Monday, June 05, 2006

Mathematically turning the page, Unequivocally showing my age

I've been too pissed off about the media coverage of the "newest" incident in Haditha, Iraq to comment on it. Even now, I'm not going to get dragged into a dumbass argument about how it's Vietnam all over again, so I'm limiting the scope of this post to one small issue.

During one of the press briefings, by Gen. Pace I think, it was pointed out that this one incident shouldn't be used to portray the other 99.9% of the soldiers who are doing their incredibly difficult jobs every day, and making a positive difference in the world. While I wholeheartedly agree with this statement, the smarmy little geek that lives in my hollow soul can't let the staggering math error go unchallenged. 99.9% is far too low a number, by a couple orders of magnitude.
The twelve Marines involved in the Haditha Dam firefight represent 0.0067% of the Marine Corps, and only 0.0000085% of the total US Armed Forces - a number 11810 times smaller than our troops are being given credit for. The most accurate commentary I've seen is over at the Rottweiler Empire, and even then it's too high.

To put it another way: If one tenth of one percent of the Marine Corps was treating Iraq like Hogan's Alley, this would be the 19th such incident we've heard about this year alone. Or the 119th incident by the armed forces worldwide.
Even though the MSM would love to have us believe there's a new My Lai happening every 3 days the reality falls far short of that. I know a number like "99.9999915%" doesn't make for snappy press or press conferences, but it highlights the hell out of just how isolated this incident is in the overall war. Maybe it's time the DoD started using it after all.

*all statistics are based on raw data provided by the DoD's Statistical Information Analysis Division, and mathematical skills provided by Mrs. Strohmeyer, my third grade teacher.


Blogger Mark said...

Bravo. I sucked at math. That's why I'm a contractor. Yeah I know, go figure!

9:56 PM, June 07, 2006  

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