Monday, November 22, 2004

Statistics and such

The statistics of 100,000 that I mentioned does have a high standard deviation, but the real figure is just as likely to be more than that than it is of being less. These figures are trustworthy so get off your neo-con high horse. Beside which, I agree with you that its a drop in the ocean as far as violent deaths in Iraq historically go. But, I don't think "Shock and Awe" is as effective against failed states as it is against working ones. The general population is just as likely to be on your side as against (with failed states) (e.g. Germany vs. Ukraine WWII). The point of brutal force killing many innocents to get at the guilty, is as much a deterrent for the guilty as it is to "save coalition forces". To get it right in Iraq should be more trying to get the population on side as it is of "winning battles". I think the US forces are being somewhat brutal to make an example of certain enemies to deter other enemies from making a lot of noise. I think evildrclam is seeing the US military with rose coloured glasses (ie. what the neo-cons want you to think is the truth). Again, I am not saying this because I have changed from my support of the war. On the contrary, I am still pro-war even with the benefit of hindsight.

As far as Iran Deterrent is concerned, just as Indonesia made an example of East Timor, not because they thought they deserved it, but to show Aceh, West Papua etc. that even if the case for separation is strong, their new country could be rubble without Indonesia or its leaders losing much political capital. The hardliners know they are taking a risk as Saddam Hussein did by continually playing brinksmanship with the UN.

I also think you are being grossly unfair to the Kurds. The kurds (population at least) is the only one that explicitly thanked the coalition for doing what they've done. They are also the only group that explicitly mentioned Australia as part of the coalition and thanked them separately as well! They have unambiguously supported the process as it has gone through, and the Turks themselves are as much to blame for the impasse from their border being used as a staging post. I am sure the Australians would have worked much more in unison with the Kurds if they were given the job to take Iraq. A little how the Northern Alliance was used in Afghanistan. I know the politics is more complicated with Turkey etc., but Australia wouldn't have been expected to concern itself with that.

1 comment:

Dr. Clam said...

"These figures are trustworthy"? What kind of a rebuttal is that? :) 71.4% of all statistics are made up, as you well know...

I am sorry to unjustly blame the Kurds. I just wanted to spread the blame around a little. The true villains are Europe and, er, can't be Tunisia, since it has no ability to project forces beyond its own borders, not Pakistan which although not really a moderate Muslim state provides the largest contingent for UN forces worldwide, since they have their hands full, er, I guess I will have to blame National Party Senator Sandy McDonald.

My main point was not that 100,000 was small compared to historical violent deaths in Iraq (which is not a valid argument) but that it is small compared to the non-violent deaths that would be happening now, without any TV cameras, if the status quo had remained in place.