“That’s a sacrifice we’re willing to make…” –Madeleine Albright, when asked about the estimated 500,000 Iraqi children’s deaths due to sanctions
One of the most widely used and compelling arguments for keeping American troops in Iraq is the notion that without them an all-out civil war would take place, possibly resulting in the deaths of millions of Iraqis. While the deaths of millions of Iraqis would be an undeniably bad thing, let’s take a closer look at the actual impact it would have on the American psyche.
The measurement of national grief is a dynamic science, with standards and metrics continually in flux. Where once we would measure events against Pearl Harbor or the JFK assassination, September 11th changed the bar and it was thought that the 9/11 scale would last well into the next decade. However, since the untimely passing of actress/model Anna Nicole Smith, national grief has been measured by the "Anna".
Admittedly as a grief standard the Anna itself is somewhat unwieldy, so things like widespread deaths of foreigners are measured by the Micro Anna (thousandths of an Anna) and the Nano Anna (millionths of an Anna). Applying the Anna scale retroactively to 1991, when approximately a hundred thousand Shiites were massacred after being prompted by the US to rise against Saddam Hussein, we discover that our national grief amounted to a mere 15 Nano Annas, or fifteen one-millionths of an Anna Nicole Smith. Using this model we can predict that a civil war resulting in two million Iraqi deaths will register somewhere between 300 and 500 Nano Annas, possibly going as high as one Micro Anna if key celebrities are reported to be emotionally affected by the carnage.
"Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little." - Edmund Burke "We shall overcome because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." - Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. "Whenever you're in doubt try the following: Recall the face of the poorest and most helpless person you have ever seen and ask yourself if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to them." -Gandhi
"Fear grows out of the things we think; it lives in our minds. Compassion grows out of the things we are; it lives in our hearts." - Michael Garrison
For the third Iraq Moratorium Day I did some signposting around the Bay Area, concentrating on the Sunni Triangle of San Francisco, Berkeley and Santa Cruz.
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"The next time I tell you someone from Texas should not be president of the United States, please, pay attention." -Molly Ivins
"We have a decision to make every hour of every day, and that is whether to represent the sword or the shield. Democracy now." -Amy Goodman (Greetings Firepups, Welcome to my daily blog! If you're new to my work, please visit Freewayblogger.com Anyone with four limbs and a car can do this: it's cheap, easy, reaches a couple hundred thousand people and is a hell of a lot of fun.) "The towers are gone now, reduced to bloody rubble, along with all hopes for Peace in Our Time, in the United States or any other country. Make no mistake about it: We are At War now — with somebody — and we will stay At War with that mysterious Enemy for the rest of our lives." -Hunter S. Thompson "Totalitarianism is patriotism institutionalized." -Steve Allen "It's not so much a Living Hell, it's just a dying fiction..." -Brian Eno FB - 1915 USA - 1386