About Me

My photo
Portland, OR, United States
I am finishing up my midwifery apprenticeship and plan to be a real midwife early in 2014!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Iraq Body Count

The kids asked me recently how many Iraqi civilians have been killed in the Iraq war. We used to visit Iraq Body Count website all the time, when the war was...well, more active? Hum, like it isn't now. Anyway, I just went there and looked, and they say that between 73,264 and 79,869 Iraqi civilians have been killed in war since we started this in March of 2003.

Once I referred someone to this site, who supports the war and didn't believe so many civilians were being killed. After looking at it (must have been quite briefly) she said to me, "well, I don't know where they get those numbers and I can't be sure if it's accurate." I'm thinking, don't know, or don't want to know? If you click on the numbers it takes you to a page where it lists each death, incident by incident, name by name when known. It tells you which news source(s) they got the information from. The range the website gives is because it's sometimes hard to tell if two news stories are talking about the same incident, or two different ones. From the beginning I've been very impressed with the amount of attention to detail and precision this website painstakingly makes. It doesn't give a lot of polemics, though you certainly could draw lots of conclusions from these numbers. They let the numbers speak for themselves. We are killing thousands and tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi people. Shame on us.

Pro-life president? I don't think so.

8 comments:

Mimi said...

My father tells me about how wonderful the news links are from that site. I need to bookmark it.

And, it's shameful, shameful that we don't discuss the Iraq body count. Lord have Mercy.

Auntie Elizabeth said...

"We are killing thousands and tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi people. Shame on us."

Are you saying that US military personnel have killed these people? I wonder how many people at Holy Trinity are aware that their presvytera has such opinions?

"Pro-life president? I don't think so."

It's a good thing that the Lord will be returning someday soon to judge the living and the dead. That will certainly put people like yourself out of business, won't it?

Elizabeth said...

I don't understand which part you are considering to be opinion. Our US military personnel is in Iraq, bombing cities and other locations. People are being killed by these bombs. Yes, our military is responsible for these deaths. And because we US citizens are responsible for our military, that makes us responsible for these deaths.

I suppose you're saying that I am being too judgmental by saying that George Bush is not pro-life? I guess I was trying to turn the issue around to show it in a different light. But you're right: I was too judgmental. We are all responsible for the actions of this man, as well. So, lets take responsibility for our actions and vote someone in next time who has a higher regard for life, and/or call this president to account for his actions.

I think that most people who care to know my opinions of the war at Holy Trinity are aware of them. I don't foist them on the unsuspecting. But I certainly don't make a secret of them. I have decided that just because I am a presvytera doesn't mean that I'm not allowed to have opinions.

So, Auntie Elizabeth, are you a member of Holy Trinity? Have I met you before? I'd welcome a discussion of these things, face to face.

Auntie Elizabeth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Denise Norman said...

When I was young, Vietnam was in full swing. Every night, my Dad would come home from work and watch the news until it was time for dinner, and he would leave it on while we ate. Every night, there was a body count. At first I didn't understand what that truly meant, but my big cousin Roseanne explained that it meant soldiers died, like our grandfather died, and left families who loved them and missed them, like we missed Grampie. Wow. The light went on.

Presbytera, don't let Auntie Elizabeth get to you. Here in the deep south, where pretty much everyone is rabidly pro-Bush and believe he was appointed by God (truly!!!!! yikes!!!!), any rational discussion of the inconsistencies in his person, his rhetoric, or his behavior provokes the nastiest reactions.

No, he is not a pro-life president, except for when it is politically expedient for him to portray himself as such. In that, he is like most politicians. The political life used to be one of service and honor. No more.

Denise

Elizabeth said...

Thank you, Denise! I knew that there are places in this country with the attitude you describe (did you watch Jesus Camp? The cutout of George Bush would have been hysterically funny if it wasn't so scary). But Portland is pretty progressive. Very progressive, even. And our parish is at least to some degree in the same vein as mainstream Portland. That's why it surprised me to have someone from my parish (she did comment again--comment deleted by author-- and claims to be a member, but I still don't know who she is) that was so reactionary to this viewpoint. I would expect it in the South, but not here!

Auntie Elizabeth said...

"But Portland is pretty progressive. Very progressive, even. And our parish is at least to some degree in the same vein as mainstream Portland. That's why it surprised me to have someone from my parish (she did comment again--comment deleted by author-- and claims to be a member, but I still don't know who she is) that was so reactionary to this viewpoint. I would expect it in the South, but not here!"

Yes, Portland IS progressive, and many of our parishioners at Holy Trinity are progressive. But I bet the Gadarene swine thought of themselves as progressive as they rushed headlong into the lake to drown.

Elizabeth, you are just bristling with reactionary attitudes towards the truth, and your critical, negative and disdainful remarks against those you disapprove of in your blog post and comments are unworthy of a presvytera. "I would expect it in the South, but not here!" Shame on you for saying such things. Some of us are from the South, and does that make us lesser beings?

I don't claim to be a member of Holy Trinity. I AM a member. There's no point in you knowing who I am. I hope the best for you and your family. Perhaps you'll learn something while you're with us.

Elizabeth said...

Auntie Elizabeth, I apologize for the implication that non-progressive people are anything less than. I did not mean it that way, but I can see how it could be taken that way. I value every person in the parish, not just those with whom I agree on issues of politics or whatever.

I am learning a lot from Holy Trinity. I'm learning much about living with a diverse and wonderful community of loving people. I don't know if I've pointed it out on my blog before, but I am *so glad* to finally have a parish, as before this my husband was working at the diocese and wasn't assigned to a parish. We were just kind of hanging out without a real community and I'm so grateful for the opportunity to have all the blessings that come with that.

Auntie Elizabeth, I don't like the tone of this conversation. I don't like it on several levels: one, there are only vague accusations, not specifics. I don't know what about me or my ideas you don't like. I don't even know what I'm responding to. The disagreement begins to feel like personal attack, not disagreeing about ideas. Two, you are anonymous and I'm not. You know very well who I am. You could come and talk to me at church, all the while knowing that you're the one who said these things to me and I would not know. You are not giving me the benefit of knowing things that could be a filter for me in discussing these things, your situation in life, your experience at Holy Trinity, your background. Where you're coming from.

And lastly, I'd like to re-iterate that I am a person, not "just" a presvytera. I have the right to my own opinions, just as you do. If you think my ideas are toxic, that's your opinion. I think my ideas have merit, and that's my opinion. I'm not putting them up on the church website, just on my blog.

So, I'm not sure how to respond to you if we don't have a common framework in which to work. I'm not sure how you think I ought to "behave" (to use your word) when you are making these kinds of accusations to me. So I probably will not continue to respond unless you give me something to work with.

SC