Just a thought on these horrific coordinated bombings today in Iraq.
Americans have become numbed over the last eight months or so by the sheer regularity of the carnage from the various suicide bombing attacks in Iraq.
The Ashura attacks today have been major news in the United States. But they haven't driven various other stories from the headlines. And I think it's easy to understate their significance.
Just consider one crude measure.
We don't know yet the exact death toll from these attacks. And it may be some time before we do. But the New York Times
has an estimate
tonight placing the number of dead at 170.
Iraq has a population of just under 25 million
. The United States is home to a tad over 290 million
. In other words, there are well over ten times as many Americans as Iraqis.
So, to get a feel for the impact of these attacks on the country, the number of people who lost loved ones, know others who did, and so forth, multiply that death toll by 11 or 12 times in order to get a feel for the number in American terms.
A good ballpark point of comparison is what it would be like to have around 2000 people killed in one day in this country. And, of course, that's not that different from the 3000 who were
killed here on September 11th.