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Thursday, April 9, 2015

The other body count

Another statistic worth remembering:  For every 1 American who died in the 9-11 attacks, 400 Iraqi, Afghani, and Pakistani civilians have lost their lives.  I got that from here:

And they got it from here:   Body Count: Casualty Figures after 10 Years of the “War on Terror”

The total is 1.3 million.

It could be an over-estimate.

But then again, it might be an under-estimate.

Either way, it's a lot of killing.

The lesson for those who would attack us:  Don't do it -- we will kill your women and children in large numbers.


In the aftermath of the massacre of Christian Kenyan students by Somali Muslim extremists, it's easy to forget the many Somalians think that they are at war with Kenya.  Events like the following (lifted from Wikipedia) probably live on in memory:

Garissa massacre[edit]

Main article: Garissa Massacre
The Garissa Massacre was a 1980 massacre of ethnic Somali residents by the Kenyan government in the Garissa District of the North Eastern Province. The incident occurred when government forces, acting on the premise of flushing out a local hoodlum known as Abdi Madobe, set fire to a residential estate called Bulla Kartasi, killing people and raping women. They then forcefully interned the populace in a primary school for three days without food or water, resulting in over 3000 deaths.[8]

Wagalla Massacre[edit]

Main article: Wagalla massacre
The Wagalla massacre was a massacre of ethnic Somalis by Kenyan security forces on 10 February 1984 in Wajir District, North Eastern Province.
The massacre took place on 10 February 1984 at the Wagalla Airstrip. The facility is situated approximately 15 km (9 mi) west of the district capital of Wajir in the North Eastern Province, a region primarily inhabited by ethnic Somalis. Kenyan troops had descended on the area to reportedly help diffuse clan-related conflict. However, according to eye-witness testimony, about 5,000 Somali men were then taken to an airstrip and prevented from accessing water and food for five days before being executed by Kenyan soldiers.[9]
According to the chairman of The Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission of Kenya, a government oversight body that had been formed in response to the 2008 Kenyan post-election violence, the Wagalla massacre represents the worst human rights violation in Kenya's history.[9]

But the Kenyans and Somalians united to some extent against Al Shabaab, which in turn started recruiting Kenyans.

n October 2011, the coordinated Operation Linda Nchi between the Somali military and the Kenyan military began against the Al-Shabaab group of insurgents in southern Somalia.[10][11] The mission was officially led by the Somali army, with the Kenyan forces providing a support role.

At the end of the day, what we really have is a war.  It's not clear that Al Shabaab has a "state," but it's got an army that wants to fight.  And it wants to fight Kenya.  And now comes the moral question.

We were in a war once, with Japan and Germany.  We decided that the best way to conduct that war was to drop bombs on cities including population centers.  We killed hundreds of thousands or maybe millions of civilians, many of them women, children, students, and Christians.  It worked so well there that we tried it in Vietnam, a war that nobody is sure why we were even fighting.  During Christmas week, 1972, we broke all our previous records for bombing with B-52s and dropped 20,000 tons of explosives on Hanoi, killing 1000 people, mostly civilians. 

If Al Shabaab had bombers, I'm sure they would be using them, and would be killing a lot of civilians, the same way we used to.  But they haven't got all these great hi-tech ways of killing people, so they end up having to kill the civilians one at a time, with a bullet to the head -- the old fashioned way.  But it's still just killing civilians in a war, by the most efficient means available.  Yes, their killing looks and feels a bit more like murder than ours does.  But is it?

Who is morally superior?  



By the way, I solved the ISIS problem here:  

PriceFixer: Fighting ISIS with Maslow's Hierarchy

It would only take a couple of billion dollars to do it.  Too bad nobody's listening.  

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