Walking into any pub/bar in South Africa and you can hear some of the most laughable things. When not talking about rugby you will find white South Africans telling each other interesting little things. One precious gem you see going around is the "South Africa has a higher murder rate than Iraq" myth.
It's easy to prove that Iraqis are dying at a rate that far exceeds South Africans. Depending on whose statistics you read there have been between 400 000 - 1 000 000 deaths in the period between just 2003-2006 iraqi deaths due to the war. I should really include the last two years which have been the most violent, but it's such a silly notion to debunk I don't even need to. Obvious to say they number is almost double what I'm using.
( source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casualties_of_the_Iraq_War)
Let's not waste too much time putting this outlandish notion to bed. Let's be on the conservative side and call it an average of 150 000 deaths a year in iraq versus 18 000 in South Africa. Making iraq about 8 times more dangerous than South Africa (and about 8.4 times more dangerous than Washington Dc for perspective).
Now let's look at the American soldiers. 1 white south african dies a day due to violence. That's about the same as American soldiers (1 per day). Sounds pretty ominous if you state it like that doesn't it ? Let's dig a little deeper though.
Let's take these statistics in their basic form :
If there are 100 000 soldiers in iraq involved in active duty and that relates to a murder rate of 365 out of every 100 000 people a year, The murder rate of a White South African is 8 out of every 100 000 people. That makes South Africa 47 times safer than Iraq for a white person.
Remember iraq is not in an all out war. As a The soldiers there are glorified policemen. Many of the troops are support troops and do not see any combat. Anyway , 45 times is not a slight difference. Next time you down in the pub let your mates know how silly they are being.