Mark Kukis reports from Baghdad:

Let's go to the numbers: Caracas, with about 3.2 million people, is in a bloody league of its own, with an estimated murder rate of 130 per 100,000 residents according to government figures. Cape Town is about the same size as Caracas but nearer to Baghdad's murder rate with 62 violent deaths per 100,000 people. New Orleans, with an estimated post-Katrina population of just over 300,000, is tiny in size compared to its rivals. But the number of murders is huge; figures vary, but even the low estimate puts the city on a par with Cape Town. By way of comparison, Moscow, one of the most violent cities in Europe, has an estimated murder rate of just 9.6 per 100,000 residents. New York City's murder rate is 6.2, Washington D.C.'s about 32.

None of this is to suggest that things could be considered safe or normal in Baghdad, where at least 150 people died in a series of bomb attacks over a 24-hour period just last week. None of the world's most violent cities see carnage like that on a regular basis.

So, no, Baghdad is not safer than New Orleans, the headline is completely misleading, the article contradicts itself midway through, and the whole thing uses New Orleans for a cheap civic shot.

Getting off work in a few minutes. Hope I don't get car-bombed on the way home, here in Baghdad-on-the-Mississip. Geesh.

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