When death doesnt count!

#1
Consider the following entirely hypothetical (but certainly possible) news item:

“A suicide bomber today drove an explosive-laden vehicle into a crowded market place in Baghdad and detonated it. The resulting explosion killed one American marine and seriously injured another. The area was immediately cordoned off by American troops and the Iraqi Army. Senior American commanders suspect that the attack was in revenge for the killing of the Al Qaeda leader, Al-Zarqawi, recently.
In the same attack, four Iraqi policemen and 25 civilians were also killed and up to 70 injured.”


ARRSErs then rush to offer their RIPs for the dead squaddie and their hopes for the recovery of the injured man. All very understandable, given that most of us are either ex or still-serving members of the Armed Forces. However the point I wish to make is that it’s normal for such newspaper reports to mention the dead Iraqis in a typically offhand and almost dismissive manner. And nobody on ARRSE spares them a second thought, even though they’re just as dead as the unfortunate squaddie.

Do Iraqis exist in a vacuum? Do they blithely carry on regardless if their husbands, wives, sons or daughters are massacred, just because they’re “hajis”? Is it unimportant if Iraqi children are suddenly and unexpectedly orphaned? Don’t Iraqis feel grief and bereavement, just like us?

The constant use of the singularly grotesque term “collateral damage” has achieved its insidious and desired effect. Dead Iraqis now conjure up roughly the same mental picture as tiles being shaken from the wall, broken windows or glasses falling off the shelf and shattering.

The war in Iraq has killed and injured tens of thousands of Iraqis; many of them children. And when Al-Zarqawi was killed recently, everybody was jubilant, but spared not a single thought for the seven members of a family, one of them a child, killed in the same attack. Even when Iraqi deaths are mentioned at all on ARRSE, it’s almost in passing and with cynical remarks like: “Shouldn’t have been there”, or some such. Why is that? Are they somehow not worthy of the title "human beings"?

I regard every death (particularly a violent one) as a tragedy which will change lives forever. However, for those still absurdly cantering about on their moral high horses who frantically rushed to criticise me because of my recent posting, I have one question: what if I hadn’t written it? What if an Iraqi squaddie had written it? Or a Muslim incensed at the treatment of his Iraqi fellow Muslims? Would you have threatened to rip his throat out, or issued death threats? But wouldn’t his reaction have been understandable, given the way that the deaths of Iraqi citizens are routinely ignored, or contemptedly treated as “collateral damage”, in the western media?

MsG
 
#2
Bugsy7 said:
I regard every death (particularly a violent one) as a tragedy which will change lives forever. However, for those still absurdly cantering about on their moral high horses who frantically rushed to criticise me because of my recent posting, I have one question: what if I hadn’t written it? What if an Iraqi squaddie had written it? Or a Muslim incensed at the treatment of his Iraqi fellow Muslims? Would you have threatened to rip his throat out, or issued death threats? But wouldn’t his reaction have been understandable, given the way that the deaths of Iraqi citizens are routinely ignored, or contemptedly treated as “collateral damage”, in the western media?

MsG
A very good point my friend.
 
#4
Well I dont know how everyone else feels, but this is a very good point. (As Andyroo said)

RIP every single innocent Iraqi who was ever just minding their own business (hopefully), when some fcuker decided that he wanted a place in heaven and decided blowing himself up was the way to get there.

However one problem is that you just cant identify with them, as pretty much every media outlet I know of has potrayed Iraq as a land where every one owns an RPG and wouldnt mind using it.
 
#5
Bugsy, you're not the only one to have pondered this, but the way I've rationalised it is that every single death that occurs is a tragedy for someone and we don't offer up condolences for every one. People generally offer up condolences upon hearing of the death of people they know or feel attached to in some way, hence we ARRSErs, most of whom feel some greater or lesser attachment to the military will offer up our condolences when we find out about the death of one of our own, and more recently we've been doing so for our 'cousins from across the pond'.

I have many an emotional moment when watching or reading the news, be it about man's inhumanity to man, sheer accidents or the power of nature and I thank my lucky stars that as yet I've never had personal tragedy befall me. I think that you're being rather harsh in assuming that just because we don't RIP everyone killed in this specific mess that we don't reflect upon the many tragedies happening the world over, around the clock.
 
#6
Pvt.Joker said:
However one problem is that you just cant identify with them, as pretty much every media outlet I know of has potrayed Iraq as a land where every one owns an RPG and wouldnt mind using it.
That's exactly the point I was trying (probably unsuccessfully) to make with this unholy expression "collateral damage". It dehumanises the Iraqis. It puts them on the same level as a collapsed wall or an uprooted tree. And that's exactly why it was invented.

Imagine the uproar if the number of civilian deaths in Iraq was as carefully documented as, say, the lives lost in 9/11, or during WWII and became a tangible figure in the public's consciousness. How long do you think those lunatics Bush the Buffoon and Phoney Tony would be able to continue with their pointless war under those circumstances?

It's no wonder the Iraqis think we're all barbarians!

MsG
 
#7
DozyBint said:
Bugsy, you're not the only one to have pondered this, but the way I've rationalised it is that every single death that occurs is a tragedy for someone and we don't offer up condolences for every one. People generally offer up condolences upon hearing of the death of people they know or feel attached to in some way, hence we ARRSErs, most of whom feel some greater or lesser attachment to the military will offer up our condolences when we find out about the death of one of our own, and more recently we've been doing so for our 'cousins from across the pond'.

I have many an emotional moment when watching or reading the news, be it about man's inhumanity to man, sheer accidents or the power of nature and I thank my lucky stars that as yet I've never had personal tragedy befall me. I think that you're being rather harsh in assuming that just because we don't RIP everyone killed in this specific mess that we don't reflect upon the many tragedies happening the world over, around the clock.
Point well made, DB. I, too, sometimes despair when I hear of deaths all over the world and I never assumed that others don't ponder on that. And, of course, it's impossible to encompass all of them.

However, what I mean more exactly is that, even when the numbers of Iraqi dead and injured are mentioned in news items in conjunction with the death of a comrade, nobody makes any mention of it. It's as if they're unimportant, not human beings like us. That's what saddens me so.

MsG
 
#8
I regard every death (particularly a violent one) as a tragedy which will change lives forever. However, for those still absurdly cantering about on their moral high horses who frantically rushed to criticise me because of my recent posting, I have one question: what if I hadn’t written it? What if an Iraqi squaddie had written it? Or a Muslim incensed at the treatment of his Iraqi fellow Muslims? Would you have threatened to rip his throat out, or issued death threats? But wouldn’t his reaction have been understandable, given the way that the deaths of Iraqi citizens are routinely ignored, or contemptedly treated as “collateral damage”, in the western media?

mate ive been a copper now for 18 years after doing 8 years in the army and after all this time i can tell you there is no dignity in death, its horrible, the truth is men die at about the age of 70 by whatever means if they are lucky, women peg it by falling down dead in uncaring cities behind locked doors curled up by the toilet or flat out on the kitchen floor, the really unlucky ones sit sucking their gums in care homes till they have a stroke and curl up their tootsies.the only thing we can hope for in life is that it all happens in the right order and our kids bury us, apart from that everything in life is rosey!!

_______________
 

RP578

LE
Book Reviewer
#9
Bugsy,

I think that the point that you have brought to the fore, may very well be the deteminant factor as to whether we, that is to say the MNF, are ultimately successful in Iraq. I think also, that it goes a long way to explain why we aren't universally loved by the Iraqi Civ Pop, even among the majority who express the desire for pretty much the same end result as us. I think a large part of this is partly a result of the media's focus and not just on Iraq, I think it was PJ O'Rourke who once quoted the number of dead after a cyclone in Bangladesh before adding that he could easily have added a couple of zeroes to the end of the tally and no-one would have batted an eye.

In our (British Army) defence, when I was there on Telic 7, whilst most of us ordinary Toms could sometimes have a pretty dismissive view of the Iraqi population, I think it's fair to say that institutionally their welfare was a real concern for us. Moreover, we British soldiers behaved accordingly no matter (and sometimes despite) individual views and experiences.
 
#11
Bugsy7 said:
Consider the following entirely hypothetical (but certainly possible) news item:

“A suicide bomber today drove an explosive-laden vehicle into a crowded market place in Baghdad and detonated it. The resulting explosion killed one American marine and seriously injured another. The area was immediately cordoned off by American troops and the Iraqi Army. Senior American commanders suspect that the attack was in revenge for the killing of the Al Qaeda leader, Al-Zarqawi, recently.
In the same attack, four Iraqi policemen and 25 civilians were also killed and up to 70 injured.”


ARRSErs then rush to offer their RIPs for the dead squaddie and their hopes for the recovery of the injured man. All very understandable, given that most of us are either ex or still-serving members of the Armed Forces. However the point I wish to make is that it’s normal for such newspaper reports to mention the dead Iraqis in a typically offhand and almost dismissive manner. And nobody on ARRSE spares them a second thought, even though they’re just as dead as the unfortunate squaddie.

Do Iraqis exist in a vacuum? Do they blithely carry on regardless if their husbands, wives, sons or daughters are massacred, just because they’re “hajis”? Is it unimportant if Iraqi children are suddenly and unexpectedly orphaned? Don’t Iraqis feel grief and bereavement, just like us?

The constant use of the singularly grotesque term “collateral damage” has achieved its insidious and desired effect. Dead Iraqis now conjure up roughly the same mental picture as tiles being shaken from the wall, broken windows or glasses falling off the shelf and shattering.

The war in Iraq has killed and injured tens of thousands of Iraqis; many of them children. And when Al-Zarqawi was killed recently, everybody was jubilant, but spared not a single thought for the seven members of a family, one of them a child, killed in the same attack. Even when Iraqi deaths are mentioned at all on ARRSE, it’s almost in passing and with cynical remarks like: “Shouldn’t have been there”, or some such. Why is that? Are they somehow not worthy of the title "human beings"?

I regard every death (particularly a violent one) as a tragedy which will change lives forever. However, for those still absurdly cantering about on their moral high horses who frantically rushed to criticise me because of my recent posting, I have one question: what if I hadn’t written it? What if an Iraqi squaddie had written it? Or a Muslim incensed at the treatment of his Iraqi fellow Muslims? Would you have threatened to rip his throat out, or issued death threats? But wouldn’t his reaction have been understandable, given the way that the deaths of Iraqi citizens are routinely ignored, or contemptedly treated as “collateral damage”, in the western media?

MsG
You sanctimonious pr1ck. Do you think that no one else cares for babies and innocents crushed under rubble? Do you think you are unique in feeling upset when civilians are killed? How the fcuk you think you are in a position to criticise others about morality I have absolutely no idea. I do know however, that in over two years of reading this website, I honestly have never seen anything so disgusting as this...

http://img61.imageshack.us/img61/9182/screen022yc.jpg

And that on a condolences thread.

I was going to keep that to myself, because it was done and dusted, and the whole sorry episode was so unpleasant. I noted your apology, but to be honest, I don't care about how p1ssed you were, you crossed a line and in my eyes the apology didn't even come close to making amends. Nevertheless, I was going to let it drop. But then you posted that sanctimonious crap above and incredibly now you are trying to pass the buck to others by saying that it's not your fault that you posted an obscenity, but ours for not being as sensitive and caring as you, that you care about the women and babies and the rest of us just shrug, turn over the TV and...

Even when Iraqi deaths are mentioned at all on ARRSE, it’s almost in passing and with cynical remarks like: “Shouldn’t have been there”, or some such. Why is that? Are they somehow not worthy of the title "human beings"?
You Bugsy, are a cnut of the highest order.
 
#13
Are they somehow not worthy of the title "human beings"?
I can think of someone here who isn't.

Edit - I did see your post when it was first put on. You had ample time to edit it but you left it and eventually a mod had to remove it.
 
#16
Bugsy7 said:
DozyBint said:
Bugsy, you're not the only one to have pondered this, but the way I've rationalised it is that every single death that occurs is a tragedy for someone and we don't offer up condolences for every one. People generally offer up condolences upon hearing of the death of people they know or feel attached to in some way, hence we ARRSErs, most of whom feel some greater or lesser attachment to the military will offer up our condolences when we find out about the death of one of our own, and more recently we've been doing so for our 'cousins from across the pond'.

I have many an emotional moment when watching or reading the news, be it about man's inhumanity to man, sheer accidents or the power of nature and I thank my lucky stars that as yet I've never had personal tragedy befall me. I think that you're being rather harsh in assuming that just because we don't RIP everyone killed in this specific mess that we don't reflect upon the many tragedies happening the world over, around the clock.
Point well made, DB. I, too, sometimes despair when I hear of deaths all over the world and I never assumed that others don't ponder on that. And, of course, it's impossible to encompass all of them.

However, what I mean more exactly is that, even when the numbers of Iraqi dead and injured are mentioned in news items in conjunction with the death of a comrade, nobody makes any mention of it. It's as if they're unimportant, not human beings like us. That's what saddens me so.

MsG
The sad thing is that it happens so often, that without knowing, we become hardened to it, and it no longer shocks us as much as it would have 5yrs ago. In contrast, the deaths of a UK or US service man/woman, is still relatively rare (in context with wider Iraq)
 
#17
I agree you do become hardened to ongoing situations and that affects us personally but is also prevalent in the media.

During the darkest days of the Troubles it did happen that only mass loss of life was reported on.

Some poor sod from the UDR who was shot at his place of work didn't even warrant a mention.
 
#18
Awol said:
You sanctimonious pr1ck. Do you think that no one else cares for babies and innocents crushed under rubble? Do you think you are unique in feeling upset when civilians are killed? How the fcuk you think you are in a position to criticise others about morality I have absolutely no idea.

Even when Iraqi deaths are mentioned at all on ARRSE, it’s almost in passing and with cynical remarks like: “Shouldn’t have been there”, or some such. Why is that? Are they somehow not worthy of the title "human beings"?
You Bugsy, are a cnut of the highest order.
If you'd taken the time to actually read what I wrote, you'd have seen that I said just the opposite. The very fact that it was your obvious intention to launch a puerile attack on me indicates that you've got personal issues that urgently need sorting. If it helps, you can join others of your sad ilk and PM me death threats and other infantile stuff. I don't mind.

Otherwise, a question: do you, personally, think that the deaths of Iraqis (and Afghanis) should be given more prominence in the public eye?

MsG

PS Reading back over some of your posts, you seem to be in that "highest order" too.
 
#19
To AWOL & others:

I remember when two children were killed by plastic bullets, in NI, by members of my Bn in 1981. I do not think for one minute that the toms who fired the rounds intended to kill the children. What disgusted me at the time, however, is the fact that a very large majority of the unit (including senior & junior officers, SNCO's & NCO's) thought it highly amusing and a great many of them came out with comments along the lines of "Yeah! Two less fcuking taigs to worry about" Are you going to call them sanctimonious pricks too?
 
#20
Andyroo said:
To AWOL & others:

I remember when two children were killed by plastic bullets, in NI, by members of my Bn in 1981. I do not think for one minute that the toms who fired the rounds intended to kill the children. What disgusted me at the time, however, is the fact that a very large majority of the unit (including senior & junior officers, SNCO's & NCO's) thought it highly amusing and a great many of them came out with comments along the lines of "Yeah! Two less fcuking taigs to worry about" Are you going to call them sanctimonious pricks too?
Andyroo, there's no doubt that some held that view, however, I'm not so sure it was some sort of "blanket attitude".

I know when my uncle, my auntie, my cousin and my sister were killed in NI in 1978, the British Army couldn't do enough for us. The OC, 2I/C and the RSM of the unit responsible even travelled down to Dungarvan to attend the funerals. The fact that they were prepared to answer any questions put to them went a long way to helping us all cope with the grief. So not all people are so insensitive.

MsG
 

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