Lines, damn lines, and statistics

Can Graphs Lie?

It’s all in the marketing.

However, despite a low in February, deaths are more or less holding even, not decreasing. (via The Lopsided Poopdeck)

UPDATE: ACE has more on this subject. Go read.


  1. Yours is a reasonable interpretation of the data. My point is that YOUR interpretation (holding even, ex Feb.) or MINE (decreasing, ex Nov.) are both reasonable, and could be inferred from graph #2. And argued about. Fine. Graph #1 only supports the conclusion of ‘things are getting worse, worse, worse.’

  2. Another good find, Murdoc! I’ve linked to it at my ACE site (, and I’ve also linked to an anti-war page which seems to keep very accurate statistics on deaths (military and non-military) and injuries by month, for US and Coalition troops. (It actually documents individual incidents.) The daily death rates for Dec-Jan-Feb go (after the November spike caused by a couple of helicopter crashes) go up then back down, so I’d say we need to see a couple more months to see if the trend is downward or just stable. While I’ve not yet found a similar documentation of Iraqi deaths by month, I’d think (given the huge losses over the past week) that it is trending upward. The insurgents, realizing they are not going to scare off the Coalition troops, are now targeting Iraqi police/security forces and religious gatherings, in an apparent attempt to foment a civil war and continue to disrupt the ordering turnover of power. They realize that once the Coalition troops are withdrawn to remote posts (for as-needed use only), they will just look like thugs killing their own people, who will report them and weed them out. The bad guys are getting desperate, realizing they are failing in their attempts to block the formation of a free, democratic country right in the middle of their mish-mash of oppressive governments. They can’t stand the thought of this. They’ll die trying to stop it. Sorry anti-war types and Kerry supporters, but the despicable attacks of internal and external insurgents on the Iraqi people shows we are winning, and things will look a lot better by November.

  3. Thanks for ‘covering my back’ on the bad link to the stat page, Murdoc, as that link is KEY to my post, and most useful to readers. The page is at: Like I said, it is maintained by someone who is opposed to the war, but it documents individual incidents, and I have no reason to believe it is not accurate.