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December 22, 2008

Homicide Rate in Iraq Less Than One-Sixth the Rate in... America

And it's lower now than it was under Saddam Hussein.

It's at 0.9 per 100,000. In America, the grim milestone sits at 5.9 per 100,000.

The number of daily attacks in Iraq has dropped nearly 95 percent since last year, a U.S. military official said yesterday. Iraq suffered an average of 180 attacks per day this time last year. But over the past week, the average number was 10, Army Brig. Gen. David G. Perkins, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman, said.

“This is a dramatic improvement of safety throughout the country,” Perkins told reporters during a wide-ranging news conference in Baghdad yesterday.

Iraq has a pretty good future in store for it. Crime imposes serious costs on a society, of course. Due to the horror of the near civil war, a huge fraction of the criminally, murderously inclined have themselves been killed. In the US, we had a huge crime spike when a large bubble in the population reached the age of active criminality; when that cohort passed that age, crime fell dramatically. In Iraq, that demographic as been seriously culled.

Not only isn't there going to be much war in Iraq, it's also going to have a subnormal criminality rate for 15 or 20 years. Which is obviously a boon for the economy. And other living things.

Related: Today is the anniversary of the most celebrated response to an offer of surrender -- "Nuts."

A nice long passage about the Battle of the Bulge at the link, marred only by a lack of paragraphization.

As many commenters will point out, the American commander probably did not say "Nuts!," but probably offered a suggestion regarding autofornication a la Dick Cheney's famous rejoinder to Pat Leahy.

He Really Did Say Nuts? I've never gotten the story straight on this one. But DrewM and Arthur assure me he probably did say "Nuts."

Not as Good as Advertised? Bgates thinks that there's some hinkiness in comparing a monthly rate to a yearly rate. I believe that number must be annualized for the year, the same way quarterly GDP numbers are annualized.

I have no evidence for this, except the belief they wouldn't try to slip that past us.

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posted by Ace at 04:10 PM

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