24 February 2007

Americans Know US Body Count, Underestimate Iraqi Body Count

I ran across this article this morning, and found it fascinating.

Basically, a recent poll had Americans guess how many Americans had been killed in Iraq to date, and then how many Iraqis. Their average estimate of Americans (3,000) was within 4% of accurate, a reasonable margin of error. Their average estimate of Iraqis (9,890) was 82% below the current most conservative estimate.

It reminded me of the commonly cited statistic that Americans polled think the US gives too much foreign aid (they guess 10-20% of the budget) and that it should give less (~5%), when in fact foreign aid is ~1%.

As the Iraq Body Count has had on their webpage since the beginning, General Tommy Franks said at the outset that "We don't do body counts." The US (remarkably) did learn a lot of things from Vietnam about how to conduct a war and gain increased compliance from the American public. It seems clear that the mission against body counts has been successful in distracting Americans from thinking about the toll on Iraqis and how many people American troops are killing.

This is what we're up against. This is why we're taking this mission to the blogs. Information and truth are the ingredients for power. Simply informing people about the proven facts on the ground in Iraq can change people's minds. Saying something like "for every American solider killed in Iraq, more than 17 Iraqis have been killed" might just help convince someone.


22 February 2007

Tuesday Topics

In addition to membership and the challenges, there will be a number of activities associated with One Million Blogs for Peace. All of these will be optional aspects of participating in the overall project. They will be fun ways of adding new and interesting content to your blog posts, as well as keeping it working against the war.

Thus, I'd like to announce Tuesday Topics. The first day of the war's fifth year (March 20, 2007) is a Tuesday, and Tuesdays tend to be pretty dull days anyway. Every Tuesday, One Million Blogs for Peace will release a topic related to the war as a prompt for a blog post.

These topics will often have some sort of personal angle or slant to help make for an interesting personal and political post. At times, they may also be persuasive essay questions for particularly difficult questions about the war where we have a chance to change people's minds.

Stay tuned for Tuesday Topics, coming March 20th. And keep getting all your anti-war friends signed-up and involved!


18 February 2007

The Challenges

I received an e-mail question regarding the four slated "challenges" for One Million Blogs for Peace. These are tentatively set for the months of May, August, October, and January '08.

While I don't want to release the exact nature of the challenges right now (part of keeping them fair is announcing what they'll be at a set time to give everyone an equal chance to compete), I can discuss the general idea.

They will be friendly competitions between the various Blogs for Peace to generate interest in the project or to actively promote increased activism, blogging, and outreach for the anti-War movement. There will be more emphasis on getting everyone to participate in the challenges than who wins or loses, but both will probably be key in generating interest.

While the first stages of this project are predominantly an effort to get as many people as possible signed up, the "core" of the project's activity will center around the challenges.


17 February 2007

Welcome to One Million Blogs for Peace!

We are officially launching the preliminary sign-ups for One Million Blogs for Peace today. You have 30 days to sign-up and cement your status as an "Inblogural".

Please feel free to comment with questions or feedback, or send either to peace@bluepyramid.org.

Keep checking back at this blog for more information about the movement.

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