MEDIA SPINS NEWS OF GI DEATHS IN IRAQ
By Alan Caruba
On Saturday, October 18, when the Newark, New Jersey, Star-Ledger, the largest circu- lation daily in New Jersey, led page one with the headline "Postwar Iraq GI Death Toll Passes 100", I was reminded that, on the previous day, the Essex County edition of the Star-Ledger had a story that reported: "So far this year, 65 people have been slain in Newark, sometimes in spurts as in the one beginning Oct 3, when four people were killed and eight injured by gunshots or stab wounds during a 32-hour period."
Does it seem to you that, statistically, your life is at greater risk in Newark, New Jersey, than in downtown Baghdad or Basra? Now Essex is just one of twenty-one New Jersey counties and you can be pretty sure that, in my state alone, more people have been shot, stabbed, and beaten to death than the entire U.S. military currently engaged in some se- rious fighting in Iraq. And that's just from January of this year.
But let's not restrict ourselves to New Jersey. As your local newspaper or television news reports each U.S. combat loss in Iraq (a nation the size of California), back in May, when the major combat phase of Operation Iraqi Freedom was over, the police in Phoe- nix, Arizona, were puzzling over why the homicide rate there was up 67% over the pre- vious year. By May, 105 citizens had met violent deaths.
By August, New Orleans had chalked up 150 homicides, and that isn't even counting the rest of Louisiana. Only 146 U.S. soldiers had died in the brief period of combat that led to the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. If the current rate of corpses keeps piling up in the Crescent City, law enforcement authorities there think it will be on track to become the nation's murder capital for the first time since way back in 1964.
While the news media keep reminding us that we are, indeed, suffering losses in Iraq, due to cowardly and murderous former supporters of Saddam Hussein, plus all kinds of al-Qa'ida riff-raff, with who-knows-how-many Iranian provocateurs, the murder rate in Philadelphia, by early August, was up 23% with---are you ready for this---198 killed. At that pace, by the end of 2003, the city will experience 337 murders. Across the nation in Oakland, California, that city was marking its 76 murders, as of late August.
And in Washington, D.C., our nation's capital and workplace of so many Democratic Par- ty politicians eager to denounce the President, the District of Columbia had, by June, re- claimed its status as the murder capital of the United States. According to FBI statistics, the city had a higher homicide rate than any other city in the nation with more than 500,000 residents.
Yes, dear reader, statistically you have a better chance of being shot to death in Wash- ington, DC than in Baghdad. So, the next time your local daily or nightly TV news trum- pets the number of U.S. battle casualties in Iraq, you should probably give some thought to wearing a bulletproof vest, if you plan to visit the Lincoln Memorial.
The Middle East & the Problem of Iraq
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The Problem of Rogue States:
Iraq as a Case History
The Middle East & the Arabs
Islamism & Jihadism -- The Threat of Radical Islam
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War & Peace in the Real World
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Islamist Terrorist Attacks on the U.S.A.
Osama bin Laden & the Islamist Declaration of War
Against the U.S.A. & Western Civilization
Islamist International Terrorism &
U.S. Intelligence Agencies
U.S. National Security Strategy
Alan Caruba is a veteran business and science writer, a Public Relations Counselor, Communications Director of the American Policy Center, and Founder of the National Anxiety Center, a clearinghouse for information about media-driven scare campaigns. Caruba writes a weekly column, "Warning Signs," posted on the Internet website of the National Anxiety Center (www.anxietycenter.com). A compilation of his past columns, entitled Warning Signs, is published by Merril Press. In addition to Warning Signs, Caruba is the author of A Pocket Guide to Militant Islam and The United Nations vs. the United States, both of which are available from the National Anxiety Center, 9 Brookside Road, Maplewood, New Jersey, 07040.
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