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February 6, 2009

On Feburary 5, 2009, FOX NEWS commentator Bill Oreilly  during his “talking points memo” asserted that the “Mexican Drug War” accounted for 5800 deaths in 2008, whereas in Iraq in 2008, only 350 American soldiers were killed. His conclusion was that Iraq was safer for Americans than being in Mexico!

 Bill O’reilly who insists that the media “spin” stops with him “spun” more facts into that 1 minute segment than a crack smoking circus monkey on a gyroscoping beach ball!

First, he did NOT indicate how many Mexican victims were US citizens. All the statisticians concur that the overwhelming number of deaths are drug dealers, gang-bangers, military, police and occassionally a non gringo bystander.  

The most liberal estimate comes from the database of the Houston Chronicle which would place it at @ 25.  BUT a closer review of the Chronicle’s own numbers reveal that the identities and therefore their birthplace/residency was unable to be determined; NOR was the actual location where they were murdered(coulda been shot in El Paso and dumped over the border). A more real number would be 12-13, out of the 1 million or so US residents, and another 200,000 tourist at any given day of the week. Which places the per capita ratio at 1:100,000, much less than Bill’s residence of NYC which has 6.1:100,000

Second, as far as Iraq is concerned, Bill did not count the TOTAL Americans killed in Iraq in 2008, only US soldiers (my condolences). We all know that there is a significant number of non military “contractors” dying there as well. He also didn’t include the ENTIRE death toll in Iraq including, civilian-Iraqis, the enemy and anyone else caught in the crossfire.    (The estimated loss of life in Iraq is between 800,000 to 1 million, or 100,000- 150,000/ yr. hardly comparable to Mexico). Remember the Iraq death toll includes EVERYONE on ALL sides of the conflict

But, meanwhile, Bill would have his listening audience to believe that Baja is deadlier than Baghdad.  This is a disgrace to those who serve/died  in Iraq, and is likewise a disgrace to Mexico.  The two wars are not even closely comparable at ANY level, other than the grief of those who have lost loved ones.  In Mexico, this tends to be limited to drug warriors, the military, the police, and occasionally an innocent bystander, the same type of innocent, who might be hit by a stray bullet in a drive by shooting if in the wrong place at the wrong time  in east LA, Philadelphia or New Orleans.
BAJA RELEVANCE:  Regardless of the numbers used, the FACT remains that FOUR “murders” of US citizens in Baja in 2008.  2 died allegedly transporting marijuana to the USA; another—serving an 11 year term for kidnapping in a TJ prison—died during a prison riot; the 4th–a US citizen–was killed in front of his home in downtown TJ. NONE WERE US TOURISTS!!!

2) EL UNIVERSAL: (death count for 2008)
3) Houston Chronicle
4) Houston Chronicle database
5) The Lancet (iraqi body count
6) IBC Iraqi Body

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