Monday, January 31, 2005

Iraq vote deaths vs 1964 Civil Rights movement

In terms of numbers, this election is at WORST on a par with the historic 1964 Civil Rights movement in the US. 10 million Iraqis voted. Last report I saw tallied nine suicide attacks with a couple dozen reported killed. Let's add to the at the nine British soldiers and ten US soldiers killed in support of the elections in the last couple of days; still less than fifty. Let's say there were another 150 killed in the run-up to the elections. This would include the election workers murdered in the street for the AP cameraman, as well as others that didn't make the news. I'm probably overestimating. So a SWAG of 200 deaths. That's 50,000 ballots cast per election-related death. By way of comparison, in the wake of the 1964 Civil Rights movement, 250,000 new Black voters were registered by the end of 1965. According to this timeline, ten people were killed in 1964/65 for particpating in the civil rights movement. Let's assume that's an undercount and multiply it by ten. 250,000 new voters / 100 deaths = 2,500 voters per election-related death. So by that reckoning, the Iraqi election was 20 times more successful than the Civil Rights movement of the mid-1960's. But let's not get too giddy. What if we figure in the 1,400 US servicemen killed since the invasion and a 3,300 Iraqi civilians (including those killed by insurgents and as a result of operations against the insurgents - *note that these figures may be inflated). 1400 + 3300 + 200 = 4,900 deaths for 10,000,000 votes. That's 2,041 votes cast per death; not much different than the civil rights movement.

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