Breaking news! At least 22 Virginia Tech students gunned down. Cable news channels are wild with activity as they pump up the coverage a focus on the latest "crisis". The media is commenting that this shooting is overwhelming the local medical facilities. Crisis is in the air. Well, at least it ain't Iraq. The next time you hear Dick Cheney or George Bush blame the public attitude regarding Iraq on the media's failure to report "good news", examine carefully our reaction to the shooting at Viginia Tech. Look at our collective shock. Our horrified reaction. The public sorrow. Yet, in truth, this is an exceptional, unusual day in America. It is not our common experience. But we cannot say the same about Iraq.
Okay. Big deep breath. This is horrible and this is tragic and this gives us an idea of what it is like to live just one day in Iraq. Consider the following:
04/15/07 Reuters: 19 bodies found in Baghdad on Saturday
Let's total the score: at least 65 Iraqis dead in four attacks vs. 22 Americans shot at Virginia Tech. Whoops, forgot the 20 kidnapped policemen. Can you imagine?
The people of Iraq are living in a Marquis de Sade version of Groundhog Day. It is like the Bill Murray movie--the same horrible day repeated with some new, bizarre twists--only not funny. Multiple body counts and explosions and shootings are the daily experience of the people of Iraq. They have been living this hell for four years. Just keep that fact in mind as you mourn the deaths of 22 American students slain in Blacksburg, Viginia.
Former CIA and State Department official.
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