Some Republican operative was just on the Daily Show, and seemed to think that he'd made a good point when he stated that only 1 in 500 Iraqis are imprisoned in Iraq today, while 1 in 75 Americans are. To him, this could only have meant two things:
1) Either the Iraqi people are extraordinarily law-abiding.
2) A lot of "bad guys" are out there and haven't been sodomized with glo-sticks yet like they oughta be.
Left unmentioned is the third option - which happens to have the benefit of being true - that the United States incarcerates a greater proportion of its citizens than any other country in the world - a list that includes Cuba and China, lest you've forgotten. Indeed, the US imprisons more than three times as many people per 1000 as the nearest comparable liberal democratic country. The US actually imprisons 714 people per 100,000, while Canada imprisons 116. (PDF source.) If we look at Iraq's neighbours, the Saudis imprison 110 per 100k, the Kuwaitis 148, and Syria 93. Admittedly, these are not countries where sentences last long - capital punishment being preferred, I suppose.
Point is, claiming that more Iraqis need to be locked up because relative to the US, there's so few in prison, is ridiculous. By that logic, every country on Earth needs to start locking more people up.
I wonder how many Americans are aware they live in what can only be described as a prison state.