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Full Version: Violence in Iraq: A Sane Approach
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This is a good one from the Powerline Blog site. What is nice about it is that the overwrought approach to mass killing and violence in Iraq, is not near what the L A Times, or other left outlets trumpet.

Further, the rush to blame the US for this killings does not make a valid case.


Quote:Violence In Iraq: A Comparison

This report in today's Los Angeles Times says that 50,000 Iraqis have been killed since the American-led invasion in March 2003. A large majority of these were murdered by terrorists. The Times trumpets its figure, which it considers conservative, as a rebuke to the Bush administration--the article's very first sentence notes that its figure is "20,000 higher than previously acknowledged by the Bush administration." No doubt the Times' count will be so interpreted when it is repeated by hundreds of other news outlets over the next few days.

The Times makes no effort to put its 50,000 number into any sort of context. Reading its article, one might get the impression that pre-2003 Iraq was the balloon-flying paradise so notoriously depicted by Michael Moore. A bit of research, however, offers evidence that the current level of violence is, sadly, nothing new.

In January 2003, two months before the coalition's attack on Saddam's regime began, John Burns wrote a chilling account of Saddam Hussein's reign of terror in the New York Times. Burns' article, titled "How Many People Has Saddam Killed?", recounted some once-familiar numbers that seem to have been forgotten in the current media hysteria. Burns noted that Saddam was widely considered to be responsible for "a million dead Iraqis," a number that included 500,000 killed in the war Saddam launched against Iran. Burns tried to estimate separately the number that were simply murdered:


Quote:Casualties from Iraq's gulag are harder to estimate. Accounts collected by Western human rights groups from Iraqi émigrés and defectors have suggested that the number of those who have "disappeared" into the hands of the secret police, never to be heard from again, could be 200,000.

Burns' piece is notable, too, for its appalling description of Abu Ghraib prison at a time when it really was a center of torture and mass murder. As he documents the fear that penetrated Iraqi society, Burns also reminds us that beheadings in that long-suffering place are nothing new:

Quote:More recently, ... scores of women have been executed under a new twist in a "return to faith" campaign proclaimed by Mr. Hussein. ... Often, the executions have been carried out by the Fedayeen Saddam, a paramilitary group headed by Mr. Hussein's oldest son, 38-year-old Uday. These men, masked and clad in black, make the women kneel in busy city squares, along crowded sidewalks, or in neighborhood plots, then behead them with swords.

No doubt, some of the beheadings that have occurred over the past three years have been carried out by the very same people who committed the same outrages on Saddam's orders.

When I read the L. A. Times' breathless account of 50,000 dead Iraqis, my thoughts went back to pre-2003 days when leftists would claim that the United Nations' sanctions were responsible for enormous numbers of fatalities in that country. In the Muslim world it was commonly said that sanctions killed 100,000 Iraqi children a year, or a million altogether. Some estimates ranged as high as two million.

Such claims are wildly inflated. (Ironically, some of the same people who peddled these inflated figures when attacking the United States for supporting the U.N.'s sanctions are now in the forefront of denunciations of the war and its aftermath. By their own logic, they should be applauding the end of the supposed "genocide" that our invasion brought about.) But even on the most sober accounting, as in this article by Matt Welch in Reason magazine, it is clear that the sanctions regime did increase mortality among children as well as adults. Welch concludes:[/size]

Quote:It seems awfully hard not to conclude that the embargo on Iraq has been ineffective (especially since 1998) and that it has, at the least, contributed to more than 100,000 deaths since 1990.

So, while 50,000 murdered people constitute a tragedy, it is meaningless to look at this figure outside the context of Iraq's bloody history. That context includes not only the fact that far more people lost their lives--and far more brutally, for the most part--under Saddam. Equally important, it includes the fact that for the first time in a generation, the murderers and beheaders are hunted men rather than agents of a tyrannical government. The sacrifices now being made in Iraq need not be in vain, as long as Iraqis do not lose their commitment to freedom, and Americans do not lose their nerve.

One more thing: the L. A. Times article includes the intriguing observation that the large majority of people being murdered, by terrorists or, apparently, otherwise, are in Baghdad:


Quote:At least 2,532 people were killed nationwide last month. Of those, 2,155 — 85% — died in Baghdad.

The current population of Iraq is around 26 million, of whom approximately 6 million live in Baghdad. A murder rate of 377 x 12 = 4,524, for the 20 million people who live anywhere other than Baghdad, works out to 22.6 per 100,000. That's around four times the murder rate in the United States, and about the same as the murder rates in cities like Chicago, Philadelphia and Milwaukee. So, if the Times' figures are anywhere near accurate, it is absurd to say--as the Times article does--that "the entire country [is] a battleground."[/size]
Who cares about how many Iraqis are dead? If changing the Iraqi government was good for the USA,why would an American give a flip how many of the enemy are dead as a result?

Did anyone care how many dead Nipponese there were in 1945? I doubt it.
Palladin Wrote:Who cares about how many Iraqis are dead? If changing the Iraqi government was good for the USA,why would an American give a flip how many of the enemy are dead as a result?

Did anyone care how many dead Nipponese there were in 1945? I doubt it.
True, in 1945, very few Americans cared about dead Japanese. They were so caught up in the war hysteria then, that it was a semi-nice, kinda-nice thing the US govt. did, putting the Japanese-Americans in detention camps, to protect them from super-patriotic crazed American-Americans.

In the 1980's, I was working in Austin, Texas, which has more than its fair share of Asian-Americans. We were in a place where all the employees were American citizens. Our coworker Doris looked across the cafeteria at an Asian, more likely a Chinese or Vietnamese, possibly a Japanese. Doris said with the smell of crap still on her voice after forty years, "They killed my brother!"

I can still remember when senior citizen homes contained no cars with Japanese or German names, for the same reason. It's called war hatred.

If you never lived on the same block as a hibakashu, you might not care about atomic bomb survivors. If you never had a Vietnamese refugee-lover, you might not care how many "gooks" your buddies killed in 'Nam.

If you have no knowledge of the people your country is killing (and who are killing your countrymen), you tend not to think of them as being one of us, humans, souls for whom Jesus died, human beings who never hear the Gospel message properly.
Thai,

Oh,I'm aware the Muslim murderers are fully human beings. I am aware God Himself gave them the spark of life at birth as He does all human beings. I know where their souls are after physical death from the same source,The Scriptures.

I'm also aware God mandates His people to kill His people's enemies,you just refuse to acknowledge it. The Midianites,Jebusites,Philistines,you name it.

God knew they were fully human. So did the Jews.

I bet my father knew the Nipponese were humans as well and he was real happy at their demise as were all Americans in 1945.

Living with Nipponese as our rulers wouldn't serve Christ's cause then and living with Muslims ruling us won't today. Killing the enemy is a must to preserve freedom for worship and evangelization of lost humans. Sort of hard to ignore this reality.
I'm not sure which realities we're ignoring, and that goes for all of us. We don't recognize the same truths or realities sometimes.
Palladin Wrote:Thai,

Oh,I'm aware the Muslim murderers are fully human beings. I am aware God Himself gave them the spark of life at birth as He does all human beings. I know where their souls are after physical death from the same source,The Scriptures.

I'm also aware God mandates His people to kill His people's enemies,you just refuse to acknowledge it. The Midianites,Jebusites,Philistines,you name it.

God knew they were fully human. So did the Jews.

I bet my father knew the Nipponese were humans as well and he was real happy at their demise as were all Americans in 1945.

Living with Nipponese as our rulers wouldn't serve Christ's cause then and living with Muslims ruling us won't today. Killing the enemy is a must to preserve freedom for worship and evangelization of lost humans. Sort of hard to ignore this reality.
I acknowledge, and have never denied, the past tense truth that God mandated His people [the Hebrews and Jews of the Old Testament] to specifically kill specific tribes at specific times and places. The list is long, but it is old and dead, and I fail to see how some great prophet like Moses, Joshua, or Nathan speaks today as they did in the past..

Didn't we agree on some other thread, that God seldom if ever speaks through prophets now, so that he can say, "Go kill the Iraqis!!"?

We "Americans" who appropriated the name of two continents saw nothing wrong, as early as 1820, of having a nationalistic doctrine that we would control both those continents. We still practice not only that doctrine, but others such as this Bush's doctrine, that we will control every continent including Atlantis.

Do you have to be a Christian pacifist to see the contradiction in these words, "Killing the enemy is a must to preserve freedom for worship and evangelization of lost humans"? Must we destroy the village in order to save it?
...Back on point of the thread, Thanks John for the reminder article and commentary.

It brought things back into focus very well.

I am saddened by the deaths of Iraqis, men, women, and children.

I remember all the TV shows gathering we USAers, (better Thai?) for a ring-side seat at the "greatest bombing display of history". They even coined a phrase to describe the upcoming event...but I have forgotten it.

I never will forget the obvious disappointment the commentators were showing as the surprisingly few and generally small precision weapons exploded across Bagdad.
For all his faults, I am so thankful W was President then, and President now.
Ken
Thai,

My question to end the debate would be when did God change and where did He tell us?