Reader feedback: Missing the point

Re: Nonfictional deaths in a pulp-fiction war, Editorial, March 31- April 6, Vol 9, No 12

As was the case last week, this week's editorial has so many gaps in reasoning that you could drive a tank through them. How do the images on our screens "hide the fact that these images represent real planes dropping real bombs on real people"? Only a person who sees others as unreal stick figures could make this sort of asinine statement.

You said, "While airtime is given to British and US casualties, little mention is made of those on the Iraqi side." Your conclusion is that "[t]he Western media seems to value Iraqi lives far below those of their Western counterparts." I disagree. One reason you might be hearing less about Iraqi casualties in Western media is because Iraqi TV lies. When Iraqi TV or Al Jazeera shows civilian casualties, you cannot be sure if the coalition inflicted them or if forces loyal to Saddam did.

Surely, you must have read what the Iraqi forces are doing: using civilians as shields, putting weapons in hospitals, telling men to fight or watch their wives or daughter being raped. All of these actions are direct violations of the Geneva Convention, not to mention violations of human dignity. This is the "very ugly side" to the war. These are the actions that "degrade the value of human life". This is why the coalition is in Iraq.

Finally, you wrote that without a strong post-war government in Iraq "it may only be a matter of time before Iraq's neighbours take the US lead and declare war in the name of international peace." The truth is that radical Islam was the first to declare war - a war on Western civilisation. The attacks on September 11 were the wake-up call to this fact.

Eric M. Roberts

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