Death Toll

I have kindred spirits in war, and Nouri Abdullah Abdulati is one of my Libyan counterparts. Here's what he said:

"Even if 400,000 people die and only 100,000 live, this is a victory"

He hasn't said whether that was his limit or not though. I've usually claimed that I'd rather see 90% of Australians wiped out than have to start handing over "comfort women" to invading Japanese. And same equation if we had an equally brutal dictator to start with (which is the Libyan situation now where he's willing to sacrifice 80% of the population for victory).

And it is figures like this that show how damned cheap the Iraq war was. Even the insurgency that followed is nothing. The natural population growth far exceeds what the terrorists are managing to wipe out. So for someone who thinks the same way as Nouri and I, it's a puzzling question to even ask. Victory is clear as day - the institutions changed the way I wanted them to change, and the surviving population is high enough that we can rebuild to the original population if that was a concern.

Yes, there were x number of people irrevocably killed in the process. That's the nature of war, and why if there is evidence that there is an imminent peaceful solution available (and explanation as to why the peaceful solution has been ignored for the last 5000 years), then peace is the way to go. Otherwise, the time has come to change the institutions by all necessary means.

The trouble is that not everyone thinks the same way as Nouri and I. The opposing way of thinking is that every life is precious, and living under state slavery is no big deal anyway - just part of human development. So as soon as the first non-combatant dies, that's it, time to fold. Whereas to me, that's a recipe for disaster. Specifically a recipe for being ruled by the nastiest Nazi regime you can imagine. I would suggest that the problem here is that people are unable or unwilling to derive the Nazi consequences of "peace under a dictator like Saddam".

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