Rush Limbaugh compared the number of murders in Philadelphia to American military deaths in Iraq; in fact, the rate of military deaths in Iraq is far higher than the murder rate in Philadelphia.
On the January 31 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, host Rush Limbaugh compared Philadelphia's murder to the rate of American military deaths in Iraq, stating, "There were 821 deaths in Iraq, troop-related deaths last year; 406 in one American city." Limbaugh added: "If we were to follow the way Democrats want to deal with Iraq and apply it to how we should deal with Philadelphia and other crime-ridden big cities, we should do the following: Cut off all federal funding for Philadelphia. Withdraw all federal agencies and FBI offices, any federal law enforcement, get them the hell out of there by 2008 so [Sen.] Hillary [Rodham] Clinton [D-NY] doesn't have to deal with it when she's inaugurated in January of 2009."
A January 31 Reuters article reported that 406 homicides occurred in Philadelphia in 2006. Philadelphia is a city of 1,406,415 people, according to the most recent U.S. Census data. Therefore, in 2006 Philadelphia had a death rate of almost 29 for every 100,000 people. By contrast, as Limbaugh noted, the number of American military deaths in Iraq 2006 was 821. According to the Brookings Institution's Iraq Index, the number of American troops in Iraq in 2006 fluctuated between 126,900 and 144,000. That makes the death rate for American soldiers in Iraq at least 570 for every 100,000 troops (using the highest number of troops that were in Iraq in 2006) -- far higher than that of Philadelphia.
Limbaugh concluded the segment by stating, "You see how bogus this whole argument is on 'get the troops out now because they're dying for nothing'? What an insult to them."
Previously, on the January 26 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, host Rush Limbaugh claimed: "[I]f 821 Americans out of a troop force of 150,000 died in one year -- haven't worked up the percentages on this -- but you might have a better chance of living, going to war, than living in certain cities where the crime rate is out of control."
From the January 31 broadcast of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:
LIMBAUGH: We're concerned with death here. We're concerned with body counts. We're concerned with the breakdown of law and order. [inaudible] Insurgencies, gangs, whatever you want to call them. They're out of control in major American cities, and Philadelphia is just one example, and where are the hearings on this? Oh, I know. Senator [Joseph R.] Biden [D-DE] and Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi [D-CA] are too busy trying to weaken the commander-in-chief so we can't win the war in Iraq. They are not only invested in defeat, they can't allow victory. They simp -- politically, they cannot allow it. Four-hundred-and-six Philadelphians murdered last year; unbelievable. We have lost just over 3,000 soldiers in Iraq in nearly four years, about 600 of those were due to non-combat accidents. There were 821 deaths in Iraq, troop-related deaths last year; 406 in one American city! And consider the media attention. We hear about how out of control Baghdad is. We hear about how nobody can control it, and Bush can't control it and the U.S. military can't control it.
Let's get a little proportion and let's talk about the fact that it is not safe to walk in parts of our own American cities. Democrat [sic]-run cities, liberal politicians. The contrast in big media coverage, especially the TV networks, is sickening. If we were to follow the way Democrats want to deal with Iraq and apply it to how we should deal with Philadelphia and other crime-ridden big cities, we should do the following: Cut off all federal funding for Philadelphia. Withdraw all federal agencies and FBI offices, any federal law enforcement, get them the hell out of there by 2008 so Hillary Clinton doesn't have to deal with it when she's inaugurated in January of 2009. It sounds to me like there's a civil war going on in Philadelphia and in other major American cities, and we ought not be in the middle of it. We need -- well, diplomacy. OK, I guess that's right, try diplomacy. Send some diplomats in there. Negotiate peace between the gangs and the citizens who are at war with them. But before anything -- before anything is done, a resolution. We need a resolution from the United States Senate, which forces President Bush to remove all federal presence from Philadelphia and now. He is not the decider. Senator [Arlen] Specter [R-PA] said it yesterday, he's not the sole decider. They have co-deciders in the United States Senate. Senator Specter, maybe you should take your eyes off of Iraq and Baghdad and focus on your hometown.
LIMBAUGH: Soldiers dying in a war-zone is one thing, but citizens in a civilized American city, being murdered at the rate of 406 a year, speaking of Philadelphia. Philadelphians are dying, Senator Specter. In one city, we lose half as many American citizens, innocent lives, as troops dead, not all on the battlefield either, in Iraq. Where's the concern for dying in Philadelphia? Where is the concern for the dying in Detroit, Chicago, Miami, Houston, Dallas, New York, Boston, take your pick. Where's the concern for the death and the dying? Where are the resolutions, where are the demands that we train local security forces to deal with this? Where are the threats from our great fearless leaders in Washington to get out? I'm sure we've got military installations in many of these cities. Our troops are at risk in our major cities. We have National Guard members, we have reservists in all these cities. They are at risk, Senator Specter, in your hometown. Have you no concern for the possibility they might die on the streets of Philadelphia? You see how bogus this whole argument is on "get the troops out now because they're dying for nothing"? What an insult to them.
From the January 26 broadcast of The Rush Limbaugh Show:
LIMBAUGH: My point is not to diminish the 821. My point here is to, A, illustrate for you how you may be in the process of being brainwashed, propagandized, and manipulated by the drive-by media who want you to believe that many are dying every day. The second thing is to try and put some perspective in all this, with ways in which Americans die while not at war. Wouldn't you say that if 821 Americans out of a troop force of 150,000 died in one year -- haven't worked up the percentages on this -- but you might have a better chance of living, going to war, than living in certain cities where the crime rate's out of control. I put this in context because the purpose of this war is to protect U.S. national security; it's not just stabilizing Iraq.