How many more?
The Los Angeles Times reports that 100 people died yesterday in Iraq. There were two car bombs that killed 60 people and another 40 died or were found slain in other incidents.
I remember a couple of years back–after the initial justification for the war had been discredited by the failure to find any WMDs–that supporters of the invasion tried to reframe it as a humanitarian intervention. One enterprising fellow even added up all the civilian deaths that occurred under Saddam Hussein (including those that happened during the Iran-Iraq war) and came out with a figure between 75 and 125 civilian deaths per day. This was meant to suggest that acting to remove Hussein would save more lives than leaving him in power.
There was a lot about this number that was nonsense. But even if you concede the nonsense, we’re getting awfully close to that number. Civilian deaths in June were approximately 3,149 and that number is expected to rise in July.
It’s almost as if we’ve lost the power to be stunned by this. The United States took a country of 26 million people and turned it into Lebanon at its worst.
Supporters of the war often have a retort ready on their lips: “Would you prefer to see Iraq under Saddam Hussein?” It’s a cheap shot and perhaps it doesn’t deserve an answer. But perhaps one response might be “How many people are you willing to see killed to remove Saddam Hussein?” How many are we willing to see killed to remove President Ahmadinejad of Iran? Assad of Syria? Just how many bodies are you willing to see piled up to achieve your revolutionary democratic utopia?