23 May 2007

Moving in the Wrong Direction

While the Democrats are running away from courage or conviction on the issue of withdrawing for Iraq, the Bush administration apparently has plans to set a record high for US troop deployment in Iraq before the end of 2007.

Oh boy.

If anyone were less than fully convinced that Bush's strategy is to create a culture of literally unending war, I think it's time to concede.

If nothing else, it is utterly imperative that someone get elected in the US next time around who is overtly committed to ending this war and not starting new ones. Given that said person, if elected, would not take over until January 2009, it's vital to get everyone united and organized against the war in the meantime.

(Link via Lair of the Blue Bear.)


18 March 2007

Confidence in War Slipping

I credit a lot of the peace activism surrounding the anniversary of the war for the news reported in this article:
Poll: confidence in Iraq war down sharply (CNN)

In 25 hours, One Million Blogs for Peace will officially join the fray.

Speaking of which, I have been asked by some why the start date is the 20th of March, rather than the traditionally observed anniversary of the 19th.

The answer is symbolism. The first shots were fired in the early morning hours of the 20th of March in Iraq. War was then declared in the United States on the night of the 19th. So while those who declared war were doing so during their 19th, the war actually started (where it was being fought) on the 20th.

The point here is that Iraq and its people are the victims of this war. The timelines for Americans and the America-centric perspective of the war matter less to me than the reality on the ground in Iraq. That's where the blood has been spilled, where the foreign combatants have been killing, and where a civilization and a society is being decimated for profit.

You may have many disparate reasons for supporting the end to this war, and I heartily welcome them all. But my main reason, and thus my focus, is for the victims in Iraq.

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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.