Monday, November 07, 2005

"How many deaths will it take 'til we know that too many people have died?"--Bob Dylan

Finally connected that line to this war, yesterday. And this morning, serendipitously (or not; depends on your theology), Holden puts me in touch with some of the numbers, which are very bad:

Since July, the number of bodies counted at the mortuary [in Baghdad] has hovered around 1,000, up from 596 in March. Three quarters are male, most aged between 15 and 45.

"We have to cope with extraordinary numbers," said Faed Bakr, the facility's director.
Those are monthly numbers, by the way.

The Lancet study estimated deaths of Iraqi civilians to be over 100,000, a number widely criticized as wildly inaccurate. Apparently not, if you have the patience to listen to "What's in a Number?" from This American Life. The procedure used to calculate that figure is quite convincing, once you know what was done.

This is much lower than Iraq Body Count , but then, they are basing their numbers on reports, not on the kind of data gathering that the Lancet study was able to perform.

Number of U.S. dead, by the way, is 2048 this morning. Number of U.S. wounded, per DOD: 15, 220.

No telling what the number of Iraqi wounded are.

And proof that irony is not dead. I Googled this scripture, the easier to drop it in here. Where do I find it? Aggain, serendipity (or not):"Sunday School Sources." That's right; this is what we teach our children. Until we teach them something else; something like: "But we don't really mean it."

Appropriately, it is from Matthew, and the Sermon on the Mount (and it's the KJV) (And why is it, when we have this teaching, that we keep thinking death will teach us anything? Or teach anyone else, for that matter?):

Matthew 5:43-48 43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shall love thy neighbor, and hate your enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. (KJV)

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