Originally published 4/17/07:
As horrified we are about the horrible tragedy of Virginia Tech, we are so ignorant of the same thing occurring every day on a regular basis in Iraq. I was horrified to hear a TV commentator compare how we would react if 33 soldiers were killed in one day in Iraq. He said we would be thunderstruck. He said that is what has happened here at Virginia Tech. He said this without batting an eyelash, as if the daily tragedies occurring in Iraq mean nothing.
We’ve always thought of the lives of Iraqi people and any people in a 3rd world country of far less value than an American life. That is why we accept so-called collateral damage in Iraq, but not when we are chasing down murderers or rapists here in the USA. Can you imagine the uproar if an entire neighborhood was bombed in Denver because it was thought that a bad guy was hiding there?
Juan Cole reported this in February:
‘ A suicide bomber with a bomb belt got into the lobby of the School of Administration and Economy of Mustansiriya University in Baghdad and managed to set it off despite being spotted at the last minute by university security guards. The blast killed 41 and wounded a similar number according to late reports, with body parts everywhere and big pools of blood in the foyer as students were shredded by the high explosives. ‘
He writes about how great the tragedy is over there that we are ignoring.
A writer for the Guardian suggests that there is a hierarchy of death with Iraqi deaths being low on the totem pole: