Sunday, November 07, 2004

Ignoring Iraq

Now that the election is over, will Americans try to forget about Iraq? The assault on Falluja may make it difficult for the next few days, but it appears that we are already doing our best as a society to ignore Iraq's unpleasant realities.

Last Monday, Scott Ritter, who was a senior U.N. weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991 to 1998, published this essay in The Guardian in which he discussed the study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health estimating that 100,000 Iraqi civilians may have already died in the Iraq War. (The International Herald Tribune reported the story here.) Ritter concludes that "we all are moral cowards when it comes to Iraq. Our collective inability to summon the requisite shame and rage when confronted by an estimate of 100,000 dead Iraqi civilians in the prosecution of an illegal and unjust war not only condemns us, but adds credibility to those who oppose us."

[Update: Here's a link to the Johns Hopkins University study mentioned above.]