By Danny Schechter
New York, New York: As a journalist, I became something of a body count expert. It started with the Vietnam War, where I soon learned to distrust the exaggerated counts of enemy dead made by our self-styled "intelligence" agencies.
That didn't mean that people, alas, weren't dying in droves, but not quite the people they were claiming to have killed, even if the sheer number was desensitizing and hard to relate to.
It's still like that, what with the daily drone victims, collateral damage estimates and killings on battlefields and villages from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria and Iraq.
Now we can add Nigeria to the countries in pain with massacres by the Boko Harum, and their own military goons, and, with the collapse of a mega church in Lagos that looked like the 'planned demolition' fall of Building 7, claiming the lives of 67 visiting South Africans and we still don't know how many Nigerians. That House of God, known as a Synagogue Church, could not protect praying parishioners from the slaughter.
All of this is grisly, and a sad advertisement for what we used to call "civilization," but, it is still abstract, when it's happening over there, to them, people you don't know by name.
It soon becomes a bit surreal, even a form of war pornography. There's plenty of blame to go around, and the bloody trail often takes you directly back into the heart of "the homeland."