%ers have engaged full on victory mode, blaring from the mountains the necessity to stay in Iraq until we win with little conceptualization of what winning actually is, and what benefits there are to be had by winning aside from the Middle East turning into a magical fairyland where everyone smiles and sings and walks down the street hand in hand.

Through it all, I found that I’m less sensitive to all things 1984, however it is really hard to ignore a post titled, “Peace is Dangerous“.

Did you know that more members of the military were killed in Jimmy Carter’s last year in the White House than in any of the years we’ve been fighting in Iraq? Think about that. In the peaceful year of 1980, 2,392 servicemen died while on duty defending our country. In 2003, the start of the Iraq War, only 1,228 servicemen and women died. In 2004, the number was 1,874, it went up to 1,942 in 2005, and it dropped to 1,858 in 2006.

The not too subtle point being that by keeping soldiers at war, we’re saving lives.

The stat comes from this document, and I gotta say that posts like these are my favorite.  Why?  Because I don’t have to do any extra research to refute the claims being made, it’s all right there waiting for you.

The key stat in this instance is in the very next table. While 2,392 service members died in 1980, 231 were suicides, 419 were as a result of illness 174 were murders, and 1, 556 were the result of accidents.  Eleven have not been determined and one was a result of a terrorist attack.

Care to know how many died in hostile action?  Zero.

Interesting.  Even more interesting is the idea that in the twenty seven years since 1980, a few things may have occured to impact these non hostile deaths.  Like medicine; over four hundred soldiers have died as a result of illness, apparently.  With some statistical noise in the trend, overall the number of illness related deaths in the military have reduced to about two hundred, most likely a result of improvement in medicine and care since the year Reagan was elected president.

As for accidental deaths, those two have dropped significantly and continuously until last years numbers turned out to not even be a third of what they were back in 1980.

What gives?  While people will always die in accidental deaths, the military has worked hard over recent decades to establish safer work practices and programs to minimize the likelihood for accidental death.  Improved safety equipment, intruction manuals, and the implementation of Operational Risk Management have all contributed greatly to the  number of deaths in this arena.

And this isn’t even taking into account the number of innocent Iraqis that have died in the Iraq War, the effect of drawing down military forces since the end of the cold war, and the most obvious argument; who the hell argues that peace is more dangerous than war?

Really.

You gotta be kidding me.

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