Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Today's Ottawa Sun: June 22nd

Another interesting issue of the Sun today.

I'll start with a story on the cover: "Rocker raps PM: Boost Africa Aid of 'Stay Home'" in reference to Bob Geldof's call to PM Martin to promise more money to African Aid or not bother to attend the upcoming G8 meeting. While the headline is an attention grabber, the story itself is rather benign. As Canada is the only G8 country currently running a surplus (9.1 billion + last year) Geldof is asking Martin to increase our part beyond the already promised doubling (from 1.3 to 2.7 billion over 5 years). So basically, our PM is actually following through on his word to increase giving (for once [sorry, it's a reflex, I couldn't help it]), and Geldof, being a world class fund raiser is just trying to get a little bit more. So nothing to see there.

But then I get to Ike Awgu's column, 'Iraq Numbers Add Up to Real Scare'. I must say I often disagree with Ike, never that big a deal, but in this column he is beginning to sound more and more like one of the posters over at Daily Kos (not quite DU material yet). Just look at his opening line:
"Politeness aside, it's pretty clear to nearly every Canadian who isn't a flake that the war in Iraq was a big mistake and our absence from it a blessing."
Well call me a flake.

He goes on with the stats from the war in Iraq:

22,353 - minimum estimate of deaths in Iraq (does not separate Military actions from Insurgent attacks). Even though these are Ike's numbers I'll even go one step further to show the estimated maximum: 25,426 (
12,896 - Number of troops injured (may or may not include deaths)
1,724 - Number of troops killed, or as he likes to call them "American teenagers and young adults (many of whom were poor and joined the military to pay for college)".
0 - the number of WMD found in Iraq

First I'd like to deal with the reference to the "many of whom were poor" line. Never mind that the liberal myth of a army made up of the nations poor has been disproven many times over, but you know the old rule "repeat a lie long enough ..." but in fact, due to the Marines (you know, those guys doing the front line work) requirement for a high school diploma you can argue that the extremely low income families (those most likely to drop out of school) are under represented on the front lines.

So here are the numbers he doesn't point out:

25,000 - 50,000: number of deaths (annually) directly attributed to Saddam Hussein (not including natural deaths). So that would mean, on the conservative side, a little over 25,000 more Iraqis are alive today than would have been if Saddam were still in power (using 2 years for calculations on the length of the war). I don't know how liberals do math but this 'flake' thinks that this is actually a good case for the war. On top of that, the war will end, Saddam, or his even more maniacal sons, would have most likely continued their reign of terror for years to come.

26,000,000 +: Number of Iraqis who now have the ability to govern themselves instead of living under a maniacal dictator.

3,800,000 +: Number of Lebanese who now have the ability to govern themselves instead of living under direct Syrian control. (Very few serious experts even try to refute the idea that 200,000+ US soldiers a few miles away affected Syria's withdrawal from Lebanon after decades of pseudo-rule).

???: just wanted to put a point in for the untold millions that are now getting the opportunity to vote in municipal, state/provincial and/or federal elections for the first time due to the pressure placed on their collective governments due to the Iraqi elections.

0: Number of countries, prior to the war, who thought Iraq had no WMDs. Even the most adamant opponents of the war (Germany, Russia and France) all believed he had them (often due to the fact they had sold the necessary equipment to him even while sales were banned by UN resolutions). And just for the record, several rockets armed with chemical weapons were found in Iraq, although the number and age of the rockets tend not to make it a significant find.

And some numbers just for contrast sake:

300,000: number of deaths of US servicemen during WWII. With an additional 300,000 wounded.

58,000: number of deaths of US servicemen during Vietnam. With an additional 211,000 wounded.

293: number of deaths of US servicemen during the first Gulf war. During this war engagements were mostly limited to the Iraq/Kuwait border.

While it is very difficult to compare one war to another, by any count the current Iraq war death toll is actually very low. It is only roughly 3 times the projected rate of the first Gulf war which did not even fully engage the Iraqi military or have to deal with the interference of external terrorist organizations.

Something the left can just not get through their collective heads is that in war people will die, it is inevitable. Sometimes however, the outcome is worth the sacrifice. That is why the vast majority of the military serving in Iraq support the President. They get to see first hand what they are accomplishing and feel it is worth putting their lives on the line.

That's enough for Ike's column.

There was also news on the rosey outlook for the NHL negotiations. It's nice to see they are close to penning a deal. Hopefully the new salary cap will help keep the current system where 2 or 3 owners can cause headaches for everyone by making outrageous offers to mediocre players, from happening again.

And the final thing that caught my eye; Jessi. YOWZA!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cool blog. Sorry you didnt like the column. :)

Ike Awgu

July 01, 2005 8:48 a.m.  

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