Thursday, July 24, 2014

UNDERSTANDING THE NUMBERS IN WAR

TWITTER FEED
46 killed, 200 injured in Gaza since midnight - Health Ministry. Total: 605 dead, 3,700 injured as fighting continues
The death toll now reaching near 700 - reporting from .
Many others including Reuters have been making these statements. 

Numbers so quickly coming. While bombs, bullets and missiles are flying, we are getting instant and incredibly supposedly accurate numbers of dead. Amazing don't you think? Even after 911 the exact count (even then) of lives lost in the towers was weeks away. At the time every eye was turned to Search and Rescue or recovery not running for their lives anymore. Let's understand the numbers used during and after ANY war or conflict.

Numbers help to quantify success of action. (did we maximize our use of force. Let's face it ammunition costs.) Numbers show the level of devastation to a populace (observation on the receiving end of the attack). Numbers help to anger and garner support for the cause. Numbers tell a story or spin a yarn. Numbers horrify and stun people the world over. It's how terrorists succeed in scaring people or twisting people to their mindless rage. Can you trust numbers from a battle zone with countless innocents mixed in with mindless murderers? Who are the fighters and who are the victims? When a populace fears it's own on the scale of a mafia like organization only without conscience or honor, where is that distinction? Who has the most to gain by numbers? The ones trying to make a case. In this case that would be the terrorists. Spin spin spin. Every number works for them. Hundreds of mobile sites, thousands of rockets, hundreds of women and children killed. All in the name of hate. How do those rough numbers make you feel? Numbers make you feel. Feel happy, success, sadness, sorrow, sympathy, anger. Numbers.

What are numbers for? Accounting. To account for whatever we need to take stock of. If the world responded to ONE innocent and unjustified death there would be no more numbers to accumulate.  

That is the other purpose for numbers. Accumulation. Accumulation of kills, victories, deaths, successes, failures, costs.

Numbers.

Yours in Clay & Water

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