Monday, June 26, 2006

Imagine if Iraqis Had Caused the Deaths of 570,000 Americans

The LA Times ran a story this weekend that calculated the number of violent deaths in Iraq since the US invasion. The conservative estimate based on morgue counts was over 50,000 dead.

This number did not include deaths in the Kurdish area, deaths anywhere outside of Baghdad in the first year after the invasion, any non-violent deaths related to the war and it significantly underestimated deaths in the Anbar province, which is the Sunni stronghold where a lot of the fighting has taken place.

Still, the number is over 50,000 violent deaths.

And, oh yeah, it doesn’t count the American dead, which is over 2,500. Or the American injured, which is over 18,000. Or the Iraqi injured, which is God knows how many.

The LA Times pointed out that proportionally that would be the equivalent of 570,000 Americans killed in this country. In other words, since their population is much smaller, the 50,000 deaths in Iraq would have the same impact as 570,000 dead here.

Now imagine if Iraq had invaded the United States and caused 570,000 Americans to die, either through their actions, the insurgency that rose up to fight the Iraqi occupation or through foreign terrorists that poured in over our border to fight the Iraqis but killed so many more Americans. Now, how do you think we would feel about those occupiers?

Do you think after 570,000 dead Americans, we would accept the Iraqi line about how they wanted to help us by instituting regime change in our country and convert us to their form of government? Do you think perhaps we would have fought back?

I’m not going to even get into the American natural resources they would have given to Iraqi companies, the billions of dollars of our government money they would have lost, their gross mismanagement of the country and the ensuing chaos, churches blown up in every city, race wars they wound up triggering here, etc., etc.

Do you think we would have fought back?

Somehow this is not supposed to be a kosher question. I can’t quite understand why. I am not supposed to disturb your pleasant morning in paradise with the idea of the rage we would have if a foreign power occupied us and caused 570,000 Americans to die here. So go on about your pleasant lives and pretend we didn’t do that to all those people.

How long can we stomach this? How many more Iraqis have to die before we think we did some think morally reprehensible? And then I think of politicians like Joe Lieberman, John McCain and Hillary Clinton who still defend this war and refuse to call it a mistake. It makes me sick.

Cenk Uygur, on The Huffington Post

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