US Deaths in Iraq Projected to Meet 9/11 Rate in January 2007

Unless we withdraw fairly quickly, the amount of U.S. military personnel who have died in Iraq will exceed the amount of people who died on 9/11/2001 at some point in the future. Polling data suggest a general increase in the percentage of Americans who wish to implement an exit strategy which is more immediate than anything suggested by the White House. Also, they are not comfortable with some of the stated reasons for U.S. entry into combat operations with Iraq, such as weapons of mass destruction or elimination of terrorism.

When we cross the line where more people have died while allegedly protecting us from what happened on 9/11 than actually died on 9/11, one might expect a strong shift in how Americans will react to our continued presence in Iraq. The date this actually occurs will likely impact national political races, so I thought I’d draw a chart to see when this is likely to occur with respect to upcoming election dates.

Using the established rates for U.S. deaths in Iraq, I plugged the numbers into a standard Excel spreadsheet and ran two very simple straight-line projections. The first projection was based on the average daily amount of reported deaths since the “war” began on 3/19/03. The second method used was to take the daily average of deaths in the latest phase of US military operations in Iraq, this being the period since 1/31/05. The graphical output provided that both lines were so physically close I had to use very narrow lines so one can see both of them.

Depending upon which projection one chooses, either January 3 or January 15 of 2007 is the date that more people will have died in Iraq than on 9/11. This is likely to be a factor in 2006 electoral politics, as two death counts are likely to be close during the tail end of the the races which will end next November. Should there be some horrific event where a greater than normal amount of Americans are killed prior to this election day, it could move the date these two lines cross even before November.

It will probably be roughly two years from the date the lines cross before presidential ballots are cast. My guess is that we will be totally out of Iraq by then or a dove will win the keys to the White House.

What the hawks need right now is another Reichstag fire 9/11 in the next thirteen months to maintain political power. They’ll need it a bit faster to ensure control of Congress. Doves need to push for withdrawal before the amount of people who died on 9/11 is overshadowed by the amount of American soldiers who die in Iraq.

Unfortunately, the most likely scenario is that these projections will end up being close to accurate, as neither Republicans nor Democrats are likely to begin to place principle ahead of partisan bickering and political positioning.

Stephen Gordon

I like tasteful cigars, private property, American whiskey, fast cars, hot women, pre-bailout Jeeps, fine dining, worthwhile literature, low taxes, original music, personal privacy and self-defense rights -- but not necessarily in this order.

  1. Did you know you have too much time on your hands? :)

    Seriously, the idea of more people being killed “protecting” us from “terrorism” than have actually died from terrorism is completely appalling.

    Riddle me this. If the U.S. is all for letting people govern themselves, why is it that the U.S. needs to actively interfere in their affairs?

  2. We buried our dog (of 11 years) today and the whole family is bummed out. They are sleeping or crying, and I’m drinking and typing. I guess we all handle shit in our own little ways.

    Where did you hear (recently) that the US is for self-governence?

  3. BTW, the concept that more people will die protecting us than who died from the actual incident is likely to bring those with more of a utilitarian perspective on board the withdrawal movement. That’s why I brought the topic up/

  4. Can anyone tell me how many US citizens would have died if Sadam had started paying suicde bombers to hit the US instead of Isreal? Or has anyone even considered that? Sadam violated the peace agreement of 1991, that is why we are here, period.

    We are still in Germany, Japan, and Korea. When we get out of those countries I’ll listen to someone talk about getting out of Iraq or the middle east.

    Merry Christmas from OIF (Operation Iraqi Freedom)

  5. Cisney writes:
    Can anyone tell me how many US citizens would have died if Sadam had started paying suicde bombers to hit the US instead of Isreal? Or has anyone even considered that?

    I don’t know, the same amount that died from suicide bombers while Saddam was in power? ZERO.

    I can conjure up some pretty scary scenarios too… doesn’t mean they WILL happen.

    Americans can pay other Americans to kill Americans… Now, let’s attack America! HOO-YAH!

  6. Convert to Islam now. Clearly your culture is dying. When Nippon attacked Pearl Harbor did anyone make note when the number of dead on Guadalcanal exceeded those who died in Hawaii? No. Why this comparison now? Because your reasons for living have grown foul with pornography and mindless self indulgence. O decadent Americans, save what is left of your rotten nation; become one with the Ummah! Share a holy Eid al-Adha for all. The all merciful God be praised, and peace be upon his true Prophet,
    Mohammed. J

  7. Abu,

    There is a key difference between Japan and Iraq. Japan attacked the US and was a continued threat. Iraq didn’t attack and isn’t a threat. Perhaps the comparison will help wake some people up.

    With respect to America being a rotten nation, I’ll no more buy that argument from you than I will from the Christian fundies who blamed Hurricane Katrina on our decadence.

  8. Ever lived in Iraq or been there? I did for three happy years. Sure Saddam was a tough turkey but there was no corruption and there was work for all. And…no religeous strife. Around a million died fighting in the Iraq/Iran war.
    Probably another million died as a result of the gulf war and 12 years of sanctions, not to mention the DU which will soon be effecting US soldiers too! When the war was over I danced in the streets of Baghdad with tens of thousands of Iraqis. All pleased that this blood letting had finally stopped. As Saddam gassed the Kurds all politicians from the west still came a visiting. For them a few thousand Kurds was small change against the billions that was to be made. Nothing has changed and will not until the US loses it’s interest in the oil it needs to keep those SUVs mobile. Only then will the cradle of civilization finally rest from it’s purgatory. So you’re losing some soldiers but this is nothing compared to what the Iraqis have lost.

  9. While I am sympathetic to the plight of a lot of people in many mid-eastern countries, this does not make it U.S. responsibility and these deaths are needless.

    The US military has no adequate reason to be fighting a war in Iraq. If individuals wish to voluntarily go over on their own, then so be it. But not the government.

  10. More Americans died as a direct result of hostilities in WWII than people killed at Pearl Harbor.

    Pear Harbor deaths = 2,403
    WWII American deaths = 402,936 (does not include PH)

    If we fought WWII as your math indicates should be done now, then 400,532 too many Americans died. We should have immediately quit the war as soon as 2,402 additional Americans died.

    Is this math of uselessness and nothing but nonsense? Yes. How can we even equate numbers of deaths for 9/11 with deaths in Iraq? I guess we need to add in American deaths in Afghanistan too. If we do, then maybe the numbers will add up to who the hell knows what. I understand MIT has a good math dept.

    This is not a numbers game. Use that at the casinos to count cards. This is life and death. I support the troops and what we are doing in Iraq. I do not think we are doing enough. We need to go after Iran and Syria immediately and then occupy the House of Saud with our own damn king.

  11. Abu Makik

    May you have a package of pork chops shoved up your ass and a hand grenade down your throat. Now you are part pork chop which makes you a pig.

    Enjoy, asshole, for you and your middle ages ideas for all of us won’t work.

    I believe Israel may be looking for you and your kind. You can run but you cannot hide.

    I’m one of them that will never, ever convert to your brand of Islam. May Allah have mercy on your sorry soul. May you meet your 72 virgins soon.

  12. Saddam threatened us in 90 by saying individual Arabs could reach us even if his armies couldnt. He attempted to assasinate a former US President. He hosted terrorist conventions from 1993 onwards. One of two main characters in the WTC 93 bombing was hosted, employed and guarded by Saddam.

    Why are the Anti War types so delusional?
    Baath party secularism, wishful thinking?

  13. Pierre,

    I guess we need to take this one back to elementary school level: Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words…

  14. Nursery rhymes are all you got? The nations security is at risk from people who are as delusional as you are and nursery rhymes is all your side can offer?

    You gonna wow us with more incredible statistical analysis, that really was impressive? Use your statistics to show why Saddam’s Attache to Prague al-Ani was thrown out of the country after being watched for his part in attempting to blow up Radio Free Europe!

    You want to bring it out of Nursery School then offer thoughts a bit more adult. Explain for example what Abdul Rahman Yasin was doing in Baghdad under the care of Saddam.


  15. To what nursery rhymes do you refer, kind person? While I’ve been drinking, you seem a bit delusional. Is it med-check time in neocon land?

  16. Abu –

    Something confuses me about the brand of Islam you’re advocating. If pornography is so evil (responsible for the corruption of American culture, as you imply), what exactly are you planning to do with your dozens of virgins in Paradise when you die in some Allah-approved fashion? Play Canasta,perhaps?

  17. Pierre –
    We *can* compare deaths on 9/11 with deaths in Iraq for one very simple reason: 9/11 is being touted as a justification for our presence in Iraq. The latter had nothing to do with the former, and none of the 2,457 deaths (as of 5/22/06) has gotten us any closer to bringing the 9/11 murderer to justice. None at all. Is the world better off without Saddam in power? Probably so, in spite of the misty reminisces of jbloggz above – but it does not alter the fact that it does not accomplish our stated goals of decreasing terrorism. Terrorist recruiting is INCREASING because of our unjustified presence there.

    Won’t say we need to get out. I’m saying we shouldn’t have gone there in the first place.