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Reporters Without Borders report on journalist (and journalist helpers) deaths in Iraq:

Reporters Without Borders said 84 journalists, including translators and drivers, have been killed.

By contrast, 63 journalists were killed during 22 years of conflict in Vietnam.
……
The group says more than half the journalists killed in Iraq have been deliberately targeted, which it says is a much higher rate than in previous wars.

Of those killed, 77 percent were Iraqis. Many were working for foreign media.

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  1. I take it this posting will be deleted.

  2. If it weren’t for modern medicine, the death rate for our troops would look a lot like Vietnam’s too.

    JMJ

  3. I’m lost in cyberspace…

  4. …or not.

    Not to attack, in any way shape or form, Al-Jazeera, but how many journalists killed have been their members?

    Maybe they can work up a rental deal, like reporters drive around in Al-Jazeera buses, wear their uniforms but report for their original news companies?

  5. Reporters Without Borders report on journalist (and journalist helpers) deaths in Iraq:

    Reporters Without Borders doesn’t even say how many journalists were killed – it could be zero,
    with all 84 mentioned deaths being those of translators and drivers.

    With feeble, misleading reporting like that, why should anyone care *if* they’re geting killed?

  6. If it weren’t for modern medicine, the death rate for our troops would look a lot like Vietnam’s too.

    JMJ

  7. 76,

    Once the insurgiolamicistorrists figure out they’re doing that, so much for cover for their own guys.

  8. JMJ,
    I think you’re right:

    US military casualties in Iraq: 16653 wounded + 2318 dead = 18971 / 3 years = 6323 casualties per year, or 13% resulting in death

    US military casualties in Vietnam: 153,303 wounded + 58,226 dead = 211,529 / 8 years = 26,411 casualties per year or 37% resulting in death

  9. Without a magnetic field our world would look like Venus.

    JMJ

  10. That’s a much higher casualty rate than lawn jarts, skateboarding, bungee jumping, etc. Why haven’t the nannies called for government action to ban journalism? Or at least pass a helmet law?

  11. Terrorists targeting journalists…

    Haven’t some people tried to persuade us that the media is aiding and abetting the terrorists? If so, apparently the terrorists didn’t get the memo.

    Maybe a poster on this forum could give them a copy.

    “Hey, Zarqawi, what’s happening? Look, did you get the memo about the reporters? Good. So, if you could just not kill any more of them, that would be great. OK? Oh, and, we’re putting new cover sheets on all the TPS reports. So, yeah, well, I’ll make sure you get another copy of the memo. Oh, and there’s the stapler that I’ve been looking for.”

  12. What a load of crap, JMJ.

    I show about 19,000 total American killed and wounded, according to anti-war.com, over the three years since the war began. That works out to, say, 6,400 casualties per year.

    There were around 58,000 total American killed in Vietnam, and 153,000 wounded, for an average of nearly 20,000 casualties per year over the 11 years of American involvement in Vietnam.

  13. Goddam server squirrels.

    So, to get an equivalence between Vietnam and Iraq death rates, you would need to have every single American injured in Iraq die.

    Even with the same ratio of deaths to total casualties as in Vietnam, American deaths in Iraq would come to 2340 per year, or less than half the number of Americans killed per year in Vietnam.

  14. RCD, we’re only three years into this thing. How many troops were lost in Nam by then? And what if my argument about modern meds? Doesn’t that make up for that “less than half”?

    Were you always a supporter of this goofy war?

    JMJ

  15. thoreau,

    How did you get your original (and equally sarcastic) post deleted for this new but not improved one? Do you know someone here?

  16. wise ass-

    I think it’s because there were two copies of the thread, one of them got deleted, then the server squirrels worked their mojo.

  17. Anyway, we got some cross-mojonation, and it’s very groovy. Yeah baby!

  18. RCDean,
    JMJ did say “death rate”, not total number of deaths. I’m not sure he’s claiming that Iraq is on the scale of Vietman – which it clearly isn’t – but I might be wrong.

  19. And what if my argument about modern meds? Doesn’t that make up for that “less than half”?

    No. The “less than half” is what we get if we apply Vietnam death rates to total Iraqi casualty rates, which is a pretty good way of estimating what our deaths would be in Iraq if we only had Vietnam era medicine.

    RCD, we’re only three years into this thing. How many troops were lost in Nam by then?

    Given our gradual entrance into the Vietnam war, starting with a handful of advisers to the South in the early years, the first question is which year do you start your comparison with?

    I vote for 1965, the first year of full American participation in combat, which I would argue is the best analogue to 2003, the first year of full American participation in active combat in Iraq. There were over 19,000 deaths in Vietnam by the end of 1967.

    That works out to just about as many Americans have been killed or wounded in Iraq, so everything I said above still holds true even if you limit yourself to the first three years of Vietnam.

    I would point out that it appears we have seen a peak in American losses, based on monthly casualty rates, as Iraqis increasingly take up the front line work.

    Were you always a supporter of this goofy war?

    I wish every day that the Islamists and their fascist allies in the Mideast hadn’t started the terror war against the United States. Similarly, I wish that Saddam Hussein had not started the Gulf war by invading Kuwait. So, no, I do not “support” the war that these idiots started.

    I do support the current campaign in Iraq as the best strategic alternative for bringing about a long-term victory for the West.

  20. Jeff P,

    Looking at the coifs on most male anchormen, I’d say they already passed a helmet law.

  21. JMJ did say “death rate”, not total number of deaths.

    If you want to say that we would have the same ration of killed to wounded in Iraq as we did in Vietnam, if we had the same medical technology now as we did then, I would agree. Its pretty much a meaningless tautology.

  22. Thoreau,

    The millitants kill everyone regardless of their sympathies. Look at the “Christian peace activists” that were rescued by the SF this morning. Those ignorant bastards make so secret of the fact that they support the insurgency and are against the coalition. That didn’t keep the insurgents from kidnapping a group of them and murduring one of them. Yeah, the journalists are on Zarqarwi’s side, but that is not going to stop him or even give him pause when killing them.

  23. Um, yeah, could someone remimd me when Saddam Hussein started his terror war against the United States again?

    Was it 1649, or 1648?

  24. …and if you don’t believe Saddam Hussein began a terror against the United States in the 17th century, then you’re no better than a Christian peace activist.

    Or a journalist.

  25. I apologize for my lack of common sense, ignorance of comparitive statistics, and ignorance of the state of battlefield medicine both currently and in the 1960s.

    I find it much easier to mention facts that to a 16 year old may seem related, and force hard working people to spend time dissecting the statements to show they are wrong, by which time most poeple will not longer be looking at this thread.

    JMJ

  26. RCD,

    And what if my argument about modern meds? Doesn’t that make up for that “less than half”?

    “No. The “less than half” is what we get if we apply Vietnam death rates to total Iraqi casualty rates, which is a pretty good way of estimating what our deaths would be in Iraq if we only had Vietnam era medicine.”

    And about the medicine? The point I made??? Remember????

    RCD, we’re only three years into this thing. How many troops were lost in Nam by then?

    “Given our gradual entrance into the Vietnam war, starting with a handful of advisers to the South in the early years, the first question is which year do you start your comparison with?

    I vote for 1965, the first year of full American participation in combat, which I would argue is the best analogue to 2003, the first year of full American participation in active combat in Iraq. There were over 19,000 deaths in Vietnam by the end of 1967.”

    Okay. That sounds fair. So the comparable rate is about half, but modern medicine could easily explain that, right?

    Were you always a supporter of this goofy war?

    “I wish every day that the Islamists and their fascist allies in the Mideast hadn’t started the terror war against the United States. Similarly, I wish that Saddam Hussein had not started the Gulf war by invading Kuwait. So, no, I do not “support” the war that these idiots started.

    I do support the current campaign in Iraq as the best strategic alternative for bringing about a long-term victory for the West.”

    Okay. Fair again. I disagree. But fair.

    JMJ

  27. “I apologize for my lack of common sense, ignorance of comparitive statistics, and ignorance of the state of battlefield medicine both currently and in the 1960s.

    I find it much easier to mention facts that to a 16 year old may seem related, and force hard working people to spend time dissecting the statements to show they are wrong, by which time most poeple will not longer be looking at this thread.

    JMJ

    Comment by: Jersey McJones at March 23, 2006 02:43 PM”

    Whatever lowlife wrote this, it was not me.

    JMJ

  28. Those ignorant bastards make so secret of the fact that they support the insurgency and are against the coalition.

    Do you have a source for this? I can understand being against the coalition occupation, but I’d be surprised and disappointed if they’d voiced support for the terrorist insurgents.

  29. Gulf War I has some interesting death/injury stats:

    http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=30664

    148 killed and 467 wounded.

    “About 161,000 Gulf War veterans are receiving disability payments from the U.S. government. About 209,000 have filed VA claims.”

    The disability to injury rate is: 345 people get disability money for each person who was injured.

    Uncle Sugar!

  30. If you want to say that we would have the same ration of killed to wounded in Iraq as we did in Vietnam, if we had the same medical technology now as we did then, I would agree. Its pretty much a meaningless tautology.

    Comment by: R C Dean at March 23, 2006 02:39 PM

    that statement may or may not be meaningless, but I’m pretty sure it’s not a tautology

  31. Thoreau,

    I know your posting is somewhat tongue in cheek, but you really can’t envision a scenario where a small percentage of the journalistic population in Iraq is bumped off in order to create a general feeling of doom & gloom among the rest of the reporters?

  32. biologist: slam! Incidentally, the word “rate” is being substantially misused here. People are pretty consistently using the word “rate” to describe the absolute number of casualties or deaths when, in fact, “rate” implies a ratio, meaning a number that represents a likelihood of an individual soldier getting wounded or killed.

    In that sense, JMJ comes closest to fumbling with the proper use of the word because he appears to be grappling with the percentage of wounded that are winding up dead. That is affected not only by the medical technology being deployed but also the relative lethality of the weapons and the defensive measures employed: it’s been noted, for example, that a higher percentage of wounded soldiers have eye injuries. Not that there’s more soldiers actually getting hit in the eye, but that’s a part of the body that’s difficult to armor or protect, thus a hit there remains just as lethal as it was in World War Two, while low-velocity shrapnel in the torso is less likely to lead to a trip to the hospital.

    All this leads to the observation that using the absolute number of dead as an indicator of the intensity of combat is pointless. The proper analysis would incorporate the number of wounded per hundred thousand and adjust for differences in tactics and equipment. From the point of view of an individual soldier the chances of him personally becoming an unhappy statistic is more important than the absolute number of wounded and dead.

  33. bendover-

    That’s a very good point. I’ll need to think about it. However, even if it’s true, it still doesn’t justify the common insinuation that journalists are somehow treasonous. At worst their reporting is colored by the inevitable fear that comes from being targeted in a war zone.

  34. Reporters Without Borders doesn’t even say how many journalists were killed – it could be zero,
    with all 84 mentioned deaths being those of translators and drivers.

    If you got off your lazy ass and looked at Reporters Without Borders web site, you will find that they do have in page 12 of the full report the list of journalists killed. The number of deaths is broken down into 2 categories: jounralists (60 deaths), and media assistants (26 deaths).

  35. The anti-democracy forces may be killing reporters and stringers who are not associated with their movement.

    In fact a stringer for one of the major networks has been arrested and is being held for trial in Iraq.

    Think of the killing of “unsactiioned” reporters as a jobs program for the favored.

  36. Biologist, I would say that the statement that we would have the same ratios of deaths to injuries in Iraq as we did in Vietnam, if we had the same medical care in Iraq as we did in Vietnam, is “an assertion that is so obvious as to add nothing to a discussion.”

    So yeah, its a tautology.

    Incidentally, the word “rate” is being substantially misused here.

    Maybe. I used it to describe both the average number of deaths and/or casualties per year, which strikes me as well within the common usage of the term (soldiers are being killed in Iraq at a rate that is substantially less than in Vietnam), and to point out that even if the ratio of killed to wounded in Iraq was the same as in Vietnam, there would still be substantially fewed soldiers killed in Iraq than in Vietnam.

    As to correcting to the number per hundred thousand, that strikes me as very problematic. I would commit more soldiers to a more intense conflict, and fewer to a less intense conflict, after all.

  37. Whatever lowlife wrote this, it was not me.

    It very uncool of whoever did that. You don’t break somone else’s kayfabe.

  38. RC Dean: ah, but there is a practical limit to the number of soldiers that will be committed to any conflict. Vietnam topped out at…585,000, off the top of my head. Westmoreland wanted more after the Tet Offensive on the grounds that the Communists were decisively weakened by the offensive and he wanted to finish them off. Whether or not that instinct was correct is irrelevent: what mattered was that Johnson and pretty much the rest of the elites that run the country had lost their nerve. A few more troops were sent. The country changed presidents and parties, but that didn’t mean more troops for Vietnam. Despite the revisionists, everyone had had enough, not just the press or the protesters or the Congress or the Democrats.

    In Iraq, the top number seems to be around a 150,000. They won’t get substantially more than that, no matter what happens. Incidentally, throwing more troops into an intensifying conflict contradicts one of the tenets of modern maneuver warfare, that of reinforcing success rather than failure. By that logic, Afghanistan is quieter than Iraq and thus should be bombarded with aid and security forces to prove to the Islamic world that an theocratic regime can be toppled and replaced with a successful, democratic one, to the benefit of all.

    All of this is beside my final point: that, for a soldier and his family, the likelihood of him personally suffering a wound outweighs the number of wounds suffered overall. His perceived risk is
    a key variable in his morale and the willingness of the military community to continue its support for the war. The other key variable is the likelihood of success in the mission’s stated objectives.

  39. Of course, the report does say which side has killed the majority of the journalists (it is the insurgents, mostly intentionally.) That would require acknowledgin that the US military does not intentionally target journalists.

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