death with a bow tie

Newsday.com – AP World News — This is some way to make friends and democratize an area. After this is over (if ever) our net-net death of civilians rate will surpass Sadaam’s. And die-hard Republicans wonder what the fuss is about. This to many, of course, is “liberal” propaganda. Everyone dies eventually anyway.

LONDON — Researchers have estimated that as many as 100,000 more Iraqis — many of them women and children — died since the start of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq than would have been expected otherwise, based on the death rate before the war.

Writing in the British-based medical journal The Lancet, the American and Iraqi researchers concluded that violence accounted for most of the extra deaths and that airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition were a major factor.

While you’re at it read another Charlie Reese article posted today titled, “A War we Can’t Win.” Reese, a notorious right-wing conservative is now on anti-war sites with his material.

And you probably should also read this book review by Reese.

The Army of World War II, you might say, was the last Army of the republic. It performed great deeds, but there was not much luxury, not even for the generals and admirals. Nobody was paid much. Travel was by military plane, troop train or warship, even for generals, admirals and world leaders.

Not so in today’s imperial Army. According to Chalmers Johnson, an excellent writer, in his new book, The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic, the Defense Department maintains a fleet of 71 Lear jets, 13 Gulfstream IIIs and 17 Cessna Citation luxury jets. That’s in case any of the brass wish to visit the military’s ski resort in the Bavarian Alps or any of the 234 military golf courses around the world. The secretary of defense, of course, has his own private Boeing 757.



  1. Bill Marcy says:

    100,000 or 8,000 which is it?

    http://www.slate.com/Default.aspx?id=2108887&

  2. Ed Campbell says:

    Marcy, if the stats on me living beyond 78 offered 95% certainty, I’d be happy as an Ipswich clam. The range extends from tomorrow to about 104. Given that I’m 66, I’d latch onto a 78 w/95% certainty. Especially since the odds get even better, once you reach 78 [according to SSA stats].

    Beancounters who spend their lives searching for statistical escapes from the reality of other peoples’ despair — are about as worthless as politicians or priests who prate about the value of life — and, then, send our youth off to wars for profit and punditry.

  3. TomLaurelD says:

    I wrote a letter to Senator Mitch McConnell asking him not to go to war with Iraq because it was wrong.
    I do not remember what he wrote back and said but he was polite and did not agree with what I said.
    So much for asking.
    We live on a planet of human beings and in the south we have a moral majority.
    A moral majority?
    Did I miss something in my catechism class in grammer school?
    It is somehow hard to believe I drop out over something like that.
    My head spins and they point their fingers and giggle, then walk on unaware.
    100,000 dead in Iraq is only a headline that will be forgotten the day after the election.
    100,000 thousand sons and daughters!
    100,000 thousand mothers and father weep and wonder why?
    I won’t vote for Mitch or Bush.
    I should run for the U. S. Senate in Kentucky.

  4. Ed Campbell says:

    Happened to catch an interesting talk, this morning. Doesn’t matter who, although he’s a lifetime advocate of Democracy and a fiscal Conservative. The point was made that, sadly, follows pretty consistently with the attitude of most Americans, Republican or Democrat:

    Our “War on Terror” has already claimed more innocent lives than did the attack on 9/11 which is used to justify the killing we do. Suppose the number magically turned out to be “only” 8,000 Iraqi civilians dead as the result of our invasion? The fact that we’re already into multiples of those innocents killed on 9/11 doesn’t matter to our nation — because it’s not Americans who are dying.

  5. tagryn says:

    Ed- So how do you feel about “beancounters” who try to manipulate statistics to spread despair?

  6. Ed Campbell says:

    That’s practically a basic premise for being a beancounter. Know any interested in peace or justice?

  7. paddy mullen says:

    The fact that we’re already into multiples of those innocents killed on 9/11 doesn’t matter to our nation – because it’s not Americans who are dying.

    Thats exactly the point, I’m glad its not Americans dying. Its sad that people are dying but, it happens. The 9/11 attacks seriously affected our economy and way of life. Like it or not we are the single most important country in the world.

    Now, you’ll probably say (how callouse) how can you say its ok that people die so our economy does well. Guess what I just did. Our economy brings great things to so many people. Say america was destroyed today. Think of how much in the way of new and innovative medicines our country creates. They probably save a lot more than 100,000 lives a year.

    We need to stay the course in Iraq. We killed a lot of Japanese and Germans in world war 2. They are better off for it. I will be severely disapointed if we don’t see Iraq to prosperity (not necesarily democracy). Half way wars are very penny wise and pound foolish, short sighted. Look at WWI (ok that was an unenforced treaty, sounds familiar), Korea, Afganistan. In each of those cases we left early and they are big problems.

    I think that there were greater threats than Iraq to us, I wish we had gone to those countries (Iran) instead of Iraq. But we were justified in going there, not because they had WMD’s, they didn’t, but because they didn’t live up to the treaty imposed on them after the guf war. Bush sold the war wrong, he should have said “I don’t know if they have WMD’s, but they didn’t live up to this treaty, I don’t think we can afford to wonder whether or not hey have WMD’s” If he had said that, a lot of the criticisms of the Iraqi war would be moot.

    If we are going to be a superpower and involve ourselves in other countries we need to show that we are a superpower and there are consequences for not living up to treaties. If we are going to withdraw from Iraq and the rest of the middle east, fine. But do it all the way, hanging on the fence helps no one

  8. Thomas says:

    Is that how it works now? We supposed to measure whether it was worth liberating a country by how many people the dictator killed before the war verses how many civilians we killed during the course of the war? By that account WWII was a disaster. Certainly we killed far more innocent Japanese at Hiroshima and Nagasaki than all the combined innocent deaths committed by their regime. Keep in mind that Pearl Harbor would not count as killing innocents. We certainly killed more innocents in Kosovo. I guess that wasn’t worth it either.

    This entire line of thinking is sophist nonsense. It is a way of conveniently ignoring the future direction of a country in a world with horrific weapons.

  9. 4: "-" says:

    Please, statistics do not “say” anything, but give some context for the statement: “I don’t know.”

    The 95% reliability basically means that it’s wartime and we really don’t know how many have died. That’s no surprise.

    Of course, it would be better if none died, unless you have a self-interest. I am surprised that not too many people say that to Al Queda and too many people say that to those who are following through in countries that support the kind of thinking that supports Al Queda.

    I think a lot of people on the “wrong” side in Viet Nam want to be on the “right” side this time. And they just don’t see the differences. Well, time will tell.

    “-“

    URL email: “-“

  10. John C. Dvorak says:

    Doubting Thomas. Sophist? Exactly how do you equate Hiroshima with what we are doing in Iraq? Maybe you were unaware of this, but the civilians killed there were not supposedly on our side. A more apt WWII analogy would have been our bombing Paris and killing the French to rid ourselves of a few German officers. Note: we didn’t do that did we? And, in fact, I do think it’s appropriate to compare how many innocents we kill off with Sadaams record. Why not? By your logic it makes no difference if we kill all the Iraqis (to liberate them). Would that be OK? If not, then what is the magic cut-off number? Give me a magic number.

  11. Thomas says:

    Maybe you were unaware of this,
    but the civilians killed there were
    not supposedly on our side.

    I suppose Vichy France was on our side? Read a little more history and little less political banter. It’s a ridiculous argument John. In all wars we tried to protect innocents to the best degree possible without sacrificing military objectives. That doesn’t mean we were perfect. Innocent people die in wars. There is no way around that fact. We have gone out of our way in this war to avoid innocent casualties without sacrificing our objectives. However, at this point, in the course of getting Iraq to the point of self sufficiency, we are in a situation where the enemy is purposefully hiding amongst the population. That makes it tougher and it means that mistakes will be made. I’m sure someone can track down the figures, but I would go on record as saying that the Iraq War sustained far fewer innocent deaths even as a percentage of overall casualties than in World War II.

    A more apt WWII analogy would
    have been our bombing Paris and
    killing the French to rid ourselves
    of a few German officers.

    John, you may know quite a bit about the tech industry but you don’t know squat about military tactics and history. We took Paris in 1944 because the Germans surrendered it not because of some illusionary respect for a previous ally. Had the Germans not surrendered, there is no question that we would have bombed Paris to rubble if it was necessary. Better that than suffer ground troop casualties. Look at all the cities outside of Germany that were bombed to rubble. Look at the state of Poland after the war.

    By your logic it makes no difference if we kill all the Iraqis (to liberate them). Would that be OK? If not, then what is the magic cut-off number? Give me a magic number.

    John, read a little military history. You do not win a war by killing everyone. Wars are won by breaking your opponent’s will to fight. History teaches us that there has never been a case where killing the entire population was even attempted in order to win a war nor has anyone ever suggested such a thing. You are taking the situation to a ridiculous, unrealistic, unsubstantiated extreme. You make it sound like we are intentionally killing innocents when in fact we are going out of our way to protect them. However, the enemy seems to have no problem killing innocents and clearly it does not factor into their tactics. If we kill an innocent, you have a cow. If the enemy kills an innocent, you brush it off. Pathetic. In many cases we have lost American soldiers who were trying not to kill innocents.

    What we have in Iraq is small groups of guerillas fighting a war that the rest of Iraqi population does not want to fight. The best way to defeat that type of war is firstly to ensure that the enemy knows we have no intention of giving up. Secondly, we need to ensure that the enemy knows we will kill them if they do not surrender. Lastly, and most importantly, it requires that the Iraqi government establish and police itself. That takes time. A country cannot be built overnight, yet Iraq has progressed at a record pace. You are only seeing the negative and not the tremendous positives.

  12. John C. Dvorak says:

    Uh, Thomas..I think you missed the point completely. And I should mention that my degree is actually in US History from Berkeley. What’s yours? Nice try at being condescending whatever it is. I’m so shaken!!

    I also wonder about someone who obviously doesn’t give a flying fuck about the killing of thousands of innocent civilians who we are supposedly helping.

    While on the topic let me re-post the George H.W. quote:

    Trying to eliminate Saddam…would have incurred incalculable human and political costs. … We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq. There was no viable “exit strategy” we could see, violating another of our principles. … Had we gone the invasion route, the United States could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land.

    – George H. W. Bush, in his 1998 memoir, “A World Transformed”

    What part of “incalculable human and political costs” do you not understand?

  13. T.C. Moore says:

    I truly believe that today’s military has gone out of its way to avoid civilian casualties. When ordered to take Fallujah (against their will, according to the commanding Lt. Gen. at the time), they went from building to building, taking the city block by block, at extreme risk to their own lives. They could have used rockets, mortars, and other heavy weapons to keep their distance and reduce the risks to themselves. But instead they have consistently shown caution and care around civilians and cultural sites (except for not guarding them in the beginning. Not the field personnel’s fault.)

    Given the incredible advances in precision bombs and weapons, the civilian toll could have been much higher. The military is keenly aware of the negative impact that civilian deaths have on morale and public opinion, THEREFORE THEY TRY TO AVOID THEM.

    I think time will tell, and in 10 years we can survey the Iraqi population and ask if 100,000 (or whatever number of) deaths was worth the price of freedom and democracy.

    Another “significant factor” in civilian deaths are Iraqi terrorists/insurgents killing their own people.

    The difference between theoretically-justified resistance fighters, and the Iraqi terrorist insurgents is quite clear: a real hero fighting for his country drawns his gun, shoots at the enemy, and yells “Get out of here.” A terrorist draws his gun, shoots his neighbor, and yells “Get out of here, or I will kill more of my own people. Or more journalists, or more international caregivers, or more UN diplomats, etc, etc, et-fucking-cetera….”

  14. Thomas says:

    Frankly, I am unimpressed by your degree given your comments. I met many history majors in college that knew far less than I did about US History and especially military history. Your knowledge of history is what counts here not your degree.

    Precision munitions are designed to kill the enemy and only the enemy. The whole idea is to minimize collateral damage. We are using precision attacks for the express purpose of minimizing innocent deaths. We have been going to extremes to protect civilians even to the point of sacrificing American lives while continuing to complete our mission. As I said, the enemy is intentionally hiding amongst the population to protect themselves. That means that innocents are going to die unfortunately. That is a far cry from suggesting that we are intentionally killing innocents. You don’t seem to have nearly the same problem with the suicide bombers killing innocent people or with these bozos decapitating innocent people.

    I also wonder about someone who obviously doesn’t give a flying fuck about the killing of thousands of innocent civilians who we are supposedly helping.

    Actually, I do care about killing thousands of innocent civilians. However, let’s be clear that all innocent deaths are not equal. I would care far more about my wife, family, friends or other Americans dying than Iraqi civilians. That does not mean I do not care at all for Iraqi civilian deaths.

    Here’s the catch with all of this, how do you minimize innocent death over the long haul? IMO, the answer is root out and kill these assholes or force them to surrender and to build a strong Iraqi government so that they can finish the job. That is exactly what is happening, but it takes time.

    You are conveniently forgetting history with regards to Bush I’s comments. The coalition that we put together specifically did not have a mandate to take out Saddam. The countries that helped us would not have gone along with, at the time, removing Saddam from power. That’s the “incalculable political costs” he is talking about. One of the big differences between 1991 and now is that Saddam spent that time thumbing his nose at the UN and its sanctions. This time, Bush II went to the UN and told the UN that they either had to enforce these sanctions or risk irrelevance as a body. That history of defiance was not there when Bush I went in and thus justifying the removal of Saddam would have been politically difficult.

  15. John C. Dvorak says:

    Hmm..let me re-read it..

    Trying to eliminate Saddam…would have incurred incalculable human and political costs. … We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq. There was no viable “exit strategy” we could see, violating another of our principles. … Had we gone the invasion route, the United States could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land.

    – George H. W. Bush, in his 1998 memoir, “A World Transformed”

    Hmmm..no disclaimers that I can see. Seems like an accurate summation, in fact, of the situation we’re in. It’s amazing you can’t see it. Maybe it’s too obvious for you.

    Perhaps a GW Bush quote will make more sense to you:

    “Free societies are hopeful societies. And free societies will be allies against these hateful few who have no conscience, who kill at the whim of a hat.”—Washington, D.C.,Sept. 17, 2004

  16. Scott says:

    Bush is a spoiled rich kid. Period.
    He has no clue about war, no clue about life, no clue about medical research, no clue about education, no clue about taxes, and absolutely no clue about freedom and democracy. All he cares about is himself and his little “clik” of so called friends. I’m sickened to think he actually believes he leads the free world when he can’t even lead a straight line of conversation. He did not win the war in Iraq, he did not win the war on terrorizm, he did not win a true election in 2000, and by God’s grace will not in 2004.

  17. T.C. Moore says:

    This thread looks so silly the day after.

    Apparently Bush and Rove have a lot of clue.

    I’m reminded of the recent Frontline “The Choice 2004” that talks about Rove single-handedly convincing Bush to run for governor, showing him the numbers and saying “I can elect you with the Evangelical vote alone.” It seems unfathomable that they could ride that for so long, on a national stage.

  18. Thomas says:

    Guess my original post didn’t make it the first time…

    John, you are again forgetting history with your remark. You are ignoring the context in which Bush I wrote his comment. I completely agree with Bush I’s statement because at the time we did not have a mandate to take out Saddam. The coalition that we built would not have gone along with his removal at that time. However, between 1991 we had 12 plus years of Saddam defiance and evidence of WMD production (which later proved inaccurate). That his statement is qualified to apply to the situation in 1991 and not necessarily the situation in 2002 is obvious and cannot be ignored.

    Let’s look at Bush II’s statement:

    Free societies are hopeful societies.

    Stop right there. Neither Afghanistan nor Iraq was a free society. Bush I’s plan all along is to make them free societies so that they can be allies against these hateful few who have no conscience, who kill at the whim of a hat. His statement is still quite logical and quite applicable to the solution at hand.


0

Bad Behavior has blocked 5417 access attempts in the last 7 days.