Virginia tech versus Iraq

This is from Juan COle's blog.
Canadian TV has had almost non-stop coverage of the Virginia Tech incident. I am completely baffled as to why this should be. I feel the same about the huge amount of publicity given to the trial of a serial murderer here. If the Tech incident were in Iraq (or India say) it would merit just a brief mention and perhaps one brief photo clip. The media encourages the public appetite for sensationalism while ignoring other important events. There will be a parade of experts who will comment on the psychology of the gunman and no doubt lectures about gun control and the need for more security on campuses. There is a climate of fear being created that will enable government to further restrict freedoms in the name of security. Someone just tell me how more likely it is that I be run down and killed while crossing a city street as compared with being shot by a deranged gunman at a university?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

7 US Troops Killed;
Iraq Has Two Virginia Techs Every Day;
Thousands Protest in Basra, Demand Governor's Resignation

I keep hearing from US politicians and the US mass media that the "situation is improving" in Iraq. The profound sorrow and alarm produced in the American public by the horrific shootings at Virginia Tech should give us a baseline for what the Iraqis are actually living through. They have two Virginia Tech-style attacks every single day. Virginia Tech will be gone from the headlines and the air waves by next week this time in the US, though the families of the victims will grieve for a lifetime. But next Tuesday I will come out here and report to you that 64 Iraqis have been killed in political violence. And those will mainly be the ones killed by bombs and mortars. They are only 13% of the total; most Iraqis killed violently, perhaps 500 a day throughout the country if you count criminal and tribal violence, are just shot down. Shot down, like the college students and professors at Blacksburg. We Americans can so easily, with a shudder, imagine the college student trying to barricade himself behind a door against the armed madman without. But can we put ourselves in the place of Iraqi students?

I wrote on February 26,

' A suicide bomber with a bomb belt got into the lobby of the School of Administration and Economy of Mustansiriya University in Baghdad and managed to set it off despite being spotted at the last minute by university security guards. The blast killed 41 and wounded a similar number according to late reports, with body parts everywhere and big pools of blood in the foyer as students were shredded by the high explosives. '


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