,Malaysia, Nicaragua,adultery

Monday, August 08, 2005

 

There are Victims, and there are Victims

The shameful, deafening silence about civilian deaths in military action
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In Iraq, insurgents are killing soldiers and civilians. Their actions are described as atrocities. Dead soldiers are lauded by us as patriots who gave their lives in a noble cause. When coalition soldiers kill insurgents they are fighting to establish democracy and root out terrorism, and when hapless civilians die during military action, they are shrugged off as "collateral damage".

If they don't look like us, if they don't speak the same language, live far away some place that we have difficulty spotting on a map, and don't follow our faith then they are expendable. It is true that there are many who remain unaffected by deaths and injuries suffered by civilians in Iraq and elsewhere.

"When the victims are commuters in London, English-speakers carrying briefcases, we pay attention. When they're tourists in Egypt, maybe it rings a bell -- "Sharm el-Sheikh, isn't that where they have the marvelous scuba diving?" When they're Iraqis, we register the body count the way we note the record-high temperatures in the Midwest, and then we move on. Ninety-five in Chicago, imagine that. A hundred just south of Baghdad."

The above is from Eugene Robinson's "Learning to Live with the Boom", The Washington Post July 26, 2005.

Demonization of the UN by conservatives and claims by fundamentalist Christians that their God is the one to lead you to heaven encourage and promote such mean-spirited, insular attitude. Some politicians and preachers keep fanning the fire. Interesting that the Muslims' call to prayer include: "There is no God but Allah" and some Muslims in Islamic countries gleefully took to the streets to express support for what the terrorists did on 9/11. A common thread runs between the fundamentalists of all faiths.

Latest numbers from the London-based Iraq Body Count:

Minimum 23456 Maximum 26559

Actions by insurgents have caused many deaths since 2004, but military actions by coalition forces account for a large part. IBC's site states: "As many as 10,000 non-combatant civilian deaths during 2003 have been reliably reported so far as a result of the US/UK-led invasion and occupation of Iraq . These reports provide figures which range between a minimum of 8,235 and a maximum of 10,079 as of Saturday 7th February 2004."

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