Counters - BodyCount

Description: Up-to-date counter of reported civilian deaths in the Iraq war and occupation. The data is fetched from www.iraqbodycount.net.
Author: jusu
Version: 1.0
Uploaded on: July 8th 2005 at 12:04 AM
Rating: (3.52 stars)   [Show Detailed Ratings]
Downloads: 668
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This is only useful for spreading hatred and contempt.

Posted by: dukemeiser on May 29, 05 (5:16 PM) for version 1.0 (current version)   View Detailed Rating

No, WAR is spreading hatred and contempt, he's trying to promote PEACE.

Peace is neither hateful or contemptful, in fact, it's quite the opposite.

Posted by: fraeone on May 29, 05 (6:27 PM) for version 1.0 (current version)   View Detailed Rating

This thing isn't a political thing, it is basically FACTS! Jesus Christ! People die in wars, get over it.

This is a great widget!

Posted by: ZicklePop on May 29, 05 (7:26 PM) for version 1.0 (current version)   View Detailed Rating

PS: by Get over it, I mean just cause someones telling the news doesn't make him a dem or a repub.

Posted by: ZicklePop on May 29, 05 (7:27 PM) for version 1.0 (current version)  

The truth is not hateful or contemptible. As Peter Schickele put it, "Truth is just truth. You can't have opinions about truth."

Posted by: DexterSinister on May 29, 05 (9:19 PM) for version 1.0 (current version)   View Detailed Rating

As Daniel Moynihan said, "Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts."

Great widget, thanks!

Posted by: kingmob on May 30, 05 (4:14 AM) for version 1.0 (current version)   View Detailed Rating

The issues here is why would you want a widget like this smiling at you on your dashboard every morning? There is no point to it other than to paint a negative view on the war, and that's a fact. Why? Well what is it supposed to do, give a positive view? If the guy was trying to provide a balanced viewpoint or tell the whole story, he should've included stats from all of the previous wars. However, a widget displaying civillian deaths in only this current war as a stand-alone has a VERY specific and obvious purpose.

Disregarding the issue of whether the war is right or not, this guy is obviously against it. To say that he just wanted to report the facts is absurd, because this fact alone can only present one view-point.

Personally, I feel it serves no purpose because nothing good can come from this, and it's not creative because lots of other people are trying to do the exact same thing. The design is *kind of* neat, so I'll give you some points for that.

Posted by: SiliconX on May 30, 05 (4:50 AM) for version 1.0 (current version)   View Detailed Rating

Why would you want to paint a negative view of war?!?!?! Because there is nothing positive about any single war that has been fought on this planet and that is a fact. Wars won't bring balance it just creates more hatred. You think you can stop terrorism by killing people? Why do you think people become terrorists in the first place?

Posted by: Bing on May 30, 05 (10:31 AM) for version 1.0 (current version)   View Detailed Rating

This isn't a debate on the ethics of war, dude.

Posted by: SiliconX on May 30, 05 (1:42 PM) for version 1.0 (current version)  

Life according to Apple: stocks, flights and currency rates. I love their stuff, but that's a little too thin. The Dashboard just begs for disturbing content. There are issues that could use your attention.

As for "nothing good can come from this", the anti-war movement has had its successes in the past.

Also, thanks to this great site for not censoring the widget! I sent it to Apple but, unsurprisingly, got no response.

Posted by: jusu (developer) on May 30, 05 (4:43 PM) for version 1.0 (current version)  

I can't even be sure these reports are accurate, they probably aren't. It wouldn't surprise me.

I don't know about you, but looking at this widget every day would only seek to embitter me. It doesn't even tell the whole story.

Also, Apple doesn't just accept every widget that comes along. There are plenty of other non-political widgets they haven't accepted.

Posted by: SiliconX on May 30, 05 (6:07 PM) for version 1.0 (current version)  

I don't know about the correctness any better. Nobody else knows either.

I realize it's a harsh message. Thanks for your comments.

Posted by: jusu (developer) on May 30, 05 (6:53 PM) for version 1.0 (current version)  

"I don't know about the correctness any better. Nobody else knows either."

You could make a disclaimer on that.

Posted by: SiliconX on May 30, 05 (10:01 PM) for version 1.0 (current version)  

Why don't I ever see a Kim Il Jong bodycounter? Or a Lenin bodycounter? Hilter? Saddam Hussein victim counter? For that matter, how about an Iraqi "Mass Grave" counter? How about a counter with the total number of liberated Afghans and Iraqis?

What this is is a joke by a loser who cannot stand George Bush. Laughable.

"Because there is nothing positive about any single war that has been fought on this planet and that is a fact." - One of the most idiotic comments ever. Tell it to the Jews who were *forcibly* liberated in WWII. Assclown.

Posted by: whatnot on May 31, 05 (5:12 AM) for version 1.0 (current version)  

This *is* a counter for the number of liberated Iraqis.

Posted by: jusu (developer) on May 31, 05 (6:29 AM) for version 1.0 (current version)  

Thank goodness I live in America, where freedom of speech still (often) exists. Where both sides of something can be discussed without fear or name-calling.

Well, sometimes smiley

Anyone who wants to make a counter for other kinds of deaths and other wars is welcome to. Why should THESE facts be censored? They're relevant now. They matter. They're not the whole story--and nobody pretends that they are. They are real people, like you and me and our friends, who are dead for the wrong reasons.

And the sources of the info are reliable news organizations, reports from relief organizations and hospitals, etc. Those reports can't always give exact numbers. That's why there's a range: the lowest POSSIBLE count you can get, vs. the highest. The site explains all that.

Suggestion: add four more counters:

1. Estimated number of people left alive mourning those loved ones. Maybe multiply the dead by about 10?

2. The number of those grief-stricken who will join Al Qaeda thanks to Bush's excellent "recruiting efforts." Say, 1 in 40 as a rough guess? So about 1/4 the number of dead?

3. Number of American and allied deaths. They too are innocent victims of this mistake. Heroes who our president has disrespected terribly. They signed on to fight for what is right, not for greed.

4. Number of our troops still alive over there. It's too late to undo this mistake, so troops are now needed. But they should all be home, or training for a REAL need, and we should not forget that they aren't.

Killing civilians and children should NOT be swept under the rug. Not when it's done for oil and Bush's corporate connections. Not when it's done INSTEAD of finding Bin Laden and keeping Afghanistan stable.

Thanks again for this patriotic widget. My America is far better than some people think. We care about all people. We know that what our government is doing is the wrong approach--wrong even for our own security. And since we're not a dictatorship like Iraq was, we are free to say so--with facts on our side.

There are ways to stop a terrible criminal like Hussein without killing that many civilians. There are ways to bring peace to a troubled region without making the violence ten times worse.

As for those who think governments never make mistakes, and all wars are good... I hope you never lose someone to a war. And you may very well, since plenty of American heroes are dying for oil as well. Every day.

I wasn't even going to post this, and add to the discord on a great site. But keeping silent is not what freedom is about.

Lastly a design suggestion: a little shading and shadow rather than a simple square tile?

Posted by: Nagromme on May 31, 05 (8:33 AM) for version 1.0 (current version)   View Detailed Rating

Of course, the same sources used by this widget have said that civilian deaths in Iraq while under UN sanctions from 1990 - 2003 were higher than 2003-2004.

I gather the creator of this widget is more concerned about having a forum where he can announce how moral he is, and that he's content to leave it to the rest of us to figure out how to stop civilian deaths.

You can be liberal, conservative or middle of the road and think that this is a useless widget.

Posted by: pdrayton on May 31, 05 (10:43 AM) for version 1.0 (current version)  

No, there was nothing positive about WWII. If you think killing millions of people (including the Jews) is positive then that just very sad indeed. You think that the war only started when Allied joined the war? It is clearly stated that biggest civilian casualties of war were Jews. Please don't think that WWII and holocaust were somehow independent. Even Hitler stated in January 1939 that war in Europe will lead to the the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe. So please don't say that there was something positive about WWII.

If someone thinks the reason for war in Iraq is liberation of people or war against terrorism then please open your eyes. Think about the all the crises situations around the world and how allied forces are reacting or better yet, not reacting. Oh, what an coincidence there just happen to be oil in Iraq... oh, we just need to balance our economy, which is heavily relying on oil and oil prices... I have hard time believing that taking out one dictator and his regime required full scale war but controlling one of the largest oil sources probably required just that. Anyway, it is "easier" to ask you to die for freedom then to die for oil and economy.

I just wanted to suggest adding a counter measuring the number of weapons of mass destruction found in Iraq but that might be bit boring to watch...

Posted by: Bing on May 31, 05 (11:57 AM) for version 1.0 (current version)  

I've been looking through the database on www.iraqbodycount.net, and I've found that most of the deaths seem to result from ENEMY actions, such as murders and suicide bombings. Guess you failed to mention that, aye?

Posted by: SiliconX on May 31, 05 (3:18 PM) for version 1.0 (current version)  

Yes, some are from enemy actions of course--the site doesn't deny that, since their larger banners actually LIST how each incident took place! (Something to consider adding to this widget--along with a visible label clarifying that these are only the civilian deaths.) Those deaths too are real people who should be counted.

And those deaths of all kinds are still the result of a war we (meaning Bush) chose--and the grieving survivors are in no doubt about that. But to say MOST of the 20,000 were murders and car-bombings is absurd. One here, a dozen there, don't add up to the kind of killing the US has carried out in Iraq. And no I don't blame the brave American soldiers dropped into a no-win situation.

And whether one civilian death is somehow "better" than another is beside the point, even if you care about no human beings but Americans. Deaths at the hands of a US invasion are deaths that lead to more hate and less chance of peace. Those are the deaths that hurt Americans the worst. Those are the deaths that will be felt for decades--by the whole world including Americans.

There are real enemies in this conflict--completely evil ones. There are hard choices to made in facing them.

That does not make anything the US does automatically right. That kind of black and white thinking leads to blind mistakes, senseless deaths, and far more hate and violence and pain than ever before.

And nobody ever said sanctions were the only alternative. A combination of actions might have included sanctions, military action of the RIGHT kind at the RIGHT time, with evidence of WMDs instead of lies about them, and with world support... perhaps action that respected human rights... or even locating Saddam Hussein himself by means of intelligence. Easier said than done? Yes. It was hard to do that after the invasion, but it was done--despite having even less intelligence on his whereabouts than before the invasion.

Or maybe we could have taken action to keep Al Qaeda OUT of Iraq instead of turning the place into an Al Qaeda recruiting center. Maybe we could have gone after Bin Laden in Afghanistan with all that military spending, when we still knew where he was. Maybe we could have kept Afghanistan out of the hands of the Taliban, who are now regaining power and have REAL connections to Al Qaeda. Maybe we could have fought Al Qaeda, the real enemy, using the resources and lives we've spent to "liberate" the Iraqi oil (I mean people). Too late now.

It is indeed interesting how the reasons WHY all those civilians "had to die" keeps changing to whatever Bush finds convenient. (WMDs? Really? You mean like North Korea has and so do we?) Meanwhile, dire situations in other countries (ones without the oil) are given less or no attention. Situations with risks to American security, and situations with dictators and civil wars killing people.

But Iraq--not Al Qaeda or North Korea or the Sudan or, say, improving education--is where we should be committing massive resources for years on end? How gullible are people? What benefit are we or the world getting from all those lives and tax dollars? Plenty--if you're one of the Bush administration's corporate sponsors.

I will lead you now to public documents created by the Bush administration, showing how Cheney privately met with oil companies and planned out who would get which oil fields after in Iraq invasion. Detailed maps and all. Documents from the top secret meeting that the Bush administration is STILL openly covering up. A meeting that took place BEFORE 9/11:

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2005/05/11/court_backs_cheney_on_energy_meetings/
(The cover-up, defining "power" as "voting" in order to say the energy companies in the meetings had none!)

http://www.projectcensored.org/publications/2005/8.html

http://www.halliburtonwatch.org/about_hal/energytf.html

http://www.opensecrets.org/news/energy_task_force/index.asp

Nobody, including Bush and Cheney, is denying that these meetings with US oil companies took place and that these lists and maps were planned there. In March 2001. Just after Bush/Cheney came to power, and long before someone (not Iraq) attacked US soil. (Of course a plan is one thing, but acting on it requires waiting for the right moment to act, when American citizens will be distracted from your greed and corruption.)

Now add in how Halliburton and other Bush/Cheney contacts are getting contracts to rebuild Iraq after we destroyed it... and local Iraqis, who we're supposedly there to help, aren't even allowed to place a bid...

So I hate to have to say it, but these deaths at the hands of "my" government (I voted with the majority in 2000, not for Bush) bother me in a very special way.

That's a long answer, I know. But it still just scratches the surface. Some things can't be reduced to simple sound bites. But here's a start: I'm on America's side first and foremost. Bush and Cheney, by their own actions, are not.

This widget shows just one piece of that--a piece being tracked online already. It claims no more than that. Sounds like a good reason for a widget to me.

Posted by: Nagromme on May 31, 05 (5:09 PM) for version 1.0 (current version)  

Ahhhh silicon x? Who created the enemy?

Posted by: philk on May 31, 05 (6:47 PM) for version 1.0 (current version)  

Truly tasteless especially for us veterans

Posted by: rolnif on May 31, 05 (10:44 PM) for version 1.0 (current version)   View Detailed Rating

Whenever and wherever you served, rolnif, including the current war, you have my thanks and admiration.

But this widget--and discussion of the surrounding issues--are no disrespect against the service of veterans. I support both veterans and our current troops 100%. They are brave and dedicated people risking their lives for their country and mine. I wish they were being used better, but that's hardly their fault, it's the Bush administrations. And in the middle of this big mistake, a lot of individual good is being done as well.

To say that some wars have some bad sides, and that sometimes they need to be protested, is nothing against veterans. I doubt many veterans would say "all wars are good wars and the government is perfect, so don't you dare use your freedom to say otherwise." If we don't have that freedom, then what IS America fighting for?

The idea that SOME wars are wrong, and that our soldiers should be used ONLY in the RIGHT ways, is highly pro-troops and pro-veteran. Out troops in Iraq should be home now, and that's no longer possible.

I would never say it's OK to take an American soldier and risk his life unless it's necessary. In this case, it wasn't. Admitting that is the ultimate respect for our military.

Posted by: Nagromme on May 31, 05 (10:56 PM) for version 1.0 (current version)  

Philk, that's a stupid comment and it does not deserve a response.

Rolnif, I completely agree with you. It's interesting how they can be for soldiers but against war.

Posted by: SiliconX on Jun 01, 05 (11:52 AM) for version 1.0 (current version)  

Have seen a similar one a while back, just waited for one to show up here, sooner or later. That site arn't any neutral, not sure if there is a better place to get some more relieable data (not saying that those data aren't true), or comparing several sites' data making a estimate of that. But that's probably more work than it's worth.

----
Thinking oil is the purpose of the war is just stupid. It says more about the one who states that, than who it is addressed to. The war was much needed, and should have been done in the 90's. All wars are just negative? I have to repeat, what about WWII?

Thoughts from Old Europe
----

Posted by: dsch on Jun 03, 05 (8:20 AM) for version 1.0 (current version)  

Come on, who cares about the exact number of deaths and whether it is correct? That's not what this is about, this widget is for reminding us that innocent people are dying and help us to never forget that there's a war going on and that it is a nasty one, and one which is basically unnecessary. It's so people who don't particularly like George Bush can get reminded of how much we don't like him, so that we can keep fighting to stop such a dangerous person from having so much authority. Dangerous persons having too much authority is what leads to war. (Even if they are perhaps not always the ones to start them.)

Posted by: shppaa on Jun 08, 05 (12:31 AM) for version 1.0 (current version)  

Is this before 91 or during the ninetys?

Posted by: chuckit on Jun 08, 05 (7:49 PM) for version 1.0 (current version)   View Detailed Rating

Every single taxpaying citizen of the United states shares some responsibility for these deaths. Even if you oppose the war and have voted against the current administration, your funds go to support this killing.

And every single non-citizen of the United States should be aware of the ruination and murder that the US is willing to wreak upon any people, for any reason--or indeed no reason at all.

This makes the counter an important and sobering reminder for all of us.

Posted by: onan on Jun 22, 05 (7:27 AM) for version 1.0 (current version)   View Detailed Rating

I find it absolutely hilarious that some people are so eager to fight against any perspective that goes against America's actions. Americans should be able to be proud of being American, not for politics, not for partisanship, but for the advanced, civil philosophy that the country was built on and stands for. And here we are, arguing about whether or not a widget against war is good or bad, the relative value of civilian deaths by accidents or by terrorists, and other such points that fail to keep within sight of the foundation of American philosophy and true American pride.

Posted by: BagOfHammers on Jul 17, 05 (8:34 AM) for version 1.0 (current version)   View Detailed Rating

Actually, I don't suppose it's very funny.

Really, this is a very political widget. The picture of bombs being dropped, for example, doesn't fit my tastes...I think the message should be facilitated by reason, not simply by an image. But I support the message. Now, on to my big pet peeve: illogical expression and semantics.

From SiliconX:

"The issues here is why would you want a widget like this smiling at you on your dashboard every morning?" -> Why it is illogical: on the simplest level, widgets don't have to be left on the dashboard, but can be called up periodically instead. On a deeper level, it is an unintelligent strategy to argue by first declaring the "issue" to be something specific. Of course, I agree that this widget is not the most beautiful sight to see, even periodically, and I even think that this widget goes against the typical point of most widgets, to give useful data on demand. But then, there are numerous such counters and widgets with other purposes, which are perfectly valid. So is the purpose of this widget.

"Disregarding the issue of whether the war is right or not, this guy is obviously against it. To say that he just wanted to report the facts is absurd, because this fact alone can only present one view-point." -> Why it is illogical: the statement was in response to a number of user comments about the widget being simply factual. Whether or not the numbers are precise, the basic point is that quite a few people have been killed wrongly, and that, whether alone or mixed with other facts and stats, is something to be ashamed of. It is a fool who has only the capacity to be 100% proud or ashamed. Furthermore, this silly user seems to have a problem with the widget only promoting one perspective, being against the war. Newsflash: nobody said widgets need to be entirely neutral to all perspectives. Yes, having limited perspectives is always a disadvantage. But, if you've been paying attention, you have most definitely already observed various other perspectives, and the number of civilian deaths is not all that known, either (in fact, it can only be approximated). Nobody judges the war on "this fact alone" to begin with, being acquainted with various other info. On "this guy is obviously against it (the war)", I have to say this: DUH. That tends to be the favored view of those who understand more than just partisanship, regardless of political association. And as for "disregarding the issue of whether the war is right or not," part of the function of this widget is to try to get people to QUIT "disregarding" the immorality of the war. SiliconX may have meant "apart from" the issue and so forth, but the issue of war being the big picture, the stats on civilian deaths being part of it, these should not be separated to begin with. SiliconX does too much "disregarding" to be taken seriously on a rational level.

"This isn't a debate on the ethics of war, dude." -> Really? Well, you seem to be concerned about the ethics of being against war, bashing the widget because it didn't fit your political view rather than considering that it does actually do exactly what it says it does. So, you might want to change your attitude, "dude".

"I can't even be sure these reports are accurate, they probably aren't. It wouldn't surprise me." -> why it is illogical: the counter is obviously an approximation, giving minum and maximum. SiliconX is trying to argue that these ESTIMATES for the range limits are inaccurate: in the real-world, the info is accurate so long as the actual number falls between, which is, on the contrary, far more likely than either limit being exactly on. SiliconX may be suggesting that the limits should be even broader, but of course this is an attempt to be as accurate as possible: hence, the uncertainty factors in. Showing a range or an uncertainty for approximate scientific data is the accepted, preferred norm (rather than simply guessing a number within the range, which could easily be off). Unless major factors and specific instances were overlooked, the range should contain the actual number. Since SiliconX claims that inaccuracy wouldn't be surprising, SiliconX must have some reason to believe that the actual number falls significantly outside the given range. But SiliconX did not provide such concrete evidence to give any validity to such a claim. So, I must presume that SiliconX is just a bad guesser not used to looking at scientific representations of data.

"I don't know about you, but looking at this widget every day would only seek to embitter me. It doesn't even tell the whole story." -> Why it is illogical: While complaining that this is an embittering widget is perfectly fine, the complaint that it doesn't even tell the whole story is unreasonable and immature. A bloody WIDGET is going to tell the whole story of the war in Iraq and then some? That's absurd! It does, however, tell one part of the story that isn't often told, and not really the topic of concern for the majority. It's designed to highlight a SPECIFIC statistic, to add to the big picture. I don't know what SiliconX was seeking from the widget, but I think looking for what amounts to thousands of articles, documents, personal stories, graves, missing persons, political maneuvering, expert opinions, and much more, is unreasonable, from a widget or even anywhere else.

"Also, Apple doesn't just accept every widget that comes along. There are plenty of other non-political widgets they haven't accepted." -> Does this have to do with ANYTHING? Anybody can figure out that Apple would want to avoid supporting any specific views so as to not lose any current or potential customers. And of course, there could be many reasons that non-political widgets would not be accepted, such as graphic material or poor functionality, etc. But who is SiliconX to say there are "plenty" of widgets they haven't accepted, anyway? Does SiliconX have a quote on the number of rejected widgets? Quite easily, SiliconX could be right, but just as easily, wrong. What is SiliconX's aim? To make the developer feel bad somehow? I feel sorry to have the dev put through such immature and irrelevant comments....

"I've been looking through the database on www.iraqbodycount.net, and I've found that most of the deaths seem to result from ENEMY actions, such as murders and suicide bombings. Guess you failed to mention that, aye?" -> Again, here is SiliconX trying to show that the widget's simple civilian death count is designed to be misleading, this time by miraculously discovering that "most" of the deaths are from enemy actions. The implication is that the widget should include that info to give a more accurate description. This is certainly valid, but only on a very superficial level. SiliconX shows that such info would only be misleading in the quote: there has to be an "us" for there to be an "enemy," and suicide bombers don't just do what they do for kicks. SiliconX seems to placed importance on who is blamed for the civilian deaths, although either way, the war in general is going to end up as the ultimate source, and the cause(s) of the war, as we all know, are a hot debate. Nobody said soldiers were going around intentionally murdering innocent people, and the single element that could imply anything of the sort is the pic of the bombs being dropped on the widget, (the pic I don't personally care for,) but again, anyone who has been following the news is extremely unlikely to misconstrue this image as implying that bombers are sent to kill random people. Furthermore, contrary to some very inaccurate claims that high-tech machinery now prevents accidental civilian deaths, thousands of civilians DID die in the "major combat" phase. According to the site: "This database includes up to 7,350 deaths which resulted from coalition military action during the "major-combat" phase prior to May 1st 2003. In the current occupation phase the database includes all deaths which the Occupying Authority has a binding responsibility to prevent under the Geneva Conventions and Hague Regulations. This includes civilian deaths resulting from the breakdown in law and order, and deaths due to inadequate health care or sanitation." So, directly and indirectly, America has been responsible for civilian deaths. That is not to be denied, but instead should be met with the improvements America promised, both for the US and for Iraq. And remember, SiliconX, 7 thousand dead in the combat phase is quite significant. Guess you failed to mention that, eh?

Last one from SiliconX (sorry there's so many): "Philk, that's a stupid comment and it does not deserve a response." -> In response to Philk's quote : "Ahhhh silicon x? Who created the enemy?", again, likely in reference to the bit of SiliconX's it-was-ENEMY-action speech. Of course, Philk was simply pointing out the obvious flaw in SiliconX's view that enemy causes should be pointed out or perhaps SiliconX would prefer that they are not counted at all, either of which would ignore the United States' responsibility as according to international law. But no, SiliconX didn't realise that Philk's comment was a perfectly valid point, and instead, used the common sidestep of calling someone else's statement "stupid" and then refusing to admit that it is worth commenting on. Most people on this site, from what I've read, don't support this kind of immature behaviour. The "that's stupid and not worth commenting on" line is often used by children that lack the mental capacity to provide reasoning and evidence. All it amounts to is a demonstration of one's own incompetence to respond appropriately or to listen seriously to valid comments. If everyone were this immature, any disagreement would end up being a flame war of the lowest sort, calling each other stupid and refusing to comment further. Sad, very sad.

From whatnot:

" Why don't I ever see a Kim Il Jong bodycounter? Or a Lenin bodycounter? Hilter? Saddam Hussein victim counter? For that matter, how about an Iraqi "Mass Grave" counter? How about a counter with the total number of liberated Afghans and Iraqis?" -> This widget is for Iraqi civilian death count, only. What this "whatnot" person is trying to imply is that the condition is better than before, at least with the Saddam Hussein example. Kim Jong Il is a separate issue - the widget here is supposed to get people to (hopefully) realise that there ARE civilians dying because of American action, directly as well as indirectly. Perhaps whatnot wanted to point out that in some ways it was worse before the invasion.
Fine. But there's nothing great about saying "hey, we cause LESS innocent casualties than Hussein!"? Where's the pride in that? It's not that hard to do, after all.

"What this is is a joke by a loser who cannot stand George Bush. Laughable." -> On the contrary, your misunderstanding is laughable, or would be, were it not so pathetic, whatnot. The author didn't say anything about Bush - this widget is an Iraqi civilian death counter. But thanks for watching over us, whatnot, making sure we all just LOVE our president! And what is the implication, that all people who cannot tolerate Bush are losers? Maybe to a die-hard Bush fan. But with such an attitude, whatnot is likely to either meet or have met some kind of loss in life, because society doesn't favor this kind of immature and inadequate level of thought. I mean, even [at least some] die-hard Republicans would agree that calling people 'losers' on false ground is not demonstrating good people skills.

" 'Because there is nothing positive about any single war that has been fought on this planet and that is a fact.' [this quote refers to a previous comment by Bing] - One of the most idiotic comments ever. Tell it to the Jews who were *forcibly* liberated in WWII. A[**]clown." -> Surprised this comment wasn't removed for language. "Most idiotic" comment ever? I think not - though perhaps to say "there is nothing positive" about any war is a bit of a stretch, because, quite simply, there have been some positive effects (such as liberating Jews) in some wars. (I do believe Bing's point was that wars are generally not positive.) Many wars have had some gains mixed into the losses, and certainly the liberation of the persecuted Jews was positive, but to put it another way, that the Jews were put in a position like that is negative to begin with (like Bing has said). To be optimistic, perhaps the war in Iraq will lead to eventual improvement. But, the damage done, especially of the type indicated by this widget, is undeniable. Bing's comment may not have been accurate, but it's still a lot better than the nasty attitude whatnot demonstrates.

From dsch:

"Thinking oil is the purpose of the war is just stupid. It says more about the one who states that, than who it is addressed to. The war was much needed, and should have been done in the 90's. " -> Again, the lack of concrete evidence to support the that's "just stupid" claim is what makes this quote rather meaningless. Dsch was likely alluding to Nagromme's earlier comments, which, I would like to point out, actually include evidence. That alone makes it a far more substantiated claim than "the war was much needed." I'm quite curious to hear the reasoning behind that, because personally, all the supporting evidence and reasoning I have heard or read seem to be careful not to say the war was flat out necessary, but rather provide evidence that favors the war. (Obviously, some opinions consist more of opinion than evidence, but here I'm talking about the utility of ones that have evidence....) Really it doesn't matter if it's coming from a pro-Iraq war perspective or the anti-war in Iraq perspective: give me evidence. Otherwise, any claim is simply invalid from the perspective of reason. Since dsch gave me no reasoning evidence, I have to treat it as absolute nothing...I can't bring myself to believe either way, that the war was necessary or not, without more data. So, as far as a technical logical perspective is concerned, dsch has said absolutely nothing. To be really picky, the part about "It says more about the one who states that, than who it is addressed to", besides giving no evidence, is what I call shifting the focus. The "it" in the first sentence is referring to "thinking oil is the purpose of war". But the second "it" makes little sense, because "thinking" is typically not addressed to anyone. In fact, even if you take "it" to mean the recorded thoughts, presumably Nagromme's, in the posted comment, there was no design to say anything about the collective community it was directed to (i.e., this site's readers). So, what in the world is dsch getting at? Perhaps dsch meant that anything demonstrating that someone is "thinking oil is the purpose of the war" shows something concrete about that person or that person's character, more than such succeeds in providing a sound argument. That's pretty hard to back up (which, again, was not done), considering that such totally different people have the opinion that the oil ties indicate some level of oil as a motive. That is, there are people from both liberal and conservative sides that think oil might have been a motivation, even some people that believe it was the primary drive. It's not like there's a set group that has the belief, so to say one can infer assuredly any idea about those people, no more than one can infer about the set of people that do not believe oil was a motivation (or primary purpose, if you like). And one of the basic steps to being able to see the big picture (in any specified study) is to take a look at the variety of people in that picture. To attempt to draw any significant conclusions with such limited scope about such a varied set of people is ignorant. There needs to be more data.

"All wars are just negative? I have to repeat, what about WWII?" -> Again, while I agree that wars are far too complex to dismiss as negative, I have to say the same about dismissing any single war as positive. If one looks at the structure of dsch's quote here, dsch is apparently indicating that WWII was "not negative" by suggesting that it is a counter-example to the former question. (Not negative -> either positive, or, in a non-mathematical sense, exactly half positive and half negative, resulting in a neutral position.) As I've mentioned before, multiple wars have had good effects within them, but that hardly looks at the whole picture. Since there are both positive and negative things about WWII, it is impossible to dismiss as either, nor is it possible to attach value tags to specific events, negative or positive, add them up, and come up with a certain and un-opinionated zero. Thus, it does not serve as a counter-example. Furthermore, WWII and the war in Iraq have some similarities, but also have various differences, such as the degree of imperialism and nationalism, the WMD issue, etc. If WWII is going to be brought up to imply something about the war in Iraq, it becomes necessary to demonstrate, with concrete evidence and reasoning, a clear link and logical conclusion. (If someone tells you 2 is an even number and claims that all numbers are even, and you counter by showing that 3 is an odd number, it doesn't make 2 an odd number. But again, WWII doesn't even serve as a decent counter as is the number 3 in this simplified example.) Since there was no clear link established, not much is to be drawn from this quote either, from a technical logic perspective. No more than if I were to say, "What about Vietnam?". So? What about it? (Here I could go into the similarities in public opinion, in the friend/foe confusion, significant political controversy, evidence of deceit, etc. But I won't. I'm busy invalidating some nonesense. I'm more concerned about people making legitimate claims than I am concerned about whether or not those claims reflect my own opinions.... Many of the anti-war-in-Iraq claims are not the greatest specimens either, but as most of them are more problems of syntax and word choice than semantics, and since the authors have been more polite, I don't think they need much fuss, although there is plenty of room for improvement.)

Just a short analysis of semantics from a technical perspective of logic. <(short?<smiley Congratulations for reaching the end ( I told you it was a BIG pet peeve)!

Posted by: BagOfHammers on Jul 17, 05 (8:24 PM) for version 1.0 (current version)  

Serious concern #2: Possible Fraud?

From rolnif:

"TRULY TASTELESS ESPECIALLY FOR US VETERANS" -> What's wrong with this, you ask? Well, honestly, I could be picky and say that while claiming that the widget is in bad taste is valid on an individual basis, it can't be reasonably said for the entire specified set (i.e., all veterans). Like I say, though, I'm not here to pick on just two words, which could be a result of an emotional reaction, which is also perfectly valid.

What bothers me is that I have good reason to believe this comment does not actually come from a veteran. I could be mistaken, so I don't want to devalue the comment in case it is true. But here is some of my reasoning:

1) No specifics, no reasoning. I would expect one of two results if a veteran were actually truly disgusted by this widget: either the veteran is too disgusted to comment or shows in some way what is so disgusting, whether it be the picture (which, again, I don't like), or something else. I believe it is highly improbable, though not impossible, that a veteran would make the effort to post despite being disgusted and yet not go so far as to make an effort to shed any light on the matter. Why would a veteran NOT want to share the first-person perspective, especially after seeing various comments for and against the widget? It's kind of like saying, I care enough to comment, but not enough to ensure that I'm making my voice heard. (One liner in a long list of comments, no reason given, etc.) That, I would think, is not a common view among veterans. Again, I'm not definite, just talking probability here. If rolnif is indeed a veteran, I would personally appreciate, if possible, more reasoning from him/her, just like I would with all comments that cause ambiguity, which would most definitely not be the aim of a true veteran.

2) All caps: This seems to be used when people want to be extra sure to gather attention. How? By STANDING OUT from the surrounding text. (If everyone typed in all caps, it wouldn't be significant.) Now, a disgusted veteran, I would hope, would recognize that his/her opinion is more valuable than just any comment. But IF rolnif is a fraud, the "OOH! ME! ME!" attitude makes perfect sense, fitting in with the aim of trying to press an opinion above others by unjust means.

3) Punctuation (lack thereof - the quote needs a comma and a period) -> In my experience, people who are disgusted and are making a serious complaint not only write more than a one-liner, but take the time and make the effort to be as clear as possible, which includes writing with correct mechanics. On the contrary, such typing is fairly common among frequent-blogger/commenter-type people. (Even I, for example, often use tho for though, etc.) Of course, there are the possibilities that a veteran might have simply typed it that way, just as it is possible that a veteran is very active online as well. However, I consider it more likely that a blogger or commenter may post in this manner, so although such grammar is not conclusive of anything, it at least would be expected IF rolnif was a fraud (which is purely circumstantial).

4) Wording:
"us veterans" - instead of an opinion plus a statement claiming to be a veteran, such as "I'm a veteran of the ***** war and I want to say...", the author has chosen to represent all veterans. This I find strange, because being the only apparent voice of a veteran, there is no reason a veteran couldn't make a powerful claim without trying to represent all veterans, because just stating that he/she is a veteran would make that veteran the only veteran here, and therefore the only representative of veterans. Even if by a stretch a veteran wanted to represent all veterans, intentionally, the extreme likelihood that such a veteran would be aware of, or even know personally, veterans against the war in Iraq casts doubt. (http://www.vaiw.org/vet/index.php, http://www.ivaw.net/, both of which include veterans of the Iraq war, who therefore have ultimate, first-hand perspectives that are more valuable than practically all second or third-hand perspectives. Clearly represents lots of real work, admirable reasoning and cause.)

"TRULY TASTELESS" -> Truly is a word commonly used for added emphasis, pressing the idea that what is being said is true, or, colloquially, indicating that the degree of tastelessness is absolute (total). "Tasteless" only bothers me because it doesn't show any action on the part of the widget, like the word "offensive" would. (Offensive -> offended, but not tasteless -> tastelessed...tasteless is purely a description.) If the word "truly" was used to emphasize the degree to which the veteran felt offended, it makes sense. However, a real veteran is not likely to think of emphasizing the trueness of what he/she is saying, since being a veteran already has that effect. Again, it could be either possibility, but IF the veteran in discussion were a fraud, that wording would be a very likely choice, quite natural if your aim is primarily to appear to be true.

"ESPECIALLY FOR" us veterans -> especially? If the author were a veteran, I would expect that personal offense would be an initial reaction (if offense is taken), not a secondary concern. The quote says first that the widget is tasteless, then states, "especially for" veterans. While this is still possible for a veteran to state, it seems unnatural, as a veteran would have personal offense, but the statement is first objective, then becomes subjective (and only as "especially"smiley. I would expect a veteran to comment subjectively first and primarily, not only for the psychological reason but to emphasize personal offense. This would also be necessary, because a truly offended veteran would likely want to see the widget removed, and could inquire about such action to the people that run this site. But to do so, the veteran has to show that it seriously offends him/her which requires a subjective view. Strangely, any explanation is missing. Like I say, it could be from a veteran, but to me it seems more likely that someone first sought to express an opinion "truly tasteless" and then sought to make it unjustly authoritative by claiming to be a veteran (or in this case, representing all veterans).

Now, again, not one of these reasons alone is conclusive. But there is what's called reasonable doubt if a number of unlikely circumstances are coinciding, which I personally feel there are. I did bother to look up rolnif, but the profile is largely blank and is therefore not much data, although I did check the AIM against a few (unfortunately I don't know AIM very well, so I couldn't really say), and I did not find any other comments by rolnif, yet, so really, all possibilities remain.

Anyhow, like I say, I'm just not sure, because there is no conclusive evidence, all of it is circumstantial. If you are a real veteran, rolnif, I for one would appreciate some clarification so that I might be understand what exactly was "tasteless", and why. That can't be too much to ask, especially as there are quite a few Iraq vets that totally oppose the war. IF you are a fraud, rolnif, understand that I'm not the only one who considers that lousy and inappropriate behavior, although at this level, not yet criminal.

Posted by: BagOfHammers on Jul 18, 05 (7:01 AM) for version 1.0 (current version)  

This one went too far.

SiliconX: "Rolnif, I completely agree with you. It's interesting how they can be for soldiers but against war." -> They? Lol. Only encouraging partisanship...Washington wouldn't like you very much, if he was alive today.

And is it really that interesting, to be for soldiers but against war? I have a feeling SiliconX doesn't have the guts to actually seek to understand, because it must feel better to be perfectly ignorant of reality.

In the real world outside partisan bubbles, real soldiers are going through real suffering. Some are killed, some are gone, and some of them are left wondering whether an approaching child is really a suicide bomber. Some of them were told they were going to be there to liberate Iraqis, but become disillusioned with the reality of the situation, which is not that simple. Many Iraqis, not even terrorists, don't welcome the occupation. What about that widow who lost her children to a mistake bombing? What was the soldier thinking upon meeting such a mother, watching her grief and her anger?

Was the soldier left to wonder?

It's high time for people like SiliconX to start wondering too, challenging their beliefs to see if their reasoning is sound. They owe more than that to the soldiers and the mourners. Their ignorance has a cost, and ironically, they tend to be the ones who are so un-American that they refuse to consider that they are responsible.

http://www.vaiw.org/vet/index.php
http://www.ivaw.net/

Those that don't care enough to see for themselves are susceptible to being mislead. History favors evidence, not rhetoric. Will our children be left to wonder?

Or will they know the truth? What will they see in evidence, when the rhetoric no longer clouds the issues? Are you proud of what you think they'll see? Because they're not going to be proud of the rhetoric. What is there to be proud of in the evidence?

Posted by: BagOfHammers on Jul 18, 05 (8:00 AM) for version 1.0 (current version)  

blah blah blah... I can't believe I wrote THAT much about one widget. <(xx<smiley

Posted by: BagOfHammers on Jul 19, 05 (6:00 PM) for version 1.0 (current version)  

Where was this kind of idea when Saddam was in charge? Where was your bleeding heart then?

Thumbs down on this morbid and manipulative propaganda.

Posted by: exilio on Aug 04, 05 (10:30 AM) for version 1.0 (current version)   View Detailed Rating

Thanks to jusu for developing this widget. It is easy for those for the war to forget the human cost from the comfort of their SUVs. A few responses from reading the comment list. Exilio--remember that the U.S. put Saddam (and many other dictators) in place. Ironically it was Bush the first, who as, director of the CIA, was instrumental in installing Saddam. In regards to the WWII discussion-- need we forget that WWI set the world up for WWII. The effects of WWI from low morale to the poverty (from war damage and inflation because of the insistence that Germany assume debt from the war) allowed Hitler to rise to power.

Posted by: Ginsburg on Jan 25, 06 (8:15 PM) for version 1.0 (current version)   View Detailed Rating

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