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Iraq War: Over 1800 U.S. Soldiers, 25,000 Iraq Civilians Dead.

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This post originally written at the Martian Anthropologist Blog, August 3, 2005.

SHE IS A beautiful little girl in a black and red flowered dress. I’m guessing 8, maybe 9 at the most. Her cheeks and outstretched hands are splattered with blood. Her mouth is frozen in a scream, or maybe a wail.

The photograph taken seven months ago by photographer Chris Hondros is of an Iraqi child moments after U.S. troops shot at a car she was riding in, killing both of her parents. U.S. officials say the car did not heed warnings to stop.

The second Iraq War. A war started by a President who has never served in combat. A invasion that began because of a lie he told the United States people: That Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

Over 1800 Americans have now died in this war.

BAGHDAD (AP) – The U.S. military said Tuesday that six marines were killed in action in western Iraq, pushing the death toll for Americans since the start of the war past 1,800. The marines, assigned to Regimental Combat Team-2 of the 2nd Marine Division, died Monday in Haditha, 225 kilometres northwest of Baghdad.

That number pales in comparison to the number of innocent Iraqi civilians killed: Nearly 25,000. Notice I did not say Iraqi soldiers. No, this number refers to civilians, and it is undisputed. From an excellent column by Time Magazine’s Tammerlin Drummond:

Nearly 25,000 Iraqi civilians have died horrible, violent deaths since the U.S. invasion began in 2003. Nine thousand were shot or bombed by U.S. forces, compared to 2,353 who lost their lives as the result insurgent attacks like suicide bombings.

Our troops have killed four times as many civilians as the bad guys.

Since the time I was very young, I have never understood humans. I have never understood why their vision is so short-sighted. They can only see what is right in front of them, and most times, they cannot even see that clearly. Most of them just don’t understand how wonderful, how fragile, and how precious life is. They refuse to learn lessons from the past. They don’t realize how many wars there have been since the end of time; wars fought for reasons no one now remembers and for gods long forgotten.

This planet would be far better off if ruled by people like Gandhi, Sagan, Twain, Heinlein, or hell, even Douglas Adams. Instead, tiny men rule it, like Bush, Blair, and Cheney.

Bush and Blair insist the war was justified. But on what grounds?

WMDs? If so, then why aren’t we attacking North Korea?

To free the Iraqi people? If so, why don’t we start a list of every nation on Earth with oppressed peoples, and free them all?

Their reasons just don’t wash, but they still have enough stupid humans following them.

There have been wars for thousands of years, many that you have never heard of. I promise you, beyond the shadow of a doubt, a time will come when no one on Earth will remember this war or its reasons. There will be a time on this planet when no one remembers the name George W. Bush; there will come a day when the United States itself will not exist. All things end. As Ecclesiastes says:

One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.

All you have to do is live right, live well, and be happy. The saddest thing in the world is a life cut short for no good reason.

Tammerlin Drummond has written quite a column on the Iraq War. You really should read it. At the beginning of this blog entry is a photograph that he refers to:

SHE IS A beautiful little girl in a black and red flowered dress. I’m guessing 8, maybe 9 at the most. Her cheeks and outstretched hands are splattered with blood. Her mouth is frozen in a scream, or maybe a wail.

The photograph taken seven months ago by photographer Chris Hondros is of an Iraqi child moments after U.S. troops shot at a car she was riding in, killing both of her parents. U.S. officials say the car did not heed warnings to stop.

Our media prominently features graphic images of Iraqi suffering when insurgents are responsible. But it’s another story when our soldiers are the ones wreaking mass destruction.

Few U.S. newspapers gave the Hondros photos the play they deserve.

Maybe that’s why so many Americans have no clue why “they” hate us.

By now I am supposed to be used to the stupidity of most humans. I deal with it every day. But I am beginning to realize that humans will never change. If they eventually destroy themselves, it will be because they deserve it. When they cannot wage war on each other, they are busy waging war on the only home they have.

But perhaps it is not entirely bad that most humans are so ignorant of the true state of things. When one knows the true state of things, it does not make one happy. When a person knows what the solutions are, joy does not follow; sadness follows, because it is realized that the solution is there, but it will never be enacted. As the son of the King of Jerusalem said:

And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit. For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.

I leave you with a few more quotes to ponder.

“I’d like to share a revelation that I’ve had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species. I realized that you humans are not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment, but you humans do not. You move to an area, and you multiply and multiply, until every natural resource is consumed. The only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet.” ~ Agent Smith, in The Matrix

A pre-emptive war in ‘defense’ of freedom would surely destroy freedom, because one simply cannot engage in barbarous action without becoming a barbarian, because one cannot defend human values by calculated and unprovoked violence without doing mortal damage to the values one is trying to defend. ~ J. William Fulbright

I have seen war. I have seen war on land and sea. I have seen blood running from the wounded. I have seen the dead in the mud. I have seen cities destroyed. I have seen children starving. I have seen the agony of mothers and wives. I hate war. ~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt

I know war as few other men now living know it, and nothing to me is more revolting. I have long advocated its complete abolition, as its very destructiveness on both friend and foe has rendered it useless as a method of settling international disputes. ~ Douglas MacArthur

This is the Martian Anthropologist, signing off in the dead of night. Pleasant dreams.

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About Michael Davis

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>This planet would be far better off if ruled by people like Gandhi, Sagan, Twain, Heinlein, or hell, even Douglas Adams. Instead, tiny men rule it, like Bush, Blair, and Cheney.<<

    Ubm. Heinlein sort of endorsed the ideas of indentured servitude and military-dominated fascism as good ideas for working societies. Not to mention being a big fan of polygamy and under-age sex.

    Dave

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    Did he endorse or didn’t he?

    In his books or in real life?

    Spit it. Less moosh-mouth

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Well, I like Heinlein despite these things – and despite his extreme sexism. Didn’t want to be mean to him.

    Plus, it’s in his fiction, so one could make the argument that it was all just a story and he didn’t really mean to endorse those things.

    Just trying to be nice.

    That said, here’s what I think.

    Door into Summer is a fine novel which romanticizes child molestation.

    Farnham’s Freehold basically makes an argument for polygamy, slavery and keeping women in bondage.

    Starship Troopers is a book largely about the desirability of military fascism as a form of government.

    Time Enough for Love does for incest what Door into Summer does for child molesting.

    As for Heinlein’s personal life, he was a swinger, a wife-swapper and free love advocate not to mention an amateur pornographer.

    But I still like his books.

    Was that what you were looking for?

    Dave

  • Bennett

    Dave, you lying slut. I’ve read all of the books you note, several times, and I know Farnam’s Freehold forwards and backwards.

    That something happens in a story does not indicate avocacy. You massively misrepresent what this book is about, as well as the other books on your list. This is typical of you, Dave. Spouting off and hoping no one will challenge you on it.

    How lame?

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Bennett, I’ve read and liked all those books too. And like I said in the first place, the books can’t be said to advocate these things directly because they are fiction, not political works or manuals or something along those lines. But Temple wanted me to be more specific and make a clear statement, so I obliged on his request. Do you deny that each of those books addresses the themes I mention?

    Don’t call me a liar when it’s easy enough to go straight to the sources and see exactly what I’m talking about. If you don’t like my second comment on Heinlein go back to the first one, which is closer to my true feelings.

    Dave

  • Bennett

    Heh! Aw, you didn’t take that personally did you?

    The Door Into Summer – The little girl loves the main character enough to have herself frozen until she is an adult, and can rejoin him in a future year “when” he is also an adult. NO child molestation AT ALL. No physical contact whatsoever between the adult male and the child female. So?

    Farnam’s Freehold – Slavery of whites in the future after a nuclear war. The main characters (white) are transported to this future time when a nuclear bomb directly impacts their bomb shelter. No polygamy. He has left his wife before committing to a relationship with a new woman. Technically he has a “tryst” while still married. What’s with the bondage thing? I honestly have no idea what you are referring to.

    “Time Enough for Love does for incest what Door into Summer does for child molesting.”

    Wow. This massive book cannot be described without several pages of description. Your statement is laughable.

    Starship Troopers – You need to serve in the military in order to become a citizen with voting rights……..

    You and I both suck under that rule, eh? Not a bad movie, great concept for the direction, much better than any other Heinlein store converted to video IMO.

    You wrote “Not to mention being a big fan of polygamy and under-age sex.”

    Huh? Where in god’s name do you come up with polygamy and under age sex?

  • http://martiananthropologist.blogspot.com/ Martian Anthropologist

    lol. From this post, you guys are debating THIS?

    But since we are… I guess always thought STARSHIP TROOPERS was a satirical condemnation of military fascism as a form of government.

    ::shrugs::

  • Bennett

    Sorry Martian Dude. I loved your list of who should be running things (Great Post BTW, very valid points – preaching to the choir for me however – and to deaf ears for many) but I just HAD to call Dave on his comment.

    Okay…. back to the movie my wife has playing…

    :-]

  • gonzo marx

    Martian..have i said lately that i worship the ground you perambulate over?

    “we’re not worthy”

    thanks for the sweet read, and your patience with our infant species

    ( oh yes, Bennett’s correct, and Mr Nalle is silly abotu R.A.H.)

    Excelsior!

  • http://martiananthropologist.blogspot.com/ Martian Anthropologist

    lol. Thank you for the kind words.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Oh, you mean we’re supposed to discuss the actual article? How jejeune.

    Dave

  • MCH

    Martian;
    Be prepared for Dave Nalle and Bobby (RJ) Elliott – neither having ever served in the military – to spout the feeble “The same number of Americans have died in automobile accidents in the same amount of time as soldiers have been killed in combat in Iraq” argument to justify their support of the invasion.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    You haven’t got that stat quite right, MCH. But I don’t see it as relevant here in anycase.

    Dave

  • MCH

    Re #13;
    Uh, excuse me, control freak, just let Martian decide what is or isn’t relevant on his own thread, OK?

  • someone

    bush sucks, he lies too much

  • cesar angeles

    we need to come home

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