You, too, can kill Zarqawi!
June 30, 2006 2:25 PM   Subscribe

"The Death of Zarqawi", a computer game which simulates the raid that sent Zarqawi to his 72 virgins. "Created within two weeks of the real-life bombing, the episode allows gamers to join the U.S.-led coalition stationed just outside the house where al-Zarqawi is meeting with other insurgent leaders and choose between two strategies of attack: calling-in the real-life air strike that killed Zarqawi, or an alternate on-foot ambush which involves storming the guarded house and attempting to capture the terrorist leader alive."
posted by Steven C. Den Beste (72 comments total)
 
> KILL ZARQARI

Mission Accomplished! Nothing appears to happen.

posted by Artw at 2:38 PM on June 30, 2006


I put on my wizard hat and hijab.
posted by felix at 2:49 PM on June 30, 2006


“The Death of Zarqawi” will contain expert analysis and a thoughtful discussion of the political ramifications of military action

hahahahhahahhahahahha
posted by yonation at 2:50 PM on June 30, 2006


I thought it was interesting because the web makes it possible for popular entertainment to react so rapidly to current events.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 2:52 PM on June 30, 2006


And non-events.
posted by bardic at 2:55 PM on June 30, 2006


MetaFilter: The web makes it possible.
posted by pmbuko at 2:58 PM on June 30, 2006


Two weeks *after* news events is nothing. What's crazy is the people who got in on the super-secret Beta test of the game 2 weeks *before* Zarqawi got taken out. It must be a good simulation, because the strategy the gamers came up with matched what the military did exactly.

Hey, did you guys see the new "Thunder Over Iran" RTS? It looks rad!
posted by freebird at 3:01 PM on June 30, 2006


I thought it was interesting because the web makes it possible for popular entertainment to react so rapidly to current events.

That's kinda the gimmick of the KumaWar games in general, such as their John Kerry Swift Boat game awhile back.
posted by First Post at 3:02 PM on June 30, 2006


Does the game contain the little girl and her mother who were also killed in the bombing, or is "collateral damage" considered to be in poor taste?
posted by Jatayu das at 3:03 PM on June 30, 2006


These games are so one-sided. Where's the "WTC '01" game?
posted by signal at 3:09 PM on June 30, 2006


What is it about being named Steve that causes people to make trollish partisan posts on Metafilter?
posted by Ryvar at 3:32 PM on June 30, 2006


So I heard Bin Laden is requesting the body of Al Zarqawi from teh dub.
posted by subaruwrx at 3:45 PM on June 30, 2006


What is it about being named Steve that causes people to make trollish partisan posts on Metafilter?

Huh?

*rereads post*

Huh? I think maybe you're paying too much attention to the poster. I thought it was just an interesting post about the fact that people are starting to make news related games in near real time. This seems interesting from a gaming and from a news perspective, as well as saying something interesting about how we view world events these days.

What part seemed trollish? Maybe I'm being naive.
posted by freebird at 4:04 PM on June 30, 2006


It also seems interesting in a sociological and psychological way... why do we, as a culture, find that this is "entertainment"?

Mankind at its worst.
posted by HuronBob at 4:10 PM on June 30, 2006


The Zarqawi effect
posted by homunculus at 4:12 PM on June 30, 2006


This, of course, is BIG LAFFS, whereas a game where you try to fly planes into the WTC is OMG HORRIBLE HOW CAN PEOPLE BE SO EVIL AND SICK?

What HuronBob said, in other words.
posted by Decani at 4:16 PM on June 30, 2006


What is it about being named Steve that causes people to make trollish partisan posts on Metafilter?

Hey, I resemble that remark!
posted by ludwig_van at 4:20 PM on June 30, 2006


I also think it's interesting how these games can get created so quickly and immediately become part of popular culture. Too bad though that most of them are utterly simplistic in terms of what they're trying to say.
posted by cell divide at 4:29 PM on June 30, 2006


"Part of popular culture" implies people are going to play this thing. I doubt the designers of Halo 2 are worried they might loose their FPS crowns to this.
posted by bardic at 4:35 PM on June 30, 2006


I don't know if I buy the "Mankind at its worst" argument, HuronBob. I can see the point, for sure. But it seems that:

a) we always derive entertainment and humor from even horrific events. I'd argue that can be one of our best qualities.

b) I think if done well, games can provide a really good perspective that's more involved than what you may get form the news. Close Combat was a great wargame, but listening to your guys scream in agony as they charge the machine guns made it very clear that being in WW2 was no fun - in a way very few movies or news reports do. If well done, games based on breaking news could add a richness and depth to understanding current events.
posted by freebird at 4:36 PM on June 30, 2006


If there's one single boobie in this game, Jack Thompson will freak out and it'll get banned.

Oh, no "hot coffee" mod? By all means, bomb away!
posted by drstein at 4:46 PM on June 30, 2006


I'm waiting for the 'Capture bin Laden' game, where the player says he's gonna get him and then sits on his arse until the end of his term.
posted by Effigy2000 at 4:56 PM on June 30, 2006


... and immediately become part of popular culture.

I challenge the veracity of this conclusion.
posted by odinsdream at 4:58 PM on June 30, 2006


Freebird, thanks for the reasoned response...
I just feel that any game that glamorizes death, or that further creates a aura of violence between factions, groups, peoples, does not do our world a favor.

If I really felt that the purpose of the game was to inform the players of current events, I could see your point.. But, I'm afraid I don't think that was the intent, nor the likely outcome.
posted by HuronBob at 5:03 PM on June 30, 2006


As First Post pointed out, This is part of a larger project called Kuma War. In fact it is the 75th mission (Others include the capture of Saddam, a number of Fallujah operations. These missions are supposed to be speedily made and reflect current events.

I have not tried and really have no interest in Kuma War, but it does not appear to be terribly politicized, and rather is supposed to be of interest to military strategists, and is meant to be as representative of the actual mission as possible. Of course, there don't appear to be any missions in which one plays any side save for the U.S. (Of course, it could simply be that the developers have the military info for other country's operations).

From the website: "At Kuma, we are very sensitive and respectful of American and coalition soldiers and the sacrifices they are making every day. We hope that by telling their stories with such a powerful medium that we enable the American public to gain a better appreciation of the conflicts and the dangers they face."

Or, apparently, might possibly face.
posted by Durhey at 5:04 PM on June 30, 2006


Decani ... yes, a game where you re-enact the vicious, cold-blooded murder of thousands of civilians *is* evil and sick. You don't really think the two events are remotely comparable, do you?

HuronBob ... In the context of current events, do you *really* think that this game represents the worst of mankind?

Seriously, that's offensive.

Nothing is black and white, but why is it so hard to believe that we might actually be the good guys? Or that our government and military are sincerely doing what they think is best?

*sigh*
posted by likeSoy at 5:41 PM on June 30, 2006


I don't think it's about not believing we could be the good guys; I think it's about seeing that there are two sides. From a gaming perspective and from a philosophical perspective, this is important.
posted by freebird at 5:54 PM on June 30, 2006


Ryvar ...

So ... if someone posts something re: the war in Iraq that isn't in lock-step with the politically correct US-bashing party line ... something that's neutral at best ...

You consider *that* partisan and trollish?
posted by likeSoy at 5:54 PM on June 30, 2006


likesoy....my comment, if you read it, didn't reference the actual event, or the war, although I do have strong feelings about it.

The exploitation of violence of any type, and our ability to find that it is "fun" in some manner...is what I was referring to.

This trait, this ability, does reflect, IMO, the worst of who we are.
posted by HuronBob at 6:09 PM on June 30, 2006


So how do you feel about Chess, HuronBob? Soccer?
posted by freebird at 6:14 PM on June 30, 2006


Freebird, that's exactly what I'm saying .. there are two sides, but we've gone way too far ... understand your enemy, try to find compassion and respect for them, but ... they are the enemy.

I think people are just too quick to bash the US/Whites/Christians because they are safe targets. At the same time, we downplay or rationalize *real* evil if the perpetrator happens to be a person of color or Muslim, etc.
posted by likeSoy at 6:18 PM on June 30, 2006


Freebird...I don't think the analogy stands.

I don't have a problem with either chess or soccer, last time I looked, they didn't represent real life death in any manner that was clear to me.
posted by HuronBob at 6:26 PM on June 30, 2006


I don't think that's what I'm saying, likeSoy.

HuronBob: but surely Chess and Soccer are abstracted, simulated violence. Video games which also simulate violence are thus different only in degree, not in any qualitative way. My analogy stretches this a bit thin, granted - but that's the point. How about Risk or Squad Leader, where it's a direct representation of warfare? Paintball?

I think our ability to transfer our violent tendencies to abstract domains is one of our best characteristics, and underlies a lot of what makes Society function.
posted by freebird at 6:35 PM on June 30, 2006


This, of course, is BIG LAFFS, whereas a game where you try to fly planes into the WTC is OMG HORRIBLE HOW CAN PEOPLE BE SO EVIL AND SICK?

Silly me, I was somehow under the impression that there's a difference between terrorists and cilivian office workers. Plase forgive me for not seeing the moral equivalency among the two.
posted by dhammond at 6:38 PM on June 30, 2006


Plase forgive me for not seeing the moral equivalency among the two.

Hmmm... Second things that comes up on Google when you search for "Iraqi death toll" is a CNN article from 2004 saying that there were estimated 100k civillians killed since US attacked.
But you are forgiven, since it obviously takes a few darkies to equal to one US civilian.
posted by c13 at 6:50 PM on June 30, 2006


No, Freebird ... I know that isn't what you're saying. It's what I'm saying, tho. There is a difference between killing and murder, and the fact that they are both tragic doesn't negate the distinction.

Re: violence as entertainment, context and intent make all the difference there as well. Also, "fun" may not be the point. Saving Private Ryan and Schindler's List were both graphic and based on reality. They were great movies that really got to me, but they weren't "fun".
posted by likeSoy at 7:00 PM on June 30, 2006


c13, thank you for providing an example . That's exactly the kind of cynical, disingenuous remark that I'm talking about. Where does that come from?

Setting aside justification (and that's not a trivial concession) Can you honestly not see the difference between a surprise attack, where the *goal* is massive civilian death, vs. the tragic consequence of going to war with an enemy that wears no uniform and hides among the general population?

Seriously?

I'm sorry, I call bullshit.
posted by likeSoy at 7:20 PM on June 30, 2006


Again, I apologize for mistaking Zarqawi as anything other than an innocent civilian. In other CNN news, reading comprehension hits new low among certain Metafilter members.
posted by dhammond at 7:29 PM on June 30, 2006


Where does that come from?

Like I said, Google. CNN, if you want to be more precise. The original source is Lancet, I believe.

Can you honestly not see the difference between a surprise attack, where the *goal* is massive civilian death, vs. the tragic consequence of going to war with an enemy that wears no uniform and hides among the general population?

If THAT were the case, then yes, you are correct, there is a big difference. But the REALITY is that it was we who went all "Shock and Awe" on a country that had nothing to do with office workers being killed. And that its not so much that the enemy is hiding among the general population, but that, after what we did to them, the whole damn population is the enemy. Forgive me for thinking that they may actually have a valid reason.
I'm being cynical? More cynical then a bunch of fucks getting rich by making it possible for another, slightly younger buch of pimply overweight middle class fucks feel all manly about themselves by playing a video game in which some Third World camel jockeys get pulverized to shit by lower class US boys and girls?
posted by c13 at 7:44 PM on June 30, 2006


I'm being cynical? More cynical then a bunch of fucks getting rich by making it possible for another, slightly younger buch of pimply overweight middle class fucks feel all manly about themselves by playing a video game in which some Third World camel jockeys get pulverized to shit by lower class US boys and girls?

For someone that bemoans the fact that we have killed civilians (rightfully so, I might add), your argument would carry more weight if you practiced a bit more of the nuance you presumably criticize others for lacking. In other words, hypocrisy isn't very convincing.
posted by dhammond at 7:49 PM on June 30, 2006


likeSoy, I kind of see where you're coming from but frankly, it ain't your call to make. Why don't you ask the friends and relatives of some of the tens of thousands of dead Iraqi civilians killed in allied bombings what they think of your flair for philosophical nuance.
posted by bardic at 7:50 PM on June 30, 2006


Heh heh.. Oh yes, nuance, right... Silly me, its all about ... expert analysis and a thoughtful discussion of the political ramifications of military action as well as a playable 3D simulation, allowing ordinary individuals to choose how to resolve realistic military conflicts.
Come to think of it, had Harris and Klebold have access to such powerful educational tool, they would have immideately realized all the advantages of a JDAM over HomeDepot pipe fittings.
posted by c13 at 8:07 PM on June 30, 2006


The Lancet study was full of holes and has long since been debunked.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 8:16 PM on June 30, 2006


That said, I don't understand what any of this has to do with a post about web distribution of a wargame.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 8:23 PM on June 30, 2006


Bardic, it's not philosphical nuance, but reason.

I'd doubt anyone here has the kind of perspective you're suggesting, so until I get that opportunity, I offer an analogy ...

My half-brother's mother was killed by a police car that was chasing some criminal.

His mother. Dead.

I have no idea what the suspect supposedly did, or if they were guilty, but they could've ended the whole thing before an innocent person was killed. The cop could have just let them get away, but in the long run that policy would only reward lawlessness and make the public *less* safe.

Neither side is completely blameless, but no reasonable person could point the finger squarely at the cop.
posted by likeSoy at 8:33 PM on June 30, 2006


What a stupid analogy. First off, are you aware that in many, if not most, jurisdictions cops aren't allowed to carry out high-speed chases for precisely this reason (civilians getting hurt or killed)? I know cops. If they were involved in something like you mentioned, they'd lose their job, or at the very least have a permanent blemish on their career. Their department would pay up millions in a civil suit. Local politicians would call for higher-ups' heads to roll, etc. What kind of world without consequence do you think we live in?

So no, you're wrong. If America is the "cop" in your example, he's chasing down shadows and doing nothing but injuring the civilian populace and making sure that no political solution will ever take hold. When the shadow is caught a la Zarqawi, guess what? Behold ten more shadows.
posted by bardic at 8:44 PM on June 30, 2006


Steven C. ... c'mon ... it's all been right on topic, and I think that's obvious.

This is a very controversial war, and the game forces you to choose sides ... or rather, forces you to play as one (arguably unpopular) side.
posted by likeSoy at 8:48 PM on June 30, 2006


That said, I don't understand what any of this has to do with a post about web distribution of a wargame.
Maybe not all that much, Steven. Maybe I should have not mentioned it. I don't want to too far of topic here, but allow me to mention just one thing. The Lancet is a 180-some year old peer-reviewed publication that is considered one of the "core" medical journals. The key here is "peer-reviewed". It implies that, in order for one's criticism to be considered, he has to be a peer. Meaning, he should actually know something about what he's talking about. An "author, journalist, photographer and attorney" would most likely not fall it that category. Neither would that norwegian guy who single-handedly takes on The Lancet, and the National Academy of Sciences on issues ranging from misapplication of statistics to global warming. I can imagine that he might have played SimEarth, and quite possibly was pretty good at it, but unfortunately that still does not make him an authority.
posted by c13 at 8:50 PM on June 30, 2006


Ahem... IN that category...
posted by c13 at 8:52 PM on June 30, 2006


Fake violence really isn't the only way to resolve a conflict, but it's the only way to pretend to win it.
posted by Mr. Six at 9:39 PM on June 30, 2006


estimated 100k civillians killed since US attacked.

A more recent estimate puts it about half that.
posted by homunculus at 10:23 PM on June 30, 2006


So this game someone up-thread mentioned, is it any good?
posted by econous at 10:50 PM on June 30, 2006


Game? Clearly you're in the wrong thread buddy.
posted by Serial Killer Slumber Party at 11:33 PM on June 30, 2006


I wonder if in the course of the guns-blazing alternative, you get to shoot his unarmed wife and six-year-old daughter in the face. Go realism!
posted by nightchrome at 11:47 PM on June 30, 2006


likeSoy: Setting aside justification (and that's not a trivial concession) Can you honestly not see the difference between a surprise attack, where the *goal* is massive civilian death, vs. the tragic consequence of going to war with an enemy that wears no uniform and hides among the general population?

In a war, yes.

But if the "going to war" part is a criminal invasion of a sovereign nation based on even-then-obvious lies, against any common sense, and against any justice, carried out with the sensibility of a sledgehammer - then no, there is no difference.

In a nutshell, setting aside justification is not possible here. It's like setting aside intent in a murder case.
posted by uncle harold at 3:51 AM on July 1, 2006


Iraqi officials involved in compiling the statistics say violent deaths in some regions have been grossly undercounted,

samples obtained from local health departments in other provinces show an undercount that brings the total well beyond 50,000. The figure also does not include deaths outside Baghdad in the first year of the invasion.


Have you actually read the article before linking it? They mention how far off the real number they are in pretty much every paragraph. But what is the point? 50k dead is OK? That's not counting "teh terrorists" who are doing nothing more than trying to protect their homes and get the invaders out of the country.
posted by c13 at 7:00 AM on July 1, 2006


The Lancet study was full of holes and has long since been debunked.

That's HIGHLY debatable. Interested readers should listen to episode 300 of This American Life to hear a long interview with the author of the study.
posted by sonofsamiam at 8:10 AM on July 1, 2006


Is the game any good?

Why can't you play the part of the terrorists? Then everyone would be happy. Apart from those who don't like games with killing in, but hey can stick to Nintendo.
posted by asok at 8:50 AM on July 1, 2006


Then everyone would be happy.

Which group of people do you think is upset that they can't play as terrorists?
posted by sonofsamiam at 9:47 AM on July 1, 2006


Uncle Harold, I'm not sure which war you're talking about. I'm talking about the war:

... where we toppled the oppressive dictatorship of a madman who was in gross violation of the cease-fire that left him in power 12 years earlier.

... where we executed the US policy of regime change that had been in place since 1998, when most of the current critics of the war went on record saying that Iraq was definately a threat with WMD's and that inspections had failed.

... leading up to which, we begged the UNSC (half of which had their own shady reasons for protecting the satus quo in Iraq) to back up it's own numerous resolutions for 13 months, giving Saddam plenty of time truck WMD's to Syria, possibly aided by some of the same UN counsel members.

... that could have been avoided if Saddam had simply co-operated with inspectors.

... that is being won despite the best efforts of the ankle-biting media, nostalgic hippies, cyber-sheep and the politicians that exploit their fear and self-loathing for personal gain.
posted by likeSoy at 9:49 AM on July 1, 2006


Ooooh man! Who could argue with those bullet points?!
posted by ludwig_van at 10:11 AM on July 1, 2006


Have you actually read the article before linking it? They mention how far off the real number they are in pretty much every paragraph. But what is the point? 50k dead is OK?

Yes I read it. I was being sarcasticaly glib. It is not okay, it's monsterous and unforgiveable.
posted by homunculus at 10:18 AM on July 1, 2006


The Lancet study was full of holes and has long since been debunked.

That's HIGHLY debatable. Interested readers should listen to episode 300 of This American Life to hear a long interview with the author of the study.


Thanks for that link. There was a previous thread about the Lancet study here.
posted by homunculus at 10:21 AM on July 1, 2006


The Lancet study was full of holes and has long since been debunked.
Tech Central Station didn’t just post Worstall’s correction by itself. They have had a second attempt at debunking the Lancet study, posting an article by Michael Fumento. Fumento argues:

the researchers didn’t feel themselves bound by anything official, like death certificates. Interviews were just fine. “In the Iraqi culture it was unlikely for respondents to fabricate deaths,” they wrote.

Unfortunately, Fumento seems to have missed the immediately preceding sentences in the Lancet paper, where they noted that, when asked, 81% confirmed with death certificates:

In 63 of 78 (81%) households where confirmations were attempted, respondents were able to produce the death certificate for the decedent. When households could not produce the death certificate, interviewers felt in all cases that the explanation offered was reasonable eg, the death had been very recent, the certificate was locked away and only the husband who was not home had the key. We think it is unlikely that deaths were falsely recorded.

Fumento’s “killer” argument is:

Cluster sampling can be valid if it uses reliable data, rather than on inherently unreliable self-reporting. But it can also be easily skewed by picking out hotspots — like determining how much of a nation’s population wears dentures by surveying only nursing homes.

In fact, intentionally or otherwise, that’s pretty much what The Lancet did. Most of the clusters had no deaths whatsoever. But here’s the real bombshell: “Two-thirds of all violent deaths were reported in one cluster in the city of Falluja,” the journal reported. That’s it; game over; report worthless.

Trouble is, Fumento has once more been extraordinarily careless in his reading of the study. Here are the two sentences in the report that follow the one he quoted:
If we exclude the Falluja data, the risk of death is 1.5-fold (1.1-2.3) higher after the invasion. We estimate that 98 000 more deaths than expected (8000-194 000) happened after the invasion outside of Falluja and far more if the outlier Falluja cluster is included.

That’s right, they properly excluded the outlier Falluja in their estimate of 98,000 and Fumento didn’t notice this fact. That’s it; game over; Fumento article worthless.
From Tim Lambert's round up of Lancet study dedbunking entitled Tim Worstall on the Lancet study

As Lambert notes, concerning its would be debunkers, the Lancet study is like flypaper for innumerates.

See also
Specifically, under the assumptions of the survey, the authors estimate that there is a 95% chance that the two limiting values they obtain enclose the true number of deaths. Loosely, you can turn this around and regard this as a 95% chance that the true value lies in the interval (and hence a 5% chance that the true number lies outside that interval). Further (if we assume a symmetric distribution, which is plausible), there is a 50% chance that the total number of deaths exceeded 98,000, and a 2.5% chance that it was less than 8,000.

To put this into English, it means `we're not sure exactly how many, but a hell of a lot of people almost certainly died'. Make up your own mind, but in my view the low estimates of the number of dead in Iraq should now be regarded with deep suspicion...


Almost all national-level statistics are based on extrapolation (or, more accurately, sampling). Are we supposed to believe that (say) the Census or (for another example) Government research showing public support for ID cards are worthless because they did not count each individual living person in the country?

The implication that no casualty figures could be accurate unless they are derived from a `detailed body count' is also absurd, especially given that Coalition forces have refused to conduct any such research; in any case, a `body count' would severely underestimate the total number killed -- partly because many bodies will not be recovered (for instance, those killed when bombed buildings collapse), and partly because it's now impossible accurately to count the bodies of those who have already died and been buried.

Further, the survey did not treat `Iraq as if every area was one and the same', as even a cursory inspection of the paper will tell the reader. Similarly, the survey did not `assume that bombing had taken place throughout Iraq'; instead, samples were taken at numerous locations in order to account for the geographical distribution of damage (many of the sampled areas were unbombed, as you would expect). Specifically, as I have remarked, the headline number excludes Fallujah, because of the high concentration of bombing and difficulties of conducting the survey there.
... but one hundred thousand deaths is an easily-abused statistic
posted by y2karl at 10:44 AM on July 1, 2006


that is being won despite the best efforts of the ankle-biting media,

The media? I thought we were fighting teh terrorists. The soldiers coming home appear to have much more than ankle bites. Some of them have whole appendages missing. Those must have been attacked by The Daily Show..
We're sure doing one heck of a job there. Hell, who needs food, water, electricity, sewage, jobs, intact buildings and such when you can vote! So some of your relatives got killed, abducted, sent to Abu Gharib, raped, drilled with powerdrills... the Freedom tastes so sweet!
Hey, now that we've won, how about recycling all those WMDs we've found and using the scrap money to buy them a whole bunch of SimBaghdad or SimFallujiah? Because by god thats as close as they are going to get to normal life for a long while.

Homunculus, sorry. My sarcasm meter needs calibrating.
posted by c13 at 10:50 AM on July 1, 2006


The deaths of civilians in Iraq may indeed add up to violations of the Geneva Conventions, especially Article IV. This became apparent to me last year, when I headed a multinational team of medical and public health researchers to investigate the scale of fatalities associated with the U.S. invasion of Iraq and subsequent violence.

The resulting report, published in the British medical journal The Lancet, estimated around 100,000 and possibly far more civilians have died because of the invasion. Our study was based on 988 household interviews in 33 randomly picked neighborhoods from across the entire country, and covered the period between on the beginning of the war (March 2003) and September 2004.

Most disturbing and certain about the results, is that over 80 percent of violent deaths were caused by U.S. forces and that most of the people they killed were women and children. None of the deaths we recorded involved intentional wrongdoing on the part of individual soldiers, instead being mostly from artillery and aerial weaponry. When I presented these results to about thirty Pentagon employees last fall, one came up to me afterwards and said, "We have dropped about 50,000 bombs, mostly on insurgents hiding behind civilians. What the [expletive] did you think was going to happen?" Our survey team's 100,000 death estimate for the first 18 months after the U.S. led-invasion equates to about 101 coalition-attributed violent deaths per day...

To demonstrate another source of accounting for fatalities commonly cited in the Middle-eastern press, Figure 1 represents the record of deaths made at the largest morgue in Baghdad for all of 2003 through September 2004. Before the war, about 10 percent of all Baghdad deaths were recorded in this morgue. (Data for December 2003 are missing.) While the use of morgues and the populations they serve can change over time and does not provide a true rate of death, the 2.7 fold increase of recorded deaths in the 18 months after the invasion is both dramatic and is almost all explained by the increase in gunshot and explosion-related wounds...

...It is more probable, however, that the estimates of 20,000 to 30,000 civilian deaths cited in the American press are too low, most likely by a factor of five or ten.
Do Iraqi Civilian Casualties Matter? by Les Roberts

See also U.S. invasion responsible deaths of over 250,000 civilians in Iraq
posted by y2karl at 11:03 AM on July 1, 2006


Ahh, the last refuge of the chickenhawk--it's not poor planning and a callous indifference to morality and human life that's the problem, it's the librul media and the hippies.

likeSoy, when you become a member of the 101 Fightin' Keyboards, do you guys get a toaster or something? Health benefits? Surely something to compensate for how stupid you must look?
posted by bardic at 11:11 AM on July 1, 2006


No problem, c13. I should have been clearer anyway. ;)
posted by homunculus at 12:26 PM on July 1, 2006




You have two options: call in a devastating air strike, or penetrate the building and hope to eliminate him as he stands before you.

One thing I find interesting is that, while mentioning shooting the little kid and his mother, no one here wondered what happens if do decide to go in and kill Zarqawi yourself. If you screw up, do you get killed? How many people does your unit loose? The game site is not forthcoming either.
posted by c13 at 1:51 PM on July 1, 2006


Could Iraq be Vietnam in Reverse?:
Consider the respective arcs of the two conflicts. In Vietnam, the United States entered a divided country with a simmering civil war and left behind a nasty tyranny. In Iraq, the US has unseated a nasty tyranny but may leave behind a simmering civil war that could lead to a divided country.
George Kennan appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1966:
Kennan opened with a statement that likely resonates with many Americans today. If not already involved in the war, he said, "I would know of no reason why we should wish to become so involved, and I could think of several reasons why we should wish not to."
...
"However justified our action may be in our own eyes, it has failed to win either enthusiasm or confidence, even among peoples normally friendly to us," Kennan said.
...
Kennan concluded his Senate testimony with a well-known quotation from John Quincy Adams. "[America] goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy," said our sixth president. "She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own."
posted by kirkaracha at 4:53 PM on July 1, 2006


> KILL ZARQAWI

Mission Accomplished! Nothing appears to happen.


> VISIT IRAQ

Air Force One lands in Baghdad. You meet with Iraqi Prime Minister. The situation in Iraq deteriorates despite selection of new 'government'. You are likely to be exploded by a car bomb.

> STAY COURSE

The situation in Iraq deteriorates. Some insurgents arrive. They capture and murder American soldiers. There is a huge number of insurgents here.

> ATTACK CRITICS

The majority of Americans favor a timetable for troop withdrawal. The Right-wing Noise Machine accuses those questioning the continued occupation of Iraq of wanting to 'cut-and-run'. The Pentagon secretly plans to lower troop levels despite the politically motivated rhetoric.

> PASS CONGRESSIONAL RESOLUTIONS

The Republican-controlled Congress passes non-binding resolutions supporting the continued occupation of Iraq. Nothing else appears to happen.

> SCORE

Your approval ratings have fallen to 35%. Only 33% of Americans approve of your handling of the situation in Iraq.

> STAY COURSE

The situation in Iraq deteriorates. Some insurgents arrive. There is an overwhelming number of insurgents here.
posted by SenshiNeko at 12:27 AM on July 2, 2006


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