Thursday, January 08, 2015

Hierarchy of Deaths

Today there were two terroristic attack.

One, in Paris, made the world move. 12 people were killed, 4 heavily wounded, as far as I know.

From BBC, link to the left.
The second one in Sanaa, Yemen. A blast took away about 40 lives and left close to 70 wounded. It was the second attack in Yemen within three days; the one on January 5 killed six.

Yes, definitely, world media wrote about this, and horrific images were published.

Yet the social response to the two terroristic attacks thst took place within one day in different parts of the world is just incomparable. Doesn't it look like 12 French lives are more important for the world community than 40 of Yemenians?

In fact, nothing new happens.

Prague, 1968. From Wiki.
Europe often recalls 1968, when units of the Warsaw Pact countries (except for Romania) invaded Czechoslovakia to oppress the so called Prague Spring. During the invasion 108 Chechoslovaks were killed and more than 500 wounded, mostly civilians protesting the invasion. On the opposite side there were killed 96 Soviet Army men (mostly in accidents), 10 Poles, 4 Hungarians and 2 Bulgarians.

It was definitely a tragedy; and Europe feels deeply sympathetic towards Czechs and Slovaks who suffered during these events, and blames Soviet Unipon which was behind this invasion. However, I was a bit surprised to read somewhere (maybe, in the EU documents) that it was the world greatest tragedy of 1968.

Well, what about the Tet Offensive? Is it forgotten?

US Marines in Dai Do, Vietnam, 1968. From Wiki.
What makes big difference, that it was in Vietnam. Far, far away from the happy and wealthy Europe. The North Vietnam army lost 45,267 men KIA, 61,267 WIA and 5,070 MIA. To the USA, South Vietnam and their allies it cost at least 9,078 lives, 35,212+ were wounded and about 1,530 missing.
As for civilians, Wiki says 14,000 were killed and 24,000 wounded. Statistics is a tricky thing; when you see so many zeroes in figures, it means one thing: nobody counted losses accurately.

And the both sides' deathcount of the Vietnam War was far, far from end.

108 Czechoslovaks mean definitely more tahn those countless thousands of Vietnamese; they were Europeans. May be you think I am too cynic? Is it I who is cynic about deaths?

The attempts to bring Western style democracy to Afghanistan or Iraq could be called ridiculous, if they were not the reasons of mass bloodshed among civilians, resulting anarchy, riots, clashes and even civil wars. And here comes the ISIL...

Definitely, my condolences go to France as well as to Yemen, to all those who lost their close and beloved ones.

I just hope Europe will wake up until it's too late to preserve the Western civilization for future generations. To preserve it in the world where ir is not the one and only existing civilization, where all lives matter.

There are things that should not be tolerated in any case, and things to be defended by all possible means. Hopefully, people choose right side.

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