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Tuesday, April 15, 2008 

Quote of the decade revisited.

'We are pleased that the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal has agreed with our view and found that conditions in Iraq are such that an ordinary individual Iraqi civilian is not at serious risk from indiscriminate violence,' a spokesman for the Home Office said.

More than 70 people have been killed in blasts at three cities in Iraq, in one of the deadliest days there for weeks.

At least 53 died and another 90 were injured when explosives packed in a bus detonated outside a restaurant near a court in Baquba, north of the capital.

And 13 more were killed in a suicide bombing at a kebab restaurant where policemen were eating in Ramadi, which had seen a sharp decline in violence.

Three people were also killed in Mosul in the north, and another in Baghdad.

This isn't to mention the at least 28 that were killed yesterday. I toyed with the idea on Saturday when I posted just the quote of adding that if the Home Office was so certain of how safe Iraq is for the average civilian, perhaps Jacqui Smith would be brave enough to go for her kebab run not on the streets of Peckham, but the sectarian ghettoes of Baghdad. My guesstimate of how long she'd last has now been accordingly shortened.

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http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ says around 82-90k between 20th March 2003 and 2nd April 2008 - 1840 days.

Or if you believe other sources, it's over 1 million between Mar 03 and Aug 07, which is around 1600 days.

If we work on the 82,000 figure, that's 82,772 / 1840 = almost 45 a day.

If we work on the 1 million figure, that's 625 a day (or every 2 mins 20 secs ish)

According to wiki, iraq had about 29.2 million people in 2007.

On the 87,772 figure, based purely on odds, you have a 0.30% chance of dying on any given day.

On the 1 million figure, you have a 3.4% chance of dying.

Mathematically "low" figures. Realistically "holy fucking shit" figures considering we're talking about innocent people's lives here.

There is one thing to read carefully though, the quote says an ordinary individual Iraqi civilian is not at serious risk from indiscriminate violence,' a spokesman for the Home Office said.

Getting pedantic over meaning, isn't violence usually discriminate?
I interpret "indiscriminate" as being "shooting anyone". If the risk of that was anything above "extremely low", I'd be quite ashamed.

The measure we should always go for when comparing how safe somewhere is how many people are murdered here each year. On average, it's usually between 700 and 800. Iraq, in its very worst weeks of violence, or when the sectarian conflict was at its height, easily matched that or went above it. They were pulling 20 or more bodies off the streets of Baghdad every day at one point. The surge/establishment of the awakening councils/Mahdi army ceasefire/separating of different areas of Baghdad into sectarian enclaves with blast walls and civil guards has brought that down to around 1 to 5 a day.

I can't even begin to fathom what those threatened with return to Iraq most be going through. Put it this way: some of them will certainly die as a result if they're deported. You would have thought that this government had already got enough blood on its hands over Iraq, but it seems getting the figures down for the tabloids which then completely ignore them in any case is more important than little things like life and death.

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