Thread: Take a step back.......
11-09-2004, 12:06 PM #1
Take a step back.......
From your flag waving 911 knee jerk reactions......and take a look at what we're doing to an innocent people.
How many dead innocent Iraqis is too many?
November 9, 2004
Surely we have not been reduced to arguing that we are not as bad as terrorists, writes Waleed Aly.
Too many innocent people are dying in Iraq. A recent report, in the medical journal The Lancet, estimates 100,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed since the beginning of the US-led invasion. Half of them are women and children. Almost all were killed by coalition air strikes.
Take a minute to think about the enormity of this human cost. Think of it as September 11, 30 times over.
Though it wildly exceeds all previous figures, The Lancet estimate is credible, and perhaps even conservative, according to independent statisticians who analysed the data and found the report's methodologically sound.
But what if it is not? Even the lowest estimate, unsurprisingly that of the British Foreign Secretary, places the number of civilian deaths at 10,000. The popular website http://www.iraqbodycount.com puts the figure at a minimum of 14,000. We are still talking about four times the number of September 11 casualties. That's eight planes and eight towers.
Surely now, the governments that took us to this war and we, as people who are happy to re-elect them, must face up to our culpability for this carnage. We claim to hold that the lives of civilians are sacrosanct. We assert that the fabric of humanity is torn with every death of every innocent civilian. Indeed, that is why terrorism sickens us.
So why do we not think of these deaths as tragic in the same way we do those of September 11, Bali, Madrid or Beslan? For the Iraqis, we will hold no multi-faith services, no commemorative anniversary functions and we will give no human faces to them. Perhaps some innocent lives are more sacrosanct than others.
We are talking about four times the number of September 11 casualties. Eight planes and eight towers.
Of course, there is a crucial difference between the civilian deaths caused by terrorism, and those caused by the US-led coalition in Iraq. Coalition forces did not target the innocent as terrorists do.
True, we should not lose sight of this. But we should also not abuse it to dehumanise those we have killed, and evade the responsibility we rightfully bear. We speak of Iraqi civilians, even 100,000 of them, not as victims, but as collateral damage. We did not murder them as terrorists murder their victims, because there was no intention to kill them.
It is simply not good enough to hide our guilt in this way. Our actions were always destined to claim thousands of civilian lives. This was not merely probable; it was certain. We recognised that certainty and pressed on anyway. The fact that killing innocents was not the aim, but rather a guaranteed byproduct of our action, does not absolve us.
Australian lawyers call this reckless murder, and once stripped of euphemism, that is what collateral damage is. We own the responsibility for the foreseen, likely consequences of our actions.
Confronted with The Lancet's grotesque estimate, Defence Minister Robert Hill fell back on the standard defence that Iraqis would be better off without Saddam Hussein. This is the argument that killing is justified where it is necessary in defence of another.
However, on the basis of The Lancet estimate, it is ridiculous to suggest that justification applies here. It took Saddam several decades to kill 300,000 people. We have managed a third of that in just 18 months.
But whatever the death toll, if removing Saddam was really the goal, can we honestly say all this deadly "shock and awe" was necessary to achieve it?
Sergeant Scott, a soldier in Iraq, clearly did not think so when he told Britain's Daily Telegraph: "You could have sent two men in to kill Saddam. Why did we have to kill so many people?" He was speaking less than a month after the invasion began. I cannot imagine what he would say now.
This does not mean there is moral equivalence between al-Qaeda-style terrorism and our civilian killings in Iraq. But does there have to be? That our actions do not meet the depravity of terrorism does not justify them. Since when have terrorists provided the moral standard against which we judge ourselves? Are we really reduced to arguing that we are not as bad as them?
Our concern, as people whose governments are waging war in our name, should be for the legitimacy of our own actions. When it comes to our actions in Iraq, that legitimacy has been fatally eroded. We have now run out of excuses.
Waleed Aly is a Melbourne lawyer and a member of the executive of the Islamic Council of Victoria.
11-09-2004, 12:16 PM #2
What's your point here, Yes people are getting hurt, yes people are dieing. Under Sadam the number of deaths were 10 fold. I don't remember you posting anything regarding innocent deaths when Sadam was in power. Why is that?
You've been babbling on , and on with this Liberal crap for months. Give it a rest.
11-09-2004, 12:20 PM #3Originally Posted by Badgerman
Post a link with any articles that you wish to cut and past from, so we can get an idea where the information came from, in order for us to put in into context.
11-09-2004, 12:24 PM #4
I am telling you there is a double standard, in how the West percieves the East, its not only about Muslims but all people.
In America 3000 people died, and there was anger up till now. But now atleast 20,000 civilians died. And we must not be as mad as America was when 3000 died?
That is the double standards Muslims cant stand, and the East in particular cant stand.
11-09-2004, 12:26 PM #5
11-09-2004, 01:46 PM #6
Yeah Caucasian.......arabs are dogs right??......how many dogs must die to equal 2000 Americans??......I just don't think we can kill enough of you guys to make up for the insult of 911 can we........
11-09-2004, 02:58 PM #7Originally Posted by Badgerman
11-09-2004, 03:20 PM #8Originally Posted by ZOAIB
Yeah look at England......and Rome......now England is just a bunch of toothless has beens.
11-09-2004, 03:24 PM #9Originally Posted by CAUSASIAN
11-09-2004, 06:08 PM #10
Now Saddam is out of power, like Will Power said, 10 times less people are dying....that's a good thing and the libs just don't want to admit it....they all want to look at the worst side of everything.
11-09-2004, 06:32 PM #11Originally Posted by Badgerman
Where is the outrage against the killings of these civilians by Americans? Why arent they standing up against these killings?
It seems like because they arent speaking out against these crimes, they support it.
11-09-2004, 08:45 PM #12Originally Posted by CAUSASIAN
Arabs threaten Christians comfort zone......so kill 'em right??
It's because these sorry excuses for Christians don't have enough FAITH
to NOT kill people........same with the sorry excuses for Muslims who do their
chicken sh** suicide bombings......
But HEY.....I think Christians need to make the first move......we're supposed to be the salt of the earth.......the salt needs to break the cycle of violence.
11-11-2004, 04:47 PM #13Originally Posted by Badgerman
Are you trying to say that this a christian holy war?? Thats my understanding of your post. Its ridiculous if that is what you meant.
11-11-2004, 08:11 PM #14Originally Posted by Jeremy34
11-11-2004, 08:52 PM #15
Blame the dumb ass terrorists in Iraq and Afganastan... There the ones at fault here.
Users Browsing this Thread
There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)