Monday, February 04, 2008

Iraq conflict has killed a million, says survey

More than one million Iraqis have died as a result of the conflict in their country since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, according to research conducted by one of Britain's leading polling groups.

The survey, conducted by Opinion Research Business (ORB) with 2,414 adults in face-to-face interviews, found that 20 percent of people had had at least one death in their household as a result of the conflict, rather than natural causes.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mac--
I've lately come to the conclusion that ~90% of the population in Iraq (not to mention in the rest of the Middle East) are incorrigible idiots. The more of them that are killed, the better off the rest of us are.

Or -- let's look at it this way: I've got nothing against Islam per se (in fact, judging from reading the Qur'an I'd say that Muhammad had a pretty clear sense of right and wrong). The problem is that the culture in the Middle East lacks what Renaissance thinkers here in the west termed "the spirit of criticism". Simply stated, these Middle Eastern fuckers suffer from a remarkable lack of critical thinking skills. In fact, by undermining individuality their culture also undervalues critical thinking (individuality as a value is a prerequisite for positing the value of critical thought) -- which is why they will never see a REASON to remedy their lack of critical thinking skills. Their fanaticism and violence are both direct consequences of this. You cannot reason with someone for whom such things as examination of beliefs and personal motives do not exist.

Which brings me to my next point. They get pissed at us for "interfering" in their affairs. They also get pissed at us for the times we fail to lend a hand. We're damned if we do and we're damned if we don't. They'll never see the unreasonableness of this position that they've backed us into, either. My suggestion? Let's just fucking leave Iraq and the Middle East. Sure, they'll be pissed at us for leaving -- but they'd equally be pissed at us for staying, and someone's got to be a _decider_. So we'll fucking leave. When we do, these idiots are going to shoot at each other and probably drag the whole of the Middle East into chaos. Let them. Let's wash our hands of them. In fact, not only do I think we should pull our troops out of the region; I think we should go so far as to wean ourselves off their oil so that we'll have as little to do with them as possible. If they want to continue slaughtering each other in the name of God (and I think such stupidity is in fact more of a burlesque of Muhammad and his message than any sacrilegious cartoons appearing in certain newspapers) -- by all means, let them have at it. Furthermore, we'll place the responsibility of keeping terrorists under control entirely with THEIR governments. And we'll make this clear to them: should another 9/11 ever again happen on OUR soil, we will conduct a thorough investigation into which country it was that failed to keep their boys in check. Once we discover who was negligent, we will turn that country into a piece of fucking glass. Yes, we'll make this very clear to them, and we'll make sure they know we mean it. Maybe then that'll give them incentive to contain the violence and terrorism within the borders of their own countries and to leave us the fuck out.

mr. intense said...

"I think we should go so far as to wean ourselves off their oil so that we'll have as little to do with them as possible."

Much easier said than done.

Re: another 9/11--

"Once we discover who was negligent, we will turn that country into a piece of fucking glass."

Oh, so if another terrorist strike occurred, you'd destroy the country the terrorists reside in, killing millions of innocents? Yeah, that seems to be a reasonable solution. That surely would restore the reputation of the US in the world.

Let's face it--your polemics and rhetoric are no more logical than the terrorists. Your opinions, if followed, would result in world war three. Not very rational.

The survey is exaggerated, also. I doubt very much if 1 million have died. Although, I wouldn't be surprised if 250,000 to 300,000 total have died. Which is horrendous enough.

Mac said...

Anon.--

Boy, you sure talk a mean game when you're posting anonymously on someone else's blog. I better not start getting hate-mail because of this.

The next time anyone comments about turning someone's country into a "piece of f*cking glass," the comment gets deleted. So don't bother trying again.

Intense--

I doubt very much if 1 million have died. Although, I wouldn't be surprised if 250,000 to 300,000 total have died. Which is horrendous enough.

Precisely my own sentiment.

Anonymous said...

Mac--

"Boy, you sure talk a mean game when you're posting anonymously on someone else's blog. I better not start getting hate-mail because of this."

Rest assured, you won't be getting hate-mail from me. You know me better than that.
-Ken Y.

"The next time anyone comments about turning someone's country into a "piece of f*cking glass," the comment gets deleted. So don't bother trying again."

Getting P.C., are we? I expect better from you, Mac. But that's the problem with this nation these days: people are too fucking comfortable and complacent. God forbid that they should hear an inflammatory statement like mine! Ye are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold. Makes me want to spew you out of my mouth--


Mr. Intense--

"Much easier said than done."

But not impossible. In fact we're in the process of doing that as we speak. All we gotta do is to quit pussy-footing around and to speed it up.

"Oh, so if another terrorist strike occurred, you'd destroy the country the terrorists reside in, killing millions of innocents? Yeah, that seems to be a reasonable solution. That surely would restore the reputation of the US in the world."

Since when did we start caring so much about our reputation? It's all shot to hell anyway. And I guaran-fucking-tee you that the prevalence of terrorism is primarily the fault of THEIR governments failing to crack down. Haven't you noticed that these assholes are coming out of THEIR countries? 9/11 -- along with every other terrorist plot before and since then -- were not the work of disgruntled people in, say, China or India or Sub-Saharan Africa. And -- hey -- so far we've had to turn the thumbscrews just to get Middle Eastern governments to lift a goddamned finger. Like I said, it's THEIR boys who are the troublemakers, so let THEM own the responsibility. I think that's perfectly reasonable. As for "killing millions of innocents" -- well now, that won't happen so long as their governments are doing their job, now will it? We are simply providing the necessary encouragement (and it appears that it's only this sort of encouragement that's going to work with these people). We should speak to these "carpet-munching muppets with shit-for-brains" (to borrow Pat Condell's terminology) in a language that they apparently understand. That is the language of trade-offs coupled with the threat of force. There comes a time when we should say, "Enough is enough". That time is now.

"Let's face it--your polemics and rhetoric are no more logical than the terrorists. Your opinions, if followed, would result in world war three. Not very rational."

I see. Care to tell me how taking the measures I've prescribed would result in word war three? Those idiots in the Middle East are dead-set on doing what they want -- which is to continue slaughtering each other and to commit human rights abuses "in the name of God". They won't be reformed and any effort on the part of the rest of the world to reason with them is met with hostility. Very well then. Let them do as they wish. We wash our hands of their affairs. But if, while minding our own business, we receive a present in the package of another 9/11, I think it'd be perfectly reasonable for us to make them pay with hell.

W.M. Bear said...

Without taking Anon's perspective at all, I think we do have to acknowledge that Islamic culture has severe problems around what it considers normative for the treatment of human beings, especially women (but people accused of crimes, and others as well).

My own take on this problem (and it IS our problem as well as theirs), is that difficulties of this sort in developing nations (not just Islamic ones) are by and large due to large-scale illiteracy. You simply cannot make democracy work with a largely illiterate population and, as U.S. efforts to do exactly that have show, this turns out to be a completely futile effort.

For the kind of money we put into the Iraq war and subsequent occupation of that sad country, we could have put a system in place to end illiteracy once and for all in developing nations. That, more than anything would go a long, long ways towards promoting the democratic values we supposedly tout. Religion really has very little to with it except to the extent that illiterate populations are far more susceptible to the dogmatic and fanatical extremes that power-grubbing types cynically use purely as a means of social control....

Mac said...

Getting P.C., are we? I expect better from you, Mac.

There's a huge difference in being stridently PC and being genuinely offended by statements that are beyond the pale.

Nice try, though.

Anonymous said...

W.M.Bear --

Yes illiteracy is prevalent in Islamic culture, but the problem isn't that we've failed to help raise their literacy levels. The problem is that they refuse to be helped. Most of them would like to remain illiterate because they believe that it's somehow pious to do so. They won't -- they categorically REFUSE to -- critically assess their situation and try to solve their problems in a thoughtful and intelligent manner. If they DID, they might realize that education is a good thing. If they DID, the Muslim world might be a completely different place today. To say it once more: Islamic culture does not value critical thought, and this has serious ramifications.

Despite what Mac and Mr. Intense have said, I still think that what I've proposed is pretty fucking logical. The idea is for the west and the Middle East to go their own separate ways -- albeit with an understanding. We will leave Muslim lands and henceforth stay the fuck out of their affairs; for their part, the Islamic governments are to contain terrorism within their own borders. After all, it's their own people who are going ballistic, so it's only fair and natural to require that their governments take responsibility for them. Why the fuck should it remain our problem? But in order to ensure that these governments continue to take their responsibility seriously, we'll tell them that if perchance one of their countries are negligent and we suffer for it, it'll mean the a-bomb for that country. Since none of their governments would want a nuclear holocaust for their people, and since the effects of an a-bomb dropped on one of those countries would be felt by all of her neighbors, they are certain to work together and do their utmost to keep terrorism under their control.

So we will finally be able to breathe easy here in the U.S. For us the threat of terrorist attacks would be reduced dramatically, and we won't have to lose sleep over how much money and lives it's costing us trying to solve problems that aren't ours in the first place. No more being quagmired in Iraq or Afghanistan. Meanwhile the idiots over in the Middle East can continue to do what they want to do without our interference: massacre and commit genocide, send suicide bombers into marketplaces and mosques, brainwash their children and treat their women worse than cattle.

You know -- some men you just can't reach. Which is why we get what we had in Iraq this week. Which is the way he wants it. So he gets it. I don't like it anymore than you do.

Anonymous said...

And now Mac--

I'd like for you to explain why you think my statements are "beyond the pale" of reason.

Ken Y.