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FACT CHECK: Baghdad Murder Rate Is 160 Times Greater Than Philadelphia

NY Post | November 14, 2006

In a pos t this morning, Wizbang blogger Alexander K. McClure compared the homicide rate in Philadelphia to the situation in Iraq:

Without looking at the URL or the headline at the top, try to figure out which city this is . Each red dot represents a murder in the past year. Isn't that a quagmire? Isn't it time to consider pulling out?

The city McClure pointed to is Philadelphia. It had 337 homicides between Jan. 1 and Oct. 31, 2006.

In Baghdad, the Brookings Institution's Iraq Index estimates that 5,320 people are killed a month, meaning there were 53,200 murders between Jan. 1 and Oct. 31, 2006. (Brookings notes this number may be “too low since many murder victims are never taken to the morgue, but buried quickly and privately and therefore never recorded in official tallies.”)

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) has also tried to claim that living in Washington, DC, is as dangerous as living in Iraq. Comparing the murder rate in any U.S. city with the situation in Baghdad only underscores how out-of-touch some conservatives are from the real situation on the ground in Iraq.

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