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.