Thursday, November 20, 2008

Collateral damage

I've been trying to find the ratio of unintended civilian casualties for every enemy combatant killed by our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, to no avail.

The closest I can get to an estimate of how much collateral damage our troops are causing is this piece, that estimates a little more than one civilian death for every 12 bombs or missiles our troops use.

I'll round it up, say that it's two civilian deaths for every dozen bombs or missiles.

Our targets aren't so much enemy combatants as enemy equipment -- tanks, weapons caches, munitions factories, and so forth -- and efficacy is counted in terms of whether the target was destroyed, not whether combatants were killed. But the equipment isn't just sitting there unattended. I think it's a safe assumption that if a bomb hits its intended target, it's also taking out at least one enemy combatant. And for the sake of comparisons, I'll go for the very lowest estimate and say that each successful bomb or missile is taking out only one enemy.

This article estimates that 75% of bombs were hitting their intended targets. That's 3/4, which is 9/12.

To eliminate a hundred guys like this, we accidentally kill 22 people we didn't intend to kill.


So, if we're making the low estimate of combatant casualties (one per successful bomb or missile) and a high estimate of civilian casualties (two per dozen bombs or missiles), every dozen missiles is taking out nine enemy combatants and two civilians. For every 100 of the enemy killed, we are (at the absolute highest estimate) taking out 22 civilians.

Let's compare the War on Terror, then, to the War on Down Syndrome, which kills three genetically standard babies for every "enemy" (baby with Down syndrome) successfully eliminated. For every 100 of the "enemy" killed, we are killing 300 "civilians" -- non-targeted "normal" babies. That's at least 13 times the "collateral damage" rate of combat bombing missions.

To eliminate 100 people like this guy, we accidentally kill 300 people we didn't intend to kill. So evidently we consider this guy thirteen times as threatening as that guy in the other picture.


What has the world come to, when doctors have at least a 13-times higher collateral damage rate than military bombers?

Who is killing indiscriminately here?

19 comments:

Wickle said...

This is brilliant ... if not for the tears in my eyes, I'd probably have something more profound to say.

Anonymous said...

You have lost the plot completely.

Here's a little more info:

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/174975/slaughter_lies_and_video_in_afghanistan




How can you compare the destruction of countries in search of mythical Bin Ladens and Weapons of Mass Destruction to the difficult decision that a mother faces on the news that her child has Downs Syndrom. Scream for the tests to be more accurate but don't scream at the doctors who are just doing their jobs. In this case you become exactly the "weapons of mass destruction" that the US wanted to destroy in Iraq.

GrannyGrump said...

So, anon, you're agreeing that babies with Down syndrome are a greater threat to society than terrorists, and that it's well worth killing three normal babies for every one of those horror babies that we weed out in the womb. Thanks for making my point for me. This IS a war against disabled babies, and there ARE people who consider the loss of the "normal" babies a small price to pay to allow mothers to avoid the horror of those monster babies.

Amy said...

difficult decision that a mother faces on the news that her child has Downs Syndrom.

The news wouldn't be as difficult if our culture, and attitudes like yours, stopped seeing disability as a tragedy or some unmanageable burden. It isn't. Disability - be it genetic or caused by an illness/accident later in life does not undermine or negate the humanity and dignity of the person it afflicts.

Downs is not a dream scenario by any means, but Downs children are also some of the most patient and loving people on the planet.

Just like with rape victims, I marvel at the pro-abortion crowd's ability to look at woman devestated by a prenatal diagnosis and say, "Let's get you to the abortion clinic, where everything will be better!" rather than doing what I - and all other pro-lifers would do, which is to look at the woman and say, "Here's information about Downs, resources for support and help, and the possibility the diagnosis was wrong."

Which is more compassionate? Which is more beneficial to women?

Here's a hint: it ain't the first response.

Amy said...

Hit "submit" too soon...

And, of course, there's the response of the same pro-aborts to women who suffer trauma/physical consequences/emotional damage after abortion, which is, "Shut up! Your suffering means nothing to us, and you're just crazy/a statistic/a betrayal to the cause."

GrannyGrump said...

Amy, one thing I wish I could get through to people is that Down syndrome is not a disease or a disability. It is a syndrome -- a cluster of traits or symptoms.

Some, such as the higher risk of heart ailments, are clearly negatives. These AILMENTS can cause disability. But they are also treatable, and they are also more likely, but far from universal, in people with Down syndrome.

Some, such as typically lower than average academic potential, are devalued in our society, but are just part of the picture, and again are not universal, and the person can adapt.

Some, such as the propensity to be affectionate and cheerful, are positive but are typically overlooked because we're too busy treating Down syndrom as if it is a pathology.

Anonymous said...

You both misunderstand me so I will make it simpler:

1. you are more comfortable with killing innocent bystanders in the hunt for alleged terrorists but not comfortable with women aborting babies diagnosed with downs - thank G-d the rest of the world don't agree.

2. you cannot force a women to take more responsability that she wants so that you feel better. We are talking about individuals here and maybe some women/teenagers don't want to carry their rapists child to term. Allow them the choice - not your choice but their choice - can you see the difference? If you are saying that women are being forced then arn't you doing the same by emotionally blackmailing them to keep babies they don't want?

Amy said...

1. you are more comfortable with killing innocent bystanders in the hunt for alleged terrorists but not comfortable with women aborting babies diagnosed with downs - thank G-d the rest of the world don't agree.


Yes, thank goodness the rest of the world is as thick as you in seeing that terrorism is far less a threat than a child with Downs. Good gracious. No one here said killing innocent bystanders was desirable or good. It is, sadly, a tragedy of war, but our enemy – terrorists – are not figments of our imagination, or was 9/11 (and the thousands of terrorists attacks before and after) one bad collective national hallucination?

Terrorists use civilians as shields and targets because they are evil. Because they hate life and they hate freedom and they want the power to make people’s lives miserable.

How in the world can anyone think it’s more morally responsible to ignore terrorism and abort Downs children?

you cannot force a women to take more responsability that she wants so that you feel better. We are talking about individuals here and maybe some women/teenagers don't want to carry their rapists child to term. Allow them the choice - not your choice but their choice - can you see the difference? If you are saying that women are being forced then arn't you doing the same by emotionally blackmailing them to keep babies they don't want?

First and foremost – who here said explicitly that women had to RAISE babies conceived in rape or with Downs? There is this thing called adoption, and most pro-lifers would agree it’s preferable a child be put up for adoption rather than raised by parents that didn’t want him. But destroying the life in the womb, and exposing a healthy woman to a wholly unnecessary and unsafe surgical procedure is just stupid.

Pro-aborts *always* label any attempt to give women information about counseling, alternatives, adoption, pre-natal development, ultrasounds, and fetal pain as “emotional blackmail.” If *you’re* for giving women a “choice” why then do you block access to information that may lead them to choose not to abort? 90% of women who see an ultrasound of their child, who get good pre-natal counseling, and assistance with finding help and support CHOOSE not to have an abortion.

Which, of course, begs the question: why? It’s not because of the supposed “emotional blackmail” of pro-lifers. It’s because women who end up in abortion clinics often don’t want to be there. They’ve been threatened by the baby’s father, their family, their friends, and told they *had* to get an abortion (in other words, they’ve been “emotionally blackmailed” by the people who are supposed to love and protect them – especially the father of the child, who probably told the woman he loved her before he got her pregnant). 64-67% of women who have had abortions report they were coerced or forced or pressured into doing so. Is that “choice”? No. Here you can find stories of women who underwent “failed” abortions, find out later they’re still pregnant, and – again – CHOOSE not to abort, even though it would be perfectly legal to do so. WHY? Because – again – they often end up in abortion clinics by forces other than their own free will.

Of course, our admirable host deflated the notion that pro-aborts are in favor of putting Downs children up for adoption in a previous post where people described adopting such children as – I believe – “gross”, and demeaned adoptive families with the same and other pejoratives. So I can see why you’d rather Downs children, and misdiagnosed healthy children, be killed instead. It might make you uncomfortable to see these children given a chance at life and an opportunity to know unconditional love.

With blogs like this, and the countless stories posted here about women who have abortions – for any reason – I’ve learned enough about how the abortion industry works, and how pro-aborts *really* feel about the women they’re helping to know it’s not about what’s “good” for women. It’s about pushing forward a brand of eugenics, the false notion of consequence-free sex, and making a tidy profit on death and destruction. I’m amazed at how people can let women be exposed to such butchery, call it “choice”, and attempt to pat themselves on the back for being all tolerant and progressive and concerned.

By the way, if any other medical professional misdiagnosed a syndrome as often as Downs is misdiagnosed, and performed unecessary surgery to remove perfectly healthy organs, that doctor would be stripped of his practice and license pretty quick, don’t you think?

Granny: I stand corrected. I understand the differences, even if it doesn’t show in my writing.

GrannyGrump said...

1. you are more comfortable with killing innocent bystanders in the hunt for alleged terrorists but not comfortable with women aborting babies diagnosed with downs - thank G-d the rest of the world don't agree.

I didn't say I was comfortable with killing innocent bystanders. I was merely pointing out that bombing missions kill fewer innocent bystanders than people doing genetic screening. That doesn't seem like a very good reflection on the genetic screeners.

You, on the other hand, seem quite at ease with collateral damage as long as the innocents die in the quest to kill babies with Down syndrome. Why do you consider these children so terrible?

2. you cannot force a women to take more responsability that she wants so that you feel better.

I personally can't do that. But morally parents are responsible for their children. That's not some whim of mine. Just because right now we are making some sort of irrational prenatal distinction - saying that parents are only responsible for their kids once they're bigger and less dependent -- doesn't make it morally acceptable. After all, up until 1972 it was legal to kill Mormons in Missouri. The law isn't always an arbitor of morality.

We are talking about individuals here and maybe some women/teenagers don't want to carry their rapists child to term.

Don't change the subject from what it is -- why we, as a society, consider kids with Down Syndrome such a horror that we're willing to kill three normal kids just to make sure we exterminate the "defective" one. Why is Trig Palin a greater threat to humanity than Osama bin Laden?

Allow them the choice - not your choice but their choice - can you see the difference?

Why should ANYBODY be given the choice to treat other people like garbage?

Anonymous said...

It is really significant that you choose to link terrorists with prolifers.

The saying "One man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter" refers to the fact that terrorists are those that perceive their way of life and freedom under threat and they believe that the only way to get their point across is through violence. Its all about political and religious freedom. And that is exactly the freedom that you want to take away. I completely agree with you on the fact that there are many women who are coerced into an abortion by their families and partners - then rail against the undue influence - don't assume that there are not any women out there that have the capacity to analyse all the fators involved and come to their own conclusion.

Here is something to make you feel better:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/3148900/Non-invasive-test-for-Downs-syndrome-developed-by-scientists.html

As for adoption of Down Syndrom babies - from the little I have gathered from my own research here in the UK, the only shortage of children available to adopt are newborn white healthy babies - as those are what most adoptive parent want. There are plenty healthy and disabled older children available with noone wanting to adopt them. 70% of people in UK prisons come from the care system. (If you can find anything that adds or changes that view - please let me know as I am very interested to find out.)Under that scenario - it is completely irresponsible to tell people to have their baby and give it up for adoption - if noone wants them.

On another note I wanted to research the natural rate of miscarriage - this is what I have found:

http://tommys.invention.tv/corporate-support/statistics/key-statistics/miscarriage-statistics.htm

15% on average. Death is part of life and nature aborts as well.

GrannyGrump said...

Anon, sounds like your argument is that since many embryos die, it's okay to kill them.

Well, 100% of born people die. So I guess in your philosophy there's never anything wrong with killing anybody, since they were clearly going to die eventually anyway.

Wickle said...

Anonymous is consistently reciting the popular talking points ...

1) Pro-lifers don't assume that women can't make choices, we simply say that there is a right and a wrong choice.

I have no doubt that every rapist, bank robber, schoolyard shooter, and mugger was capable of making ethical choices based on information ... they just made evil ones.

2) Yes, miscarriages happen. As Granny noted, people die of all kinds of causes. By that "argument," for lack of a better word, we could kill anyone with impunity.

My wife had a miscarriage in July. We mourn our baby. We named our baby (though we don't know if he or she was a boy or girl ...).

Do NOT equate miscarriage with abortion. That's like equating a parent who drowns her kids in the bathtub with a parent whose child is killed in a car accident.

3) Freedom doesn't include the right to oppress others. You're making the argument made by slaveholders before the Civil War.

Amy said...

It is really significant that you choose to link terrorists with prolifers.

Reading comprehension is a little rusty, eh?

The equation is that if it's unacceptable to have x-number of civilian casualities in a war but okay to have 3 non-Downs casualities when Downs Syndrome babies are aborted. And that the people who are from the "no war for any reason" crowd think that there's no justification for killing people in the name of fighting terrorism - how is it okay to kill innocent people when "fighting" Downs Sydrome? There is no just cause, no threat to anyone, from a baby born with Downs syndrome - so why are we ever justified in killing children diagnosed with Downs or misdiagnosed?

There is no justification for it.

With regards to adoption, so you're saying it's basically better to be dead than in an orphanage or "the system", right? Many people who would adopt if it wasn't so outrageously expensive from a legal perspective. Perhaps some of the millions of dollars that goes to PP can go to families who want to adopt but can't drop 10K out of pocket to do so. Additionally, if there's a problem with people adopting racial minorities, it has less to do with racism of the potential adoptive parents than it does the social engineering/racist designs of the politically correct. In American and elsewhere, minions of the PC movement, they've often pushed to limit or outright ban white parents from adoption a racial minority, arguing a black child needs to grow up in a black family.

Natural miscarriage is just that: natural. Often because there is a genetic or develompental abnormality with an unborn child that ends life.

But the INTENT of direct abortion is wholly different - it is to end a perfectly healthy life (in most cases) or the life of someone with Downs Syndrome or some other possible disability. Intent has a lot to do with it, anon.

Anonymous said...

But that's exactly what I'm telling you - fight the opressors - you're fighting the slaves.

and I bring the miscarriage here in terms of nature aborting unfit or imperfect embryos both in humans and in the rest of the animal world. I'm not saying its painless - I'm saying that's the way it is.

Amy said...

You're clearly still not getting the collateral damage analogy, so I'll let it go.

How are we fighting the "slaves"? No one here has advocated going after the mothers, other than providing them emotional/financial/mental support in dealing with a diagnosis like Downs Syndrome. If nothing else, this blog is ALL about defending women against the butchery of abortion...especially sine 64-67% of women who have abortions don't CHOOSE to do so of their own free will.

We are going after the abortonists, the OB/GYNs, and the culture at large who looks at a woman who's just received such a diagnosis and says, "OMG! Let's get you to the abortion clinic stat to take care of that problem!" They are the problem, they are the terrorists.

Miscarriage is caused by an already fatal abnormality. Downs Syndrome, while it has health complications, is oftne *not* fatal in-utero unless other problems exist as well. And - once again - I repeat, miscarraiges are NATURAL. No woman wakes up one day and says, "I think I want a miscarriage today." It just happens.

Abortion, on the other hand, is a procedure willfully sought out or (as I said above) forced on a woman by a boyfriend/husband/parent/friend that ends the life of a child who's only "defect" is that he was unplanned or is "unwanted"...

Kathy said...

Anonymous,

You seem to think it's okay to take a preemptive strike against those who may become criminals -- to exercise the death penalty against potential criminals (and against a great many people who will not grow up to commit crimes). Do you support the death penalty for convicted criminals as well?

Anonymous said...

The only reason I don't support the death penalty is the fact that I don't trust the judicial system. I find the concept of a prison an anathma - as not only has the murderer killed a member of society, but now he is a greater burden on society as they have to pay for him to be locked up for the rest of his life - it makes no common sense. Nowhere, that I have seen, in any religious writing (if you believe in G-d) is there a concept of prison.

As for the preemptive strike against possible future criminals - I don't know where you got that from. If you mean that I'm trying to stop the number of unplanned children born to parents that cannot emotionally and financially take care of them as those are the children most likely to turn criminal due to being abused and neglected - guilty as charged. Don't have children you can't afford to look after. Its not rocket science - its a statistic from the school of the bleeding obvious.

That brings me to the fact that your silence screams loudest - where are all the parents wanting to adopt all these babies?

On another note - have a look at this on late term abortion:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081113/ap_on_re_us/safe_haven

GrannyGrump said...

Anon, people are having to go overseas to adopt kids because people are aborting kids at home rather than making adoption plans. The kids languishing in foster care are not available for adoption because their parents won't relinquish them. It's another example of seeing the child as a possession, to be destroyed or hung on to at the parents' whim.

And nobody's advocating deliberately conceiving children under untenable circumstances. (Though the Pill pushers make it inevitable that this will happen frequently by encouraging people to have sex in untenable circumstances.) The point is once you conceive the child, do you kill him or do you try to give him a decent chance at life?

All embracing abortion does is reinforce the idea that kids are consumer goods that exist purely to gratify the parents. How that idea can reduce child abuse remains a mystery nobody has every adequately explained.

Anonymous said...

Granny Grump

I don't see it as a bad thing that people have to go abroad (mostly in the thirl world) to get babies because there women do not have access to birth control and abortion so there are going to be babies available for adoption to people in 1st world countries that can give them a much better life. What dod you think will happen to those babies if there were more home grown babies available in the first world - or don't they count? Its about creating balance. The children languishing in foster care are there because recent thinking has been that children do better with their parents and every effort is made to keep them there but there are a lot of kids that are orphaned or whose parents become ill or incarcerated later on in childhood and there are not enough people available to look after them. I believe that this is because you have correctly said that kids are seen as consumer goods to gratify parents, and parents don't normally want a kid who will think of anyone else as mommy/daddy. There is also the most obvious biological detterrent to adoption as why would any organism put all their resources into another who doesn't share their DNA - its important to keep in mind that we do share some very integral charachteristics with the animal world.

I believe that kids have always been a consumer good - labour for farm, insurance policy for old age, carrier of DNA, proof of strength and fertility, protection and in more modern times - unconditional love.

I'm as stuck as you are in trying to see how we can change a mindset thats been around since we have.