I've had more comments ( only 7 mind you) about the numbers I posted yesterday than anything since my heyday of daily posting of intestinal distress and hangover stories.
Yesterday was Israel's Memorial Day and I heard that 25,000 Israelis died "defending the homeland" since 1860...which I found to be really odd since there weren't any Israelis until 1948. So anyway I looked up some more current numbers, then surfed around to find some comparative numbers and posted them.
I had originally included Vietnam was and WWII stats as well but I thought that the post would get too convoluted to keep the attention of the bloggeratti. If you're interested those numbers can be easily found.
Someone with the screen name Mike has draw the conclusion that the numbers are somehow bashing the US military. Of course I'm not.
I think the reason I felt compelled to post the numbers is that I was a bit surprised at the disparity and, for me, its another example of the effectiveness of propaganda and the very ego-centric view of America.
I was under the impression that Israel is really getting hammered and has always been getting hammered with missiles and suicide bombers. Granted, any of those deaths by terrorists is an atrocity, and deplorable. But comparatively speaking, they've experienced a third of the deaths that the Palestinians have in the same time frame.
As for 9/11, As a country we suffered 3000 deaths on that terrible day. But we've lost 50% more than that in American lives fighting a war that supposed to prevent/be retribution for losses due to terrorism. That seems like a losing proposition to me.
The number that really jumped out at me was the number of Iraqi civilian deaths. Was struck me there, besides the huge number, was the comparison to American deaths on 9/11. If, as a country, are willing to commit billions of dollars and 5,000 soldiers lives because we lost 3000 civilians in an attack on our soil.....and Israel is willing to kill 3 times as many Palestinians as they've lost as retribution in their conflict...then what is the long term fallout of a nation of Iraqis who have lost 95,000 people as a consequence of our invasion, regardless of who is pulling the trigger ?
And regardless of whether you're watching MSNBC or FOXNEWS and you think that the media has liberal or conservative bias, in reality the US media outlets are really giving you two versions of a very similar story. That story is a very American/Israeli view of the world. That's one where American and Israeli deaths, interests, and political agendas are emphasized and situation and impact to the rest of the world is downplayed substantially.
I suppose, to some degree, that's done everywhere. But that sort of nationalist propaganda was once the mark of the Soviet Union and more currently of China. If, as individuals, we don't recognize those some tactics being applied to us, then we're subject to the same controls and losses of liberty as those two communist powers.
Some would say that with things such as the Patriot Act, the nationalization of the banking and auto industry, and whatever health care related legislation come out of this so called swine flu pandemic, that we've already turned that corner.