Monday, September 17, 2007


News Item

According to a new study, 1.2 million Iraqis have met violent deaths since the 2003 invasion, the highest estimate of war-related fatalities yet....The study's margin of error was plus-minus 2.4 percent.


These numbers suggest that the invasion and occupation of Iraq rivals the great crimes of the last century -- the human toll exceeds the 800,000 to 900,000 believed killed in the Rwandan genocide in 1994, and is approaching the number (1.7 million) who died in Cambodia's infamous "Killing Fields" during the Khmer Rouge era of the 1970s.


Americans were asked in an AP poll conducted earlier this year how many Iraqi civilians they thought had been killed as a result of the invasion and occupation, and the median answer they gave was 9,890.

So let's see...1.2 million dead, but only 10,000 thought to be dead. This means that Americans have slightly less than 1% of an idea of the true nature of the most important conflict of their time.

Godwinian Thought Experiment: Imagine you'd polled Germans and asked them how many Jews had been murdered under the Third Reich. Imagine the median answer they gave was 50,000. What would you think of the political culture of such a country?


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