Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Last throes

Nearly 6,000 Iraqi civilians died in May and June. That's about 100 people a day. Every day. Day in, day out. It's gotten to the point where I expect a daily death-tally on Iraq every morning when I turn on the news. I always go "Aauugghh!" and I always feel my stomach lurch a bit at the news of the latest carnage, but if I didn't hear it, I'd be surprised. I guess that's what's known as desensitization. When I feel this happening, I try to put it in context. Iraq has about the same population as Ontario and the 4 western provinces. It becomes a lot more real when I try to imagine what it would feel like if every day in that 5-province area, 100 people were blown up; 40 in Toronto, 20 in Vancouver, 10 in each of Calgary, Edmonton, Regina and Winnipeg. Indescribably horrific just to think of it happening once ... then the same thing the next day, and the next and the next. Context: it helps to keep the outrage in high gear.