Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Injured Americans in Iraq - fudging the statistics

May 2007 is now, with three days left to go, the third most deadly month for U.S. forces in Iraq - 115 dead, vs. 137 in November 2004 and 135 in April 2004. But now take a look at the statistics for injured. 1214 in 4/04, and 1431 in 11/04, both significantly higher than the surrounding months which also had fewer deaths. Now flash forward to this month. Just 116 Americans reported wounded this month, and it's not just a matter of delayed reporting of the wounded numbers, because last month, which was also a high death month (104), there were only 634 reported American wounded, half the numbers from the peak death months in 2004.

It seems unlikely that either the resistance in Iraq has become more efficient in terms of the killed/wounded ratio, or that battlefield care has improved that much in that period. More likely, the U.S. military has changed their standards for who they count as wounded (maybe you have to lose a body part to count now), or else they're just fudging the numbers pure and simple (more likely the first of those two explanations is the right one).

Just an observation. For sure the toll of the wounded is a major underreported story in the American media, although its cost (in money and on the lives of the affected people) is huge, larger in many ways than that of the dead.

Why stop here? There's more...

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