From: Mike [Email him]
I have just seen stats on the civilian deaths in Syria—16,913 civilians according to the "Syrian Network For Human Rights."
But wait a minute, there is a war going on there. Look at the civilian murder rate in South Africa: 18,673 civilians. And climbing at 5% per year. [South Africa's murder rate rises to over 50 people killed per day, Agence France-Presse, September 3, 2016] Some investigation is needed to find the real war!
James Fulford writes: Because South Africa has more than twice the population of Syria, their murder rate is not quite as bad as a full scale war.
It's still really, really, really, bad. For example the entire country has twice the murder rate of Chicago, and some parts of South Africa have triple the murder rate of Chicago. You could also compare it to England:
In 1998, the late Christopher Hitchens wrote that
“Most “advanced” countries in the world have abolished capital punishment. In order to be a fully signatory nation of the Council of Europe, for example, you have to show that you have wiped it from your book of statutes. The very first act of the Constitutional Court of liberated South Africa was to abolish the penalty of death.”
Reading that in 2015, I was forced to ask "Really? Was that a clever idea?"
This chart of murders dating back to 1915 suggests the whole liberation thing may not have been a clever idea—the spike is right where you'd expect it.