awkwardly

Wednesday

"I'm not sure Prologue [Films] will take the design world by storm, but I do know that we will never do anything that I do not think is perfect. I will never compromise again."
-- Kyle Cooper, quoted in the June 2004 Wired. Cooper is not a young, idealistic maker of feature films protecting his artistic integrity. He's a young, idealistic maker of two-minute long title sequences for feature films, protecting his artistic integrity. Apparently his title sequence to Flubber may have been a compromise. No, seriously.

Harper's Index, August 2004, shows the differing values of human lives as pro-rated by our selected representatives:
$4.5 million -- Compensation the US govt has paid Iraqis for wrongful deaths, injuries, and property damage since 2002.
$11.4 million -- Total "death gratuities" the US govt has paid since then to survivors of US soldiers killed in Iraq.
Average number of kidnappings per week in Iraq since March 2004: 5
Number of non-Iraqis detained there by US forces in the last year: 400 (average of 7.7 per week for 52 weeks, and this number would be astronomically higher if it counted Iraqis detained there)

Funny how the terrorists "kidnap", while we merely "detain." Chechnyan terrorists kill 300+ civilians in one action and it makes world news. Any actions by the Russian army in Chechnya that might have killed 50 or 100 civilians here and there over the course of months or years are negligible, explained as an unfortunate side-effect of their need to keep stability in the region, not even worth reporting or commenting on, clearly not comparable to the baby killers in that Russian school because the Russian army had good intentions.

Violence by terrorists is just as deplorable as violence by states, but if you look at it fairly, those Chechyan terrorists probably felt they were evening the score, bringing the civilian body count on the Russian side closer to the civilian body count on the Chechnyan side. Why is it more horrible for Chechnyans to bomb a school in Russia, but not horrible or even newsworthy when Russians systematically kill hundreds or thousands in a campaign to prevent some of their citizens from seceding? I'm not introducing "moral equivalence" into the argument, I'm just trying to ask why the existing moral equivalence (like this opinion from Gary Kasparov) is skewed in favor of terrorist states instead of terrorist insurgents.

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