[extropy-chat] Uses of Religion

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Sun Oct 1 16:20:32 UTC 2006

Robert writes

> Read the URL Eliezer posted on " Iraq: the world's first Suicide State" (quite interesting). 
> At ~3,000/month its more like 100 a day and works out to ~35,000/year

I agree---it's an interesting link: Eliezer had written:  "frustration - ideology = staged images
of chaos for media" http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/article/1700/
"Iraq: the world's first Suicide State"

But Robert's figure seems correct also, although that's about what it was before Iraq
was invaded:

"Iraq, a country approximately the size of California... suffered more than a million
violent deaths under Saddam Hussein's regime. That would average out at about
50,000 deaths a year in a population of 25 million before the Americans got
involved. In the two years since the Americans have been fighting in Iraq,
13,650 Iraqis, have been killed, many of them by terrorist attacks by their
own countrymen. Others were by military action. That averages out at 6, 825
deaths per year in a population of 25 million."

But that was written in early 2005 http://www.renewamerica.us/columns/mostert/050117.

Earlier I had heard that Saddam and his thugs murdered about 30,000 Iraqis a year.

So what's the difference between Saddam killing them and Iraqi's killing each other?
There are many.  But probably the most important is indeed media related:

It simply didn't matter *how* many people in Iraq were murdered each year because
it wasn't in our face every night.  ln exactly the same way that it simply doesn't matter
*how* many people die in Sudan.  The important thing in the West---and now
to the rest of the world---is, for the billion or so bystanders, whether the nightly news
is painful or merely interesting.


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