2, 20, 200, 2000

**From a couple weeks ago..

How do you measure the value of a life?  Is one life better than another?

This weekend, I listened to first hand accounts of the repression happening in Honduras.  I listened to a first hand account of investigating the death of a young activist hear the Nicaraguan border.  Tortured, stabbed 40 times, a husband, a father, a son.  A medical report puts him in police custody at the time of death.  On July 5, another young man was shot while protesting at the airport.

Just as it was hitting me how SAD, WRONG, SICK, DISGUSTING, and EVIL it is to kill others, to go to war and to use violence as a solution, I saw this.  The US will stop publishing how many insurgents and Taliban die.  As if they don’t matter, as if they don’t count… ultimately because it is not strategic:

Rear Adm. Gregory Smith ordered the change as part of the new military strategy in the war that focuses on protecting Afghan citizens rather than killing militants.

“Indicating the number of insurgents killed has little relevance to impacting the lives of Afghans. In fact, if that were the only purpose and metric, you would likely only extend the time it takes to bring about an end to the insurgency,” Smith said in an e-mail to CNN responding to a query about the change.

This is also a good strategy if you want people to support what you are doing, because people feel bad about killing and death, so if they are moved far away from those kinds of scenes and statistics, they won’t feel bad and they will probably support what you are doing.  That is a good strategy to encourage people to support war.  I like when he says “Indicating the number of insurgents killed has little relevance to impacting the lives of Afghans”  How can it be that the death of a person has little to do with the life of their neighbor?  How can it be that the amount of people killed by the US is an irrelevant fact?

I have  never been super conservative, nor super liberal.  I have never been all war or a pacifist.  I have also never lived anywhere near war, violent conflict or large scale injustices.  Now I do, and it has made all the difference.  I guess that is what spending a month in a conflict zone does to you, it make you a pacifist.  I always thought it was cool that Costa Rica didn’t have an army.  Until now, I have not understood the meaning of that.  How different would this situation be if Honduras didn’t have an army?  I feel the deep injustice of war, and the deep injustices of the manipulation of politics and strategy that ultimately lead to the devaluation of life.  I feel deep pain for one life and can not fathom favoring an idea that leads to the death of many, let alone a methodology that prioritizes strategy over life.


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