By the Numbers

Today, over sixty-one thousand Iraqis are alive (and free and perhaps voting) because of American policy.”

I don’t subscribe to the body-count calculus of war. Really, Hitler only wanted to kill 12 million Jews, plus a few million more gays, Gypsies, and other “undesireables.” Left to his own devices, Hitler would have killed far fewer people than ended up dying because nations and people chose to fight him.

Of course, that leaves out the 100 million Slavs Hitler would have enslaved and dislocated to make labor and room for his “Greater Germany” in European Russia. Body-Count Calculus leaves out a similar fact in Iraq : No matter whether the war has claimed more Iraqi lives than it saved, today’s Iraqis are free.

The US (North and South) lost 600,000 lives in the Civil War. Had we let the South go its own way, all those lives would have been spared. But slavery would have lived on.

I do not subscribe to the body-count calculus of war — but sometimes it sure is nice to know.