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Monday, October 15. 2007
Below are some very interesting data referencing deaths in the military. I guarantee you will not read this in your local newspaper nor will you see it on the daily news broadcast. I pray this will help you to enlighten folks around you to the brave and courageous young people serving in our military.
The surprising stats on continuation page below:
Below is some very interesting data referencing deaths in the military. I guarantee you will not read this in your local newspaper nor will you see it on the daily news broadcast. I pray this will help you to enlighten folks around you to the brave and courageous young people serving in our military.
Deaths in the Military
1980 .......... 2,392
1981 .......... 2,380
1982 .......... 2,318
1983 .......... 2,465
1984 .......... 1,999
1985 .......... 2,252
1986 .......... 1,984
1987 .......... 1,983
1988 .......... 1,819
1989 .......... 1,636
1990 .......... 1,508
1991 .......... 1,787
1992 .......... 1,293
1993 .......... 1,213
1994 .......... 1,075
1995 .......... 1,040
1996 ............. 974
1997 ............. 817
1998 ............. 826
1999 ............. 795
2000 .......... ...774
2001 ............. 890
2002 ........... 1,007
2003 ........... 1,410 [534*]
2004 ........... 1,887 [900*]
2005 ............. [919*]
2006 ............. [920*]
Figures so noted with an asterisk (*) indicates deaths as a result of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.
You may initially feel confused when you look at these figures especially when you see that in 1980, during the term of President Jimmy Carter, there were 2,392 US military fatalities. What this clearly indicates is that our media and our liberal politicians pick and choose and tend to present only those facts that support their agenda driven reporting.
Another fact our left media and politicians like to slant is that these brave men and women losing their lives are minorities. Wrong again - The latest census shows the following:
European descent (white)...... 69.12%
African American.................. 12.3%
Asian ................................... 3.7%
Native American .................... 1.0%
The fatalities over the past three years in Iraqi Freedom are:
European descent (white)..... 74.31%
African American.................. 9.67%
Native American.................... 1.09%
These statistics are published by DOD and may be viewed at:
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This was one of the things I looked into last year as part of a larger article: the fatality rates in the armed forces. ( http://ajacksonian.blogspot.com/2006/08/military-elites-and-you.html )
The stunning thing is that even with two conflicts going on, the death per 100,000 rate is lower than it was from 1980-92, and only up marginally after the 'peace dividend' cut the armed forces in size. Even in 2004, one of the years with highest casualty rates in Iraq, death from combat ranks below death due to accident and disease. Out of all deaths in Iraq in 2004 only 15% were due to combat, the other 85% were due to non-combat causes. Of most interest is that disease is an invariant in the modern era, and that even with more activity in far off lands and combat, death due to illness stays at a stable rate. Even when re-balancing in case the combat deaths were not figured in, this remains the case.
That is never put forward by those doing the statistical work for political output and lags by a year or so to get full statistical values across the armed forces.
Even more amazing is that the WaPo in 1999 did a survey of Military Elites, Political Elites and your Average American to see what the accepted casualty rates would be to them that the Nation could withstand for three different scenarios: Stabilize the Congo, remove the Iraqi WMD threat and Defend Taiwan. In each and every instance the Elites underestimated the willingness of the American Public to have lives die for the policy of this Nation. That is a stunning rebuke to those who push Vietnamphobia on a continual basis. Of course once the test is actually put in place with Iraq, we find the political elites squealing at such low numbers, the military sucking it up, and the American People volunteering to sustain the Armed Forces continually and consistantly at its force levels. Apparently the Elites are surprised by the pragmatism of the American People. Even Gen. Clark knows this and should know better than putting a defeatist attitude out in his political maunderings. He thought it was great that he didn't lose anyone (nor accomplish much) and was proud of his zero casualty conflict and was a bit deflated when Americans who were polled thought that nearly 200 Americans had died and accepted *that*. The man is unable to learn.
I am damned proud of the US Armed Forces for doing an impossible job, with meager supplies and so much naysaying.
Never have so few, done so much, for so many, to so much disdain before in history.
The American public is not infantile about war. Perhaps we can get a political class that can learn from us, instead of trying to teach us otherwise. It is they that are out of step with America now... and such things do not last long in this world.
The 1997 edition of the primary accounting textbook used in college states that between the years of 1983-1995 the US lost 120,000 family farms per year. It is reasonable to assume that that rate continued for the next several years,while a decline in rate developed. This means that the family farm crisis began late in Carter's career, continued through the Reagan and Carter administrations.
My point in bringing this to your attent is that these millions of Anglo/American families were pushed into urban/suburban areas, where mom and dad took jobs at Costco, Wal-Mart, etc. It is my contention that the children, who were removed from those farms (many by force of the sheriff's office) have grown into adults believing that the only way to get a university education is through the millitary. Those would also be the children, who still believed it to be their duty to defend their country. Clearly, the African/American community no longer believes that they should also share the burden. I am quite certain that is because of popular belief that the vast majority of casualties in Viet Nam were African/American. It would be nice to see the numbers from Viet Nam. It is possible that those numbers were 'developed' to support the anti Viet Nam demonstrators.
The major shift of the Nation from major agricultural employer to one of industrial employer had happened by 1925. That marked the shift of the relatively poor and rural livelihood from multi-generational families to the start of the 'nuclear' family in the ensuing decades. The reasons for this are the availability of employment and decent pay of industrial vs. agricultural jobs. Additionally the first wave of industrialization to hit the agricultural community was starting and more work labor was being done via automation. The first combines would start the movement from hand-picked goods (namely cotton, but also wheat and corn by the 1960's) that were high employment sources but at low wage. The family farm was impacted by this, also, in that post dustbowl wave to consolidate vacant farms under more industrialized approaches to farming.
Those areas where the relatively regional family farm for supporting local goods (milk, vegetables, localized meats of various sorts) and specialty or niche items would allow viability while this went on. WWII, however, saw the mass employment of young men from the farms and the need for larger amounts of automation. Many soldiers returning from WWII would utilize their scholarships and take jobs in the industrial middle class or 'white collar' area. Many did not return to their agrarian roots and a large number of family farms would be impacted by this for the next two-three decades as the pre-WWII generation left such farms in the hands of fewer and younger family members willing to take up such jobs.
The impact of the 'green revolution' of tailored crops, pesticides, herbicides and fertilizer, along with high water use would further leverage advantage of the larger farms that would become what we know as Big Agribusiness. The hallmarks of this is using less labor and leveraging for greater productivity beyond what the family farmer could do as the capital for such output was beyond the means of most families. By the 1990's the large scale consolidation of Big Agribusiness was driving out the smaller farms via economic efficiencies of scale.
Areas that were not so hard hit at the start were fruits and vegetables that were not amenable to machine picking. Those farms would begin to see post-war labor shortages, also, as the black poor had, by and large, moved to urban settings for industrial jobs. While these areas were not immediately amenable to automation, the labor was still needed and bringing large numbers of people from cities to the farms was untenable as the pre-war sustainment infrastructure had shifted in outlook and the ability of a generation with no knowledge of farming to start such was minimized due to low pay.
Family farms were put in an economic vice against high capital investment automation or niche crops that could not be properly piced by automation. Those that chose not to scale to meet the niche's own economies of scale simply went under.
Today we are starting to see the fist prototypes of robotic pickers for the remaining fruits and vegetables that have been hand picked for generations. As with the previous industrial wave this, too, will start slow but have fundamental infrastructure effects for rural life and agriculture. In California the first test-bed fully automated farm is utilizing as much of this as possible to remove the last few human parts of the farm workload. That is a harbinger, today, equivalent to the first crudely mechanized combines of the 1910-20 era was to agriculture. When this integrates with modern GPS, soils and rainfall analysis, crop analysis, pest analysis and precision spraying and watering (any robot that can keep its position and be skilled enough to pick individual fruits is extremely capable of precision spraying and watering) not only will yield rise and pick quality rise, but actual use of fertilizer, pesticides and water will drop.
Family farms for specialized markets will continue, but their economic basis will need to change to a multi-source one. Diversity of crop type for specialized goods, specialized handling, or for local markets will need more than just those things to survive. Already the first of the 'vacation farm' type is being seen in AK, MO and elsewhere, so that city folks can pay to have a farm experience for a couple of weeks. I would not doubt this moving to 'extreme farming' or some such to capture more external revenue. Additionally farms can offer future services due to land extent (solar power conversion or SPS microwave conversion), that take advantage of distributed energy capture/data capture from distant external sources. Beyond that is the 'premium' market for farm goods, where high amounts of 'value added' leads to higher profit margins for very specialized crops. Already the 'organic' concept has taken hold, but, like microbreweries, the Big Agribusiness is starting to adjust to that niche. Thus the family farm must offer things that highly automated or, in the next 20 years, fully automated farms cannot.
I do agree that these things have caused marked changes in societal attitudes not only in those directly related sub-populations, but in the larger National population as a whole.
Even worse is that the industrial jobs started to shift overseas and the economy has been shifting extremely hard since the 1970's to a 'services based' economy. This is now the leading sector in the US, eclipsing manufacturing and agriculture. As trends go this is even further removing Americans from 'hands-on' production work at factories and manufacturing plants. Those poor, rural families that moved to cities to get industrial jobs in the 1950-'70 era that did not capitalize on education or work ethic that attended those industrial jobs.
It is that segment (largely black, but also poor white and hispanic) that looked forward to good paying entry-level jobs in steel mills, auto plants and the such are now ill prepared sociologically to handle a world that is radically altering around them. That is not to say that, as a class, they are unsuccessful: the poor in America are among some of the richest and longest lived people on the planet. What this has done, however, is left a generation that feels 'left out' by the promise of a vibrant industrial America and unable to shift to Agrarian America as that is no longer a sustainable lifestyle for them.
The basic vectors of industrialization, high capital agriculture and higher education have each worked a hard toll on those populations of Americans that have shifted from rural to urban to suburban in less than two generations. And the skill sets needed in those shifts have proven to be at odds with the skills necessary to the previous generation, although the work ethic basis is the same. Only when the work ethic changes from that of individual self-sustainment and family sustainment to that of expected societal payout via government, does that break down. And that whole can of worms started with government intervention in things it has no business interfering with starting in 1909. Add those into the demographic and societal shifts going on and the mess that results is toxic.
The loss of the family farm is not an isolated event in this, just as the 'rust belt' is not, either. And both have led to great and grave social ills and problems, and they are even highly related to the feeling of dependence and disenfranchisement seen today on a National scale. They are both outgrowths of these same underlying technical and economic forces roaming the planet which we have shorn from National moorings. And treating individuals as needing 'state assistance' has turned out to be the worst solution we can put forth. To address these, IMHO, requires 19th century outlooks using 21st century tools to remedy 20th century ills.... not 20th century ills, using 21st century tools to complain about 19th century entitlements or lack thereof.
Thank you for the nice summary, but you have omitted the devastation that was caused by a move toward free market pricing. Not to mention the removal of and then re-distribution of farm subsidies. Both of these events ocurred during the 1980-2000 time period. Forcing agriculture to behave as if product has an unlimited shelf life is absurd IMHO.
How do you explain enlistment rates from 1977 to 1985? The original GI bill ended in 1977 and the Montgomery GI bill wasn't passed until 1985. Men and women who enlisted between those dates weren't covered. My service was from 81 to 86; many of the country boys, like me, joined because it was the thing to do in our families, not to pay for education.
I'm not surprised. As a former Marine and soldier, I've seen more American casualties in training and on weekend leaves than I did in Desert Storm. Bored, off-duty young Marines with a pocket full of pay can be more dangerous to themselves than any army in the Middle East.
I would not be surprised if military deaths were even higher in the late 70's. I've heard first-hand stories about rampant drug use in the Army of Jimmy Carter.
When you say "...to so much disdain...", it sounds like you're suggesting that whoever it is you're railing against has disdain for our soldiers. Whether for or against this or other wars, I've not once heard anyone say a single negative thing about any U.S. military personnel, with the possible exception of the morons at Abu Ghraib. So I respectfully ask, who is it that you're pointing your criticisms at? While the media does focus on the (in my opinion) small anti-war faction which is against the war for sake of anti-war principle, many of us are angry not that we went to war, but at the ineptitude and lack of cohesive post-war strategy on the part of this administration. Had decision makers listened to people who knew what they were talking about and had experience in such matters, it is probable (though not certain) that Iraq would be in much better shape than it is today.
I agree that the human sacrifices of these conflicts (on the U.S. side, anyway) are relatively small compared with past conflicts, and that for the larger geopolitical goals are more than acceptable. But again, unless I'm misreading your comment, your assertion that whoever is against the war is attacking our military personnel is extremely disturbing, especially to one whose family has endured great hardship due to the military sacrifices made by his family.
Dear jdgtr (country boy). Of course they joined for the right reason. They were raised with the "old school" values. That is to say it took longer for the "sophisticated cynicism and socialism" of the big cities to reach the farm communites. Oh my Gosh How the liberals from New York, or San Francisco, or Seattle hate that fact. The fact that rural communities had (have?) better standard of ethics. I remember back in the early 1980's when the newly arrived liberals from the east coast imported a couple of gay guys with AIDS. The newly arrived liberals did that just so the local folks in MT could no longer say that their community did not have AIDS because they were better behaved! But, I am getting off track with this. You raised the most important ideological point: are the white, non-Jewish kids who are dying in the middle east today from the big cities? Do they come from New York City, or from San Francisco, or from Philadelphia, or ????? I doubt that very many of the young people in the middle east today actually were born/raised in big cities. They may have been moved there when they were young--but, the vast majority of millitary folks today are not "OF" the big cities. They may come from the suburbs, but not from the power palaces. They may come from San Bernardino, but not from Hollywood. They may come from Sacramento, but not from San Francisco, Those big liberal hotbeds, do not raise their children to join the millitary--nor do the small academic communities.
Thank you for your service. I too have put my life, and that of my family on the line for this country!