Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Fourteen Thousand Civilian Casualties

...in the past six months:
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- More than 14,000 civilians have been killed in Iraq in the first half of this year, an ominous figure reflecting the fact that "killings, kidnappings and torture remain widespread" in the war-torn country, a United Nations report says.

Killings of civilians are on "an upward trend," with more than 5,800 deaths and more than 5,700 injuries reported in May and June alone, it says.
Maybe most ominous about this (although one-upping 100+ deaths a day requires quite a feat) is how quickly it was filed away in the Big Media Archive. CNN.com had the story on their front page for about a couple hours in the afternoon, and upon checking again after a long day at work, we are aptly informed of the impending marriage between Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock, the ascending popularity of yoga for soldiers and sailors, and something about a monkey mumbling into a microphone-- the Iraqi story, filed furtively away, faired no better with other news outlets. With bloodied hands, we sweep yet another pile of filth under the rug.

No news is good news, but bad news is obviously no news. Plotting the trend of civilian deaths per month over the last year paints another rosy picture:

I forecasted the trend to highlight the continuing decay of security that nation is seeing (that's a rate of 236 additional heads over each previous month), and for readers to imagine how the coming months might look in Iraq.

Efforts to promote a rule of law and secure an interest in peace are being brutally torn asunder by sectarian violence between two peoples:

The blast scattered bodies and street vendors’ carts, blackened nearby walls, dyed the ground red with blood and ignited pandemonium in the street.When Iraqi police officers arrived, the crowd pelted them with stones. According to The Associated Press, many demanded that the militia loyal to Mr. Sadr, the cleric, take over security of the city.

Mr. Sadr counts an enormous following among the Shiite poor and dispossessed in Baghdad and southern Iraq. The militia loyal to him, the Mahdi Army, has been blamed for many recent kidnappings and assassinations of Sunni Arabs.

It's oft repeated to me by those of other political beliefs that certain nouns are simply inappropriate to use in the context of Iraq. I will do my best to appease these people, and ask readers to please respond with some of their favorite synonyms for Quagmire and Civil War.

No comments:

Post a Comment