Little Green Footballs

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Don't worry guys, the statistics are good!

Imagine you're under fire in an Iraqi street. A roadside bomb has just killed one of your fellow soldiers, you're drawing heavy fire from Kalashnikovs and improvised explosives. Things are looking bad. But then one of your fellow troops recites something he read on LGF yesterday.

You can clearly see that the rate of US soldiers lost in the Iraq war is MUCH lower than the lowest fatality rate observed in the US in the year 2000. The average fatality rate of OIF soldiers per year is about 774 soldiers per year.
At that moment everything seems better. You remind yourself that you'll include that in the letter home to the dead soldiers parents. To cheer them up a bit as well.

The desperation for good news has never been so apparent.

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=19725_Damned_Lies_and_Statistics&only

7 comments:

Nuclear Cop said...

If it's so much safer over in Iraq, I guess the keyboard warriors truly are the many and the brave. No more calling them 'Yellow Elephants', Jesus' General! They are braver than the troops!

What a trip they must be on.

Also interesting that Charles titles the post, without irony, using (some of) Disraeli's quote: "there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics", ie. statistics are the biggest lies of all. For once, some truth on LGF!

RussInSoCal said...

Why don't you get on the LGF thread and argue your point?

Easy to throw bombs from afar...

RTLM

MJ said...

Easy to throw bombs from afar...

About as easy as being a general from your armchair I suppose....

adultmalebluegrouse said...

How Russ? LGF is a closed shop.

And how can you argue your point with people who walk around with their hands over their ears?

Anyway. If LGFWers started posting at LGF theyd become by definition 'LGFers'

....Ugh!

I dont know about anybody else but this is as close as I want to be.

living_with_eti said...

"They will argue that there have been so many injuries, many of them very severe. This is true, but in the average population, you also see a good number of people that are injured, many severely."

This is the perhaps the stupidest thing I have read all year.

Oh, wait:

"They will also argue that many of those fatalities in United States rate are elderly and infants dying of natural causes - where the majority of fatalities occur. The same holds true of the soldiers involved in Iraq. Some of the fatalities are “non-combat” including those that were on leave and killed in a accident, had heart attacks or other natural causes, etc."

d said...

Holy shit, I just read that stupid fucking post. Someone with better stat skills than I would quite likely find that ordinary mortality rates for young, healthy men and women of military age are a mere fraction of the mortality rate for young, healthy men and women who are ACTUALLY serving in the US armed forces in Iraq.

I also loved the bit about how ordinary people have accidents, and so the issue of wounded soldiers is a wash. As it turns out, just last week, my neighbor was cleaning his gutters and fell off the roof. When I saw his cast, I thought to myself, "you know, he looks like he just got mangled by an IED."

Fucking idiots.

PCS said...

Damn! I'm moving to Iraq, it's obviously much safer there than in the USA!