Friday, June 23, 2006

If California Were Iraq

I remember in the lead up to the war and the search for WMD's after we "won", the Administration kept reminding us that Iraq is about the size of California, and hence WMD's could easily be hidden (indeed, Rick Santorum just this week apparently found some, but I digress).

So checking out comparative populations, in these areas of approximately the same size, there live 26,800,000 Iraqis and 33,800,000 Californians, approximately a 4 to 5 ratio.

So I look at today's news, and I think I count 42 Iraqis killed or found dead today from this war, just today, which, if I am doing my math correctly (and someone out there will tell me if I'm not) would translate to 52.5 Californians if the war were here in only one of our states.

When I worked at a winery in Hammondsport NY in the summer of 1967 and some of the German workers who were supposed to install the new wine-making machines decided not to come here because of the violence and riots (anti-war and race) going on in this country, I laughed at them -- what could be more peaceful or idyllic than Keuka Lake in the summer? So is that what Iraq is like -- pockets of violence but an otherwise largely peaceful country? That is the message of our national leaders and some commentators.

But how do you argue with the numbers? If 52 Californians were violently killed, 6 apparently purposely mutilated, in a single day, not that unlike every other day, would The Terminator consider his state to be full of good news not being told by the media?

And, of course, American soldiers are dying there as well -- apparently 14 according to this article, in the two days since the death toll hit 2500. Yesterday morning, Imus said 8 American soldiers had been killed that day -- I noticed all day that I never saw that reported anywhere else -- could it be the bad news out of Iraq that is not being reported???

And can we not protect the lawyers who agree to defend Saddam Hussein? I mean, lots of Americans would think it pretty cool if three attorneys who represent unpopular defendants were taken from their homes and shot, but doesn't this country at least owe protection to those bravely trying to ensure the semblance of a fair trial that we insist upon???