The Second Eclectic

Technology changes how we relate to God and each other

War can be a One-sided Story

I have a table of reliable statistics here comparing the War in Iraq to the other major wars and conflicts the U.S. has been involved in. Let me make some observations from it.

U.S. involvement in the War in Iraq has lasted nearly 4 times longer than its involvement in the Gulf War and a nearly a year longer than its involvement in the World War II.

There are 50% more deaths per day (on average) than there were in the Revolutionary War and 16% more than the Gulf War.

There have been almost 4 1/2 times more deaths in thr present war than in the Gulf War.

I wish I could give you more dramatic comparisons that disparage our involvement in the War, but the stats just don't support it. I could tell you that this war has lasted longer than the Spanish-American War and nearly as long as the War of 1812 (3 years), but most of us don't even know what those wars were over.

Here are some other stats for you to chew on:

As of these stats, the current war was 800 days old. Other wars lasted 3,100 days (Vietnam), 1,128 (Korea), 1,850 (WW II), 1,505 (Civil War), and 3,059 (American Revolution).

As of these stats, the current war had claimed 1,700 American lives. Compare this to 58,200 (Vietnam-to which the media has compared the current war), 36,576 (Korea), 405,399 (WW II), 116,516 (WW I), 498,332 (Civil War), 13,283 (Mexican War), or 4,435 (American Revolution).

As of these stats, the current war had 2.1 deaths per day. In descending order other wars averaged, 331.1 (Civil War), 219.1 (WW II), 199.5 (WW I), 32.4 (Korea), 22.4 (Spanish-American), 20.7 (Mexican War), 18.8 (Vietnam), and 2.5 (1812). More people died per day in the Spanish-American and Mexican Wars and the War of 1812, but how many of us can articulate the cause or purpose of these wars? Even Vietnam proves a conundrum for a lot of people.

If you looked at the number of deaths per day in every war in proportion to the total population and then translated that to what that would look like for us today with 291 M people, it would look like this: 3,108.1 (Civil War-yes, that's per day), 547.7 (WW I), 483 (WW II), 354.3 (Mexican War), 103.9 (1812), 101.9 (American Revolution), 86.9 (Spanish-American), 62.4 (Korea), 26.9 (Vietnam), 2.1 (Gulf), and 2.1 (Iraq).

Perhaps my leanings are betrayed herein, but that truly was not my intent. My bigger concern is that we see how one might manipulate the data, specifically how easily the media can read certain numbers but not others while we remain ignorant. I hope that I have not manipulated the information here or that the numbers in front of me are either. My source is available for those interested.