Dan Riehl, a crunches some Haditha numbers:
While hundreds of thousands of military personnel have cycled in and out of Iraq, there has always been, at minimum, more than 100,000 there at any one time during the course of the war and there were 160,000 in country with 30,000 in theater during November 2005. That would mean that we are talking about less than .000044 percent of our force total at the time, or the possibility that approximately 4.4 in 100,000 of in country military personnel may have committed murder.
According to the 2004 FBI Uniform Crime Report (pdf), – p. 15. In 2003, America experienced 16,528 murder offenses for a rate of 5.7 per 100,000. In 2004, America experienced 16,137 murder offenses for a rate of 5.5 per 100,000.
While we should not excuse any offenses which come to light, we should also remember that despite the pressures of battle endured by our men and women in arms, they are no more likely to commit a violent crime than the average citizen. If anything. the likelihood of that is actually less.
Indict, try and hopefully convict the guilty. But critics would be wise to not indict the whole of our military, unless they are prepared to stand for indictment themselves as part of a civilian society just as, if not more capable of illegal violent acts.
Oh sweet Jeebus. I hear Animal House calling again:
Otter: But you can’t hold a whole fraternity responsible for the behavior of a few, sick twisted individuals. For if you do, then shouldn’t we blame the whole fraternity system? And if the whole fraternity system is guilty, then isn’t this an indictment of our educational institutions in general? I put it to you, Greg – isn’t this an indictment of our entire American society? Well, you can do whatever you want to us, but we’re not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America. Gentlemen!
[Leads the Deltas out of the hearing, all humming the Star-Spangled Banner]
You know, I don’t know if anyone is willing to indict our whole military over Haditha, or even Abu Ghraib (although we could hardly find in our hearts to indict anyone for those hilarious hijinks), but that notion makes a lovely strawman for Riehl because he’s really got nothing else going for him here. The Haditha “unpleasantness” is probably more of an issue in Iraq than in the U.S. where we can scarely get off the couch to get exercised about torture, a fake war, or the slow-motion erosion of our civil liberties much less killing a few more Iraqis. Perhaps Dan would like to go over to Iraq and explain to the people of Haditha that the, and we’ll insert “alleged”, slaughter is within an acceptable tolerance if compared to the U.S. murder rates and, even if we did invade their country and destroyed their economy and infrastructure, they should be happy that they’re not living in Detroit. I know I am.
I suggest that Dan goes with a PowerPoint presentation. A spoonful of graphs and colorful charts makes the medicine go down, don’cha know.