The Null Device

I'm sure they'll understand it's all for the best...

The next time you're pumping cheap gasoline into your SUV, spare a thought for the at least 2,300 or so civilians in Baghdad, many of them women and children, who nobly (and involuntarily) made the ultimate sacrifice for your right to do so.
The battle for Baghdad cost the lives of at least 1,101 Iraqi civilians, many of them women and children, according to records at the city's 19 largest hospitals.
The hospital records say that another 1,255 dead were "probably" civilians, including many women and children.
Uncounted others who died never made it to hospitals and now are buried in shallow graves that have been dug throughout the city - in cemeteries, back yards, hospital gardens, city parks and mosque grounds.
More than 6,800 civilians were wounded, the hospital records show.

Whichever way you count it, that's a lot of dead people who shouldn't be dead. Let's hope that the survivors like eating Big Macs, watching pay-per-view Disney films and paying Monsanto for their drinking water enough to make it all worthwhile.

There are 4 comments on "I'm sure they'll understand it's all for the best...":

Posted by: brett http:// Sun May 4 20:01:10 2003

Over two thousand civilians dead is terrible (given that most of the soldiers were being forced to stand and fight, I would say their deaths are pretty horrible too). Equating the ouster of Saddam Hussein and his regime as merely the opportunity to consume Western corporate culture is obnoxious and stupid, however. I hate Bush and his foreign policy clique, and how they managed to pursue this end to maximum destruction of world institutions. Equating freedom from Hussein as merely corporate consumer enslavement is pretty stupid. I don't see Monsanto sponsoring the Shiite pilgimage to Karbala.

Posted by: acb Mon May 5 04:41:47 2003

Naomi Klein (yeah, I know) had an article about the shape of the new Iraq to come. Basically, it'll be an experiment in neo-liberal economics that makes Argentina look like socialist Sweden. Before the Iraqis get their elections, everything that can be privatised will be sold off to multinationals, and laws are going to be put into place to keep profits flowing to Head Office. (Witness Hilary Rosen's commission to draft a new copyright law for Iraq, for example.) Yes, this is being done by an "Iraqi" government, but one appointed by Washington and answerable to it. Either way, the Iraqi people are not going to come out of it as winners.

As for "freedom from Saddam's regime", it could have been achieved by other means. How many South African civilians did we incinerate to liberate the country from apartheid? How many East Germans, Poles and Czechs did we bomb to bring democracy to Eastern Europe?

Posted by: brett http:// Tue May 6 00:40:33 2003

Sure it could have been achieved by other means. I'm sure Bush Sr. was convinced to stop outside Iraq with the feeling that events would take their course. Twelve years of sanctions that hurt everyone but the elite of Iraq didn't seem to do the trick either. Instead, there was a gradual erosion of the sanctions legally and otherwise, and a constant stream of invective about how the UN was killing children by holding onto sanctions.

I do agree the US contracts for the reconstruction blow big time, and are simple crony capitalism. If the future Iraqi government is made beholden to any contract made at this point, it will be a travesty.

Posted by: Graham Tue May 6 01:11:36 2003

"I'm sure Bush Sr. was convinced to stop outside Iraq with the feeling that events would take their course."

Well, like encouraging the Shia uprising in the south only to crunched by Saddam and his goombas?

One thing is fairly certain, though, without twelve years of sanctions, the war we've just had wouldn't have been quite so much a cakewalk; still relatively straightforward, but perhaps even bloodier.

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