Sunday, November 11, 2007

lest we forget

Today is Remembrance Day. This is a day to remember people who fought, and people who fought and died in the name of war. Unfortunately, wars are still being waged all over the world and needless deaths continue.

Here are some stats about Iraq:

US costs: approx 800B (including 200B budgeted for 2008)
daily spend: approx 270B
troops in Iraq: 183000
troop casualties: 4152
troop injuries (US): 28451 (not including psychological injuries; they estimate that 30% of all troops return home with psychological problems)

Iraqi civilian deaths: upwards of 600K (Bush would have you believe it is less than 100K but some people even estimate that it is over 1M)
Iraqis displaced by war: 2.2M
Iraqis without access to adequate water supplies: 70%

Now these numbers are probably not 100% spot on and different orgs have different stats, but a little higher or a little lower doesn't make much difference in the grand scheme of things.

The Iraq war makes us forget about all the other wars, insurgencies, uprisings, conflicts etc going on all over the world. Educate yourselves. Learn about Kashmir, Ethiopia, Chechnya, Burma......and educate the people you know.

Don't forget how lucky you are.


RainyBow note: Shocking numbers. While you're on the Iraq thing, everyone should watch No End in Sight.


Anonymous said...

“I feel that if your country goes out and invades other ones, your consulate or embassy or whatever shouldn't be able to just stroll up with some stupid flowers and pretend your country's on the side of peace.”

It took courage on your part to challenge the conventional thinking on Remembrance Day. For that I thank you. Now follow through. Which nations have not instigated war and conflict? Perhaps you learned one rendition of history. What is the truth? Connect the dots and you will understand the causes of these wars and roles our nations have played. That a majority of people in the western nations supported the attack on Iraq says we remember but we have not learned.

As you say, why do we only honour the soldiers? There should no longer be any Remembrance Day celebration that ignores Lizzie van Zyl and the millions like her who have perished in war.

Now how do you feel about us commemorating the Boer War on Remembrance Day?

You’re on the right path by questioning conventional thinking.
How do we get them to remember not just the soldiers but also Lizzie at next years Remembrance Day?


complain away said...

Thanks for the tough questions back. I wish more of this kind of discussion happened.

Your question "which nations have not instigated war and conflict?" is fair enough. I think I can name a few, but not one would be an important player in the world today. I think I view too much on a sliding scale of bad, when really, all of it is just bad.

As for Lizzie van Zyl, I wholeheartedly agree, but ask you why we always go from the soldier directly to jewish victims of the Holocaust. The Holocaust was awful and it was mostly about the Jews, and I'm not going to argue otherwise. However, there have been much bigger instances of genocide and mass killings in the world that have gone underreported and overlooked. I won't even start to list them; it makes me too upset. AND the by-product of war isn't just the massive genocides, but the displacement of millions of people, the destruction of means of survival (harvests, businesses), and the uprooting of support systems. None of my family members were soldiers or victims of genocide, but many of them were victims of war generally.

As for the Boer War, it was yet another conflict that played a big part in the history of several nations at one time. Commemorating the war itself and all those who died in it shouldn't necessarily mean idealizing the goals of either side, should it? Please let me know if you think I'm naive for asking this question...