Numbers

Numbers

: 37 Americans died in Iraq today, 31 of them in an accidental helicopter crash. We pay more attention when more people die. That’s ridiculous, even offensive. Others died yesterday and the day before. Some died in accidents, some at the hand of insurgents/terrorists/murderers. None of them should have died, of course. Some try to blame the president for these deaths; too few blame the murderers with blood on their hands. Blame won’t bring them back, nothing will. But it is important that we at least remember them and their tragic sacrifice as we reach an important milestone this Sunday with the first election in Iraq. I don’t know that I believe that death can be given meaning but if it can, bringing democracy to a nation is a noble cause. It is also important that we remember all the innocent civilians who have died at the hands of Saddam and now the terrorists in Iraq and as a result of war. The people of Iraq will be risking their lives this Sunday to bring democracy to their nation; the soldiers there will be risking their lives to protect them. Democracy is that precious.

  • http://www.tonypierce.com tony

    i see your point… to a point. but yes i can blame W for the deaths in iraq– all of them, even the iraqi civilians whose deaths are rarely counted here in the USA.
    i can blame the president because if it werent for that bozo there would be no war in iraq right now. we were sold this war not to liberate iraq or bring democracy to the people who will vote – we were told that we must fight them because they had wmds, nukes, and ties to terrorism – none of those three things panned out.
    by making these deaths about grand, broad, ideals like Freedom and Democracy makes us think that you drank from the $40 mil inauguaral kool aid.
    and thats not precious.

  • Faramin

    It is also important that we remember all the innocent civilians who have died at the hands of Saddam and now the terrorists in Iraq and as a result of war.
    What an hypocracy. What do you mean by “as a result of war”. Are you too shy to say, in the hands of US army? Or are you not going to remeber thousands of innocent people who have been killed by your “liberating” army?

  • dries

    wow, we’re witnessing a creation of a new word – “hypocracy” – i.e. a moronic moral equivalency between deaths inflicted intentionally by saddam & those killed accidentally by US & allied forces.
    while old, plain & boring hypocrisy would neatly describe Faramin’s “state of mind”.

  • http://oliverwillis.com Oliver

    Jeff, what a crock of crap. Bush and his supporters sent these guys over to Iraq, ostensibly to make us safer, yet we’re less safe and those men will be going home to their families in caskets. But somehow Dear Leader is absolved of all guilt? By any objective measure what is coming to Iraq on Sunday is a pale imitation of democracy (The Candidates With No Names, innocent people becoming used to massive terror attacks on the streets they live on) but you’re propagating the whole thing because you don’t want to admit that you’ve been wrong about this from day one.
    I’d like the people of America to be safe and the people of Iraq to be truly free. I wish we had leadership with similar concerns.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/4621394 Matthew Goggins

    Jeff, this short post is one of the best tributes to our soldiers that I have read. You really nailed it.
    Tony, we haven’t found large stockpiles, but there were WMD’s in Iraq. And there were scientists and equipment ready and waiting for Saddam to restart his nuclear weapons program.
    There were also well-documented ties to terrorists.
    Faramin, why the quotes around “liberating”? Are we not liberating Iraq, did we not liberate Afghanistan? We bent over backwards to minimize civilian casualties, and we were wildly successful. Our enemies bend over backwards to target civilians, and are wildly successful.
    Oliver, shame on you! If you’re going to go around trolling a fellow blogger, you ought to be polite. There is no excuse for dumping your nastiness (“Jeff, what a crock of crap.”) on Jeff’s weblog, please be polite.

  • http://www.hfienberg.com/kesher/ Yehudit

    I confess. I clicked on this comment thread because I have a sick fascination with seeing whether Oliver would try to make political hay even out of an accident like this. That man, sorry, BOY! has no shame.
    Guys, troops at home can also have an airplane accident. But the world is more manageable when you can blame Bush for everything.

  • Angus Jung

    “If you’re going to go around trolling a fellow blogger, you ought to be polite.”
    Why? The cartoonish ravings of Oliver, tony, and their ilk are not only amusing, but clearly a hindrance to the very causes they claim to care about. Let them seethe, and enjoy their self-destruction.

  • http://oliverwillis.com Oliver

    Yes, better to raise myself up by calling people I disagree with by calling them “Pondscum”.
    we haven’t found large stockpiles, but there were WMD’s in Iraq.
    And the denial of reality marches on.

  • Angus Jung

    “Yes, better to raise myself up by calling people I disagree with by calling them ‘Pondscum’.”
    Well said.

  • http://oodja.blogspot.com oodja

    “Hypocracy” = Rule of the hypocrites?
    Matthew, who are you, Donald Rumsfeld? Even our own government gave up looking for the nonexistent WMDs last month. Saddam destroyed them like he was supposed to during the late 1990’s, end of story, no actual threat, thanks for playing, here’s a year’s supply of Rice a Roni – the San Francisco Treat – and a copy of our home game…
    Please flog another dead horse if you’re going to keep on defending this war with a straight face.

  • Franky

    “Hypocracy” = Rule of the hypocrites?”
    hahahaha I’ll have to remember that one

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/4621394 Matthew Goggins

    Oodja,
    Stockpiles: we couldn’t find them. WMD’s: we found sarin and biological agents, plus equipment to develop nuclear weapons material.
    Defending the war: despite the insurgency, I think the war speaks pretty well for itself. There’s a lot of fight left in your dead horse.
    No, I am not Donald Rumsfeld. I am sure he is even happier about that than I am. Where do I pick up my Rice a Roni?
    Angus,
    A healthy democracy requires a vibrant and articulate opposition party. A powerful nation at war needs watchdogs that are honest and perceptive enough to be credible and effective critics. And there’s already plenty of self-destruction in the world, it’s just a big waste.
    And most importantly, rude comments are just so much of a gratuitous insult to Jeff, he deserves better.
    But other than that, I agree with you :)!

  • FactCheck

    WMD’s: we found sarin and biological agents, plus equipment to develop nuclear weapons material.
    This is a fabrication.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/4621394 Matthew Goggins

    Is not.

  • Connor

    Add me to the list of people who think that the US is directly to blame for the likely 100,000+ Iraqi civilians killed as a result of the inavsion and occupation and shares part of the blame with its former client Saddam for the gassing of the Kurds at Halabja and other crimes committed between 1982 and August, 1990. Jeff Jarvis is a moral coward for ignoring these facts.

  • Tony Blare

    It must be a great comfort to all the wounded Iraqi children whose parents were killed by US gunfire and shrapnel to know that their parents died accidentally.

  • Mork

    It is also important that we remember all the innocent civilians who have died at the hands of Saddam and now the terrorists in Iraq and as a result of war.
    I’m sorry if this sounds harsh, but it’s difficult to read into that sentence anything other than a pathological inability to face the moral issues raised by the deaths of Iraqi civilians at the hands of the occupying forces.

  • Angus Jung

    “100,000+ Iraqi civilians killed”
    That number seems a bit low, doesn’t it? If you really want to go all out, why not make it a million billion kazillion?

  • http://oliverwillis.com Oliver

    Closer to reality than your mythical number of “zero”.

  • Angus Jung

    There you go. Please continue.

  • Connor

    That’s the best estimate we have since the US government, allegedly concerned with the welfare of Iraqis in this humanitarian mission, won’t bother to count.

  • Angus Jung

    Still seems low. I mean, if we’re really going to ruin that country, we need to start doing better than that.

  • http://triticale.mu.nu triticale

    This best estimate you have is the one from Lancet, right? A linear extrapolation from a survey which found 73 claimed deaths, some of which could not be documented.
    Oliver may well be less safe now, I know nothing about the effects of handling Kryptonite. I for one am unquestionably safer now than I was before we undertook the liberation of Iraq.