The atrocities pile up

The atrocities pile up
: Gravediggers outside Baghdad point us to a mass grave for political prisoners holding up to 1,000 victims:

He said all the dead that arrived during the last three years he worked at the cemetery were aged between 15 and 30, men and women who had been shot or hanged.

“They were all youths … the civilians were hanged, sometimes a soldier would come through and they were all shot … I could distinguish them by their uniforms,” he said through an interpreter.

They killed their own youth for their opinions.

: And more. Newsweek and the LA Times received documents from Saddam’s secret police and in their reporting, this is just one flavor of Saddam’s terror:

While NEWSWEEK

  • Joe Swingvote

    I’ve been feeling a little schizophrenic about this war, mostly because I distrust the Bush administrations motives — I don’t think they have Iraq’s best interests at heart. But while thinking about this, I had a minor revelation: maybe a war has to be evaluated with cold hard numbers, just like a checkbook?
    In other words, will the pain and suffering caused by the war be more or less than the suffering that would otherwise be prevented? News like this makes it clear that, yes, however many unfortunate civilian casualties this invasion has committed, it will add up to fewer deaths and less suffering than if we had followed the UN and stayed out.

  • Sgt. Rock

    Hmmmmmm.
    Can I dislike Bush and still be in favor of ridding the planet of terrorists and dictators?
    Eureka!! Those two thoughts don’t have to be connected.
    Congrats on the breakthrough Joe. Stay on the meds.

  • http://world.std.com/~mmcirvin/ Matt McIrvin

    People will say that human lives are too precious to be totted up in a utilitarian calculus of cold hard numbers. In a sense that’s surely correct… yet to simply ignore the numbers is to be willfully ignorant. There is a difference between a thousand dead and a million. And in the past 20 years or so, tyrants have been far more industrious at killing people than Americans have been, whether or not the Americans’ motives were pure.
    A good source for hard numbers, with a skeptical and balanced take on the data, is Matthew White’s Web site:
    http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/20centry.htm
    http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstatx.htm
    When evaluating body counts for very recent wars and disasters, keep in mind White’s admonition that early estimates are almost always high. (We saw this on Sept. 11, 2001 and again in the Afghan war, for instance.)