08 July 2007

The Iraq ______.

I suppose it goes without saying that an American life is worth a heck of a lot more than an Iraqi life, at least according to the AP, but its nice to see that one dead South Dakotan and a couple of houses outranks 220 Iraqis as the top story at Yahoo! News.

Yahoo! News: Top Stories
South Dakota fire kills 1, burns homes (AP)
Violent weekend in Iraq kills over 220 (AP)

So the question is: How can we ever pull out of this war? The casualties are little more than a statistic, and frankly, Scarlett, we don't seem to give a damn. 220 people in a fucking weekend? That's my high school graduating class. That's four full subway cars. That's exactly how many people I'm inviting to the next W & L party. 220 people dead in a weekend.

Not that I'm oblivious when the number is lower. Those "20 bodies found in Baghdad today" articles are just incredible. Here is the lead-in graph of today's AP story:

BAGHDAD - Prominent Shiite and Sunni politicians called on Iraqi civilians to take up arms to defend themselves after a weekend of violence that claimed more than 220 lives, including 60 who died Sunday in a surge of bombings and shootings around Baghdad.

If 60 bodies turned up in New York tomorrow (a city of comparable size to Baghdad) no one would leave the house. The post offices would be closed. You wouldn't be able to buy eggs. I've heard every single economic, socio-political, aesthetic, and cosmetic rationale about why we should not be in Iraq. I'm sick and fucking tired of hearing perfectly sound and well-reasoned arguments against the Iraq war.

220 people? A slow day at Auschwitz. A foggy day at the Battle of Verdun. A quarter-second at Hiroshima. I like to think that every day we distance ourselves from these atrocities. But if 1,000 people are killed in Iraq next weekend, we'll have something for the 22nd Century to reflect on in horror.

I just hope two tractors don't collide somewhere in Minnesota, because two Americans getting themselves killed will be enough to relegate 1000 dead Iraqis to the back pages.


Blogger njm said...

hear hear!

July 11, 2007 9:05 AM  
Blogger Bryan said...

Why don't we care? I think that's what sets this conflict apart from past wars- we just don't want to hear about it and the media's cool with that. We can't put a value on an Iraqi life because they're all a bunch of heretic lunatics who fly planes at our buildings... or was that the French? I forgot. I watched "Wife Swap" instead of the news that day.

A casual guess, but I blame the decline of democracy. This "by the people, for the people" junk went out the window around the same time that "the people" decided to be split evenly between the "Jesus will save us from the towelheads and the gays" set and those of us who have seen a museum or a homeless person.

If I can't make a difference with my vote (if I live in a state in which votes from registered democrats are still counted), what can I do to help put an end to this war? And if I can't help put an end to it, I'm just gonna pretend it's not going on and watch the Pirates and the Braves tonight. And hope the Braves get slaughtered.

July 13, 2007 4:43 PM  
Blogger marklow said...

Your Braves and Pirates argument strongly points out the two-party democracy we've always known and loved, and how the fan who just goes to "watch a decent game" is guaranteed the enjoyable time, while the partial fan gambles with his enthusiasm. There's power in the media's depiction of far right and far left issues. We get two extreme forms of fanatacism, and increasingly move toward the center on issues so that the process is less exhausting. We become casual observers.

But I'm never intrigued by the casual observer. Or the Braves fan for that matter. Lets keep takin sides.

July 15, 2007 11:28 AM  
Blogger J Squared's Profile said...


October 03, 2007 8:07 PM  

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