How Do We Measure This Tragedy?

February 20, 2007 by susan

by susan

If you want to start a blog frenzy, just write about the number of Iraqi civilians who have been killed as a result of the US invasion.

First, you will hear from those who lambast you for not writing about the number of Iraqi civilians killed by Saddam Hussein. Yes, terrible tyrant, gassed his own people, as they always seem to add, (actually, seeing as they were Kurds, not really) but not the point at the moment.

Then there are those who want to know what makes you think you know more than the DoD and the Pentagon, which stopped doing body counts after the Vietnam war because the numbers played into the hands of the "liberal" media. Gee, people just don't like to hear about nursing mothers and babies being snuffed out by their unquenchable thirst for democracy.

But if you chose to go with the Iraq Body Count's numbers, a much more conservative estimate, roughly 60,000, over the Lancet's 655,000, the left rears up with a snarl. "What are you, the mouth piece for George Bush?"

The numbers are all over the place, with the Iraq Body Count only tallying those killed by direct military intervention, and the Lancet counting those who have died indirectly, whether from lack of medical care or other necessities. Plenty of excellent anti-war people are on the record taking issue with the Lancet's methods and final count, while others just as strongly debunk the IBC's process.

While reading the angry exchanges about who has the numbers right, it struck me that it was a bit like arguing the number of angels dancing on the proverbial pin. Before your fingers hit the keyboard to smite me, here's why I say that.

If we use Hitler as the classic example, the fact that he put forth the ideas he did and managed to get a well-educated nation to go along with him -- stuffing train cars with living men, women and children and building ovens to incinerate them -- is such a horror in and of itself that whether 6 million people were slaughtered, or 600,000, is almost beside the point. (Not if you count your relatives among the dead, and I do not make light of the enormity of that number.)

But is the magnitude of the tragedy measured solely by the number killed? Can it not also be measured by the number who embraced it or simply looked the other way?

I am not saying that George Bush, as insane and inept as he is, is in the same mold as Hitler. I don't believe he set out to exterminate innocent Iraqis, or send 3100 (and counting) American soldiers to their deaths. But some day, let's hope sooner rather than later, the dust will clear in Iraq and there will be a clearer count of how many died and by what means. And whether it's 60,000 or 100,000 or 650,000, or one million, it's a crushing loss of life.

We should grieve every loss, no matter what the number, but we should also grieve the loss of our country, and wonder how it came to be that so many people were bamboozled long enough to let this happen.

When I was growing up we were all taught to question what happened to the good Germans. I don't think we ever expected to have to ask the same question of ourselves.

Posted in


Swallow (not verified) | February 21, 2007 - 12:46pm

How Do We Measure This Tragedy? We cannot, it is to immense by any standard that that I can imagine, and as far as the death count these numbers are almost meaningless as for all practical purposes the Iraqi have all been killed. In your statement that G.WB &Co didn’t start out to exterminate The Iraqi people there my dear Girl you are wrong as that has been the precise plan all along.

The US has been waging a nuclear war in Iraq since the first gulf war with the use of Depleted uranium warheads. The result being that Iraq for all intents and purposes has been turned into a nuclear waste land as there are now tens of thousands of tons of DU spread over the entire land. This simply means that if it’s living in Iraq and breathing it is dying of radioactive poisoning. This includes US troops as well, They will come home after their tour, they will get sick and they will Die and the Government will do nothing for them. They the troops will also pass on their radioactive poisons to their wives through their semen who in turn will pass it on to their offspring through their breast milk.

(Problem Statement) (let's hope sooner rather than later, the dust will clear in Iraq and there will be a clearer count of how many died and by what means.) Depleted Uranium stays radioactive for 4.5 Billion years effectively forever, so you see the dust in Iraq Will Never Settle and the final body count will be ALL. Now when a baby is born in Iraq the parents don’t ask if it’s a boy or a girl they simply ask if it’s normal. Problem with this is that NO BABYS born in Iraq are completely normal as they have been damaged on the genetic level by Radiation from Depleted Uranium. These death counts and deformities have yet to be factored in. Moreover, they never will be.

So the question to be asked is what would be a fitting punishment for those responsible for these horrendous acts of terror and genocide? Answer There is simply none. There is nothing that could be done to these people that would make up for what they have done and continue to do to people who have committed no crimes whatsoever. Unless it’s a crime to be born sitting on an ocean of OIL that America wants.

Thank You
A View From the Swallow’s Nest