Iraq may be devolving into civil war, but it’s nice to know that, no matter how bad it gets, at least Iraqis can buy terrorism insurance nowadays.
“That can’t be a good sign,” I thought to myself, perusing the story in the New York Times last week. After all, if all that “greeted as liberators” and “mission accomplished” stuff represents one end of the surreal spectrum that is Iraq, surely the all-too-realistic beheadings, bombings and other awful things that have given rise to terrorism insurance must represent the other.
In some ways, nothing represents reality more than the people who design and sell insurance policies. These are the folks who employ actuaries – people whose job it is to set emotion aside and tell us, almost to the penny, how much it will cost us if we get the flu, get dismembered, have a baby, need an appendectomy … or, y’know, die. They crunch the numbers and arrive at a premium to charge us.
So, let’s say you’re in Baghdad, you’re the head of your family and you get whacked by Sunni extremists. At home, your family of seven is waiting for you to come home with a paycheck, but you don’t return. At least, though, you’d envisioned this morbid eventuality and purchased a policy. Your family gets some money to survive, even as your headless body is forgotten in a mass grave.
Meanwhile, far away in Washington, D.C., the men who decided to destroy your country with an unprovoked attack will tell their people that things are going to be OK. They might even complain that not enough good news is being shared with the American people.
The fact that 2,321 (as of March 27) coalition troops have been killed in a war that appears to have had no discernible benefits to the American people is bad enough. But think of the Iraqis: While no doubt happy to have Saddam Hussein out of the picture, estimates put the civilian death toll at about 35,000.
Not so bad, considering they’re on the “march to freedom?” Well, put it in perspective: Less than 10 percent of that number perished in the attacks of 9/11, and it stood our country on its head. Everything is different, we are told repeatedly.
Imagine, then, how the Iraqi people must feel about living in a country that, in many of its most-populated areas, is a terror-filled war zone, and has been for the past three years. Who can blame them for despising the U.S. while lining up to buy terrorism insurance? And who can take seriously the lies continually fed to us about the value and success of this ill-fated war?
Sen. Feingold wants to censure Bush; I say he should be impeached, along with Rumsfeld, Rice, Gonzalez and Cheney. Getting them out of office before they do more harm to the U.S., Iraq and the world would be the best terrorism insurance we could get.
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