Thursday, July 14, 2005

Americans still numb to the war

James Walcott on the scandal that is American ignorance to the true nature of the war in Iraq:

At least American soldiers stationed in Iraq have been seen, heard, and shown fleetingly in combat on the news, and had their travails witnessed in print by exemplary reporters such as Ellen Knickmeyer of The Washington Post. On Thanksgiving and Christmas, the cable newsers make a big heart-shaped fuss over holiday greetings exchanged through video linkups from troops in the field and the families gathered in the living room back home. But of the liberated, occupied, afflicted, battered-to-despair Iraqi people, Americans see and hear and, worst of all, care almost nothing. The Iraqis might as well be digitized extras in a Hollywood epic, scurrying in the wide-screen background and being massacred en masse as some tanned specimen of all-American man-steak is heroically positioned in the foreground, giving orders to the lesser-paid stars in his squad as if he had just teleported in from the Battle of Thermopylae...Imagine the impact it would have if 50 police or army recruits were wiped out over the course of a week in this country. Now imagine 50 dying every single week with no relief in sight and tell me the U.S. wouldn't be suffering a national nervous breakdown. But the Iraqi dead are discounted as the Price of Democracy. If Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Rice harbored any semblance of shame beneath their aluminum-foil Vulcan armor, they would fall to their knees to express sorrow and beg forgiveness from the Iraqi people, even though Cheney might need help rising to his feet again. But of course they never will. They will continue to brazen it out, abetted by a milquetoast Mr. Media.
The latest bits of horrific news are here and here. Iraq's interior ministry has released updated figures on the number of civilians killed by the insurgency, too.

According to the NY Times, "8,175 Iraqis were killed by insurgents in the 10 months that ended May 31. The ministry did not give detailed figures for the months before August 2004, nor did it provide a breakdown of the figures, which do not include either Iraqi soldiers or civilians killed during American military operations."