Friday, October 20, 2006

The grammar of terrorism

All the Bush-haters and those who want "peace" in Iraq are writhing in their twisted knickers about the Lancet report on casualties in Iraq---more than 650,000---since the US invasion [the Lancet report was wildly exaggerated. The real count is closer to 90,000]. Naturally, the knee-jerk progs at BeyondChron do an I-told-you-so item on the Lancet story ("All I See Are Dead People," Marc Norton). And Norton goes one better by pinning world famine on the "finance capitalists on Wall Street," though he doesn't bother to present any actual evidence for the notion. 

Turns out that Hugo Chavez's juvenile rant at the UN labeling President Bush as the Devil also represents the view of many American progressives, who seem to agree with al Qaeda and the rest of the homicidal Islamic crackpots that the US is the Great Satan. As a registered Democrat who voted for Gore and Kerry---and a proud citizen of good old Great Satan---I have one question for my intellectually-challenged comrades on the left: Exactly who killed almost all of the 650,000 casualties in Iraq? As a reader of several newspapers a day, my impression is that it's the so-called insurgents, the suicide bombers, and the car-bombers who are doing most of the killing of innocent Iraqi men, women, and children. Note the way the Lancet story phrases the slaughter: "654,965 excess Iraqi deaths as a consequence of the war." This formulation is in the "mistakes were made" approach to moral responsibility. How exactly did these people die, and who killed them? For a more in-depth analysis of the Lancet study, see Christopher Hitchens in Slate.

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At 5:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not sure what grand revelation you got out of the Slate article. Nobody is saying that coalition forces killed all these people. However, the invasion did create the insurgency that didn't exist when Saddam was in power. Furthermore, things like lack of constant electric power probably was also a contributor.

At 12:41 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

No "grand revelation" was promised. But what is not said is often as revealing as what is said. The story in the papers about casualties in Iraq in fact doesn't try to determine who killed whom, though the actual report apparently does go into more detail about that. The clear implication is that the US is responsible for more than 600,000 deaths in Iraq. But that's like counting the number of people who died in Europe after the invasion of Normandy; it begs the question of whether the war is worth fighting or not.


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