Monday, November 09, 2015

How much is a life worth?

If you're a government, human life means very little.  Let's take a look at three elected governments and how they make clear human life is cheap.

First up, the United States.  Press TV notes, "The Pentagon is ready to compensate the families of Iraqis killed by American bombs during US airstrikes against purported Daesh (ISIL) positions there, a new report says."  They're cribbing from Kate Brannen's Daily Beast report which notes:

The Pentagon is about to get a $5 million fund to pay the Iraqi families of civilians killed by American airstrikes. It’s a big change for the U.S. military, which has yet to publicly acknowledge accidentally killing or wounding any innocents in the country even after 3,586 airstrikes targeting the so-called Islamic State.

The US government, repeating "has yet to publicly acknowledge accidentally killing or wounding any innocents."

But they do and now they've got the slush fund to toss a few pennies at the family members of the dead and wounded in an attempt to shut them up.


Moving over to Australia where an Iraqi refugee is being, for all intents and purposes, sent to his death.  Australia's ABC reports Khaled was an in interpreter for the Australian forces in Iraq as was his father.  The father was rewarded for the work by "a knock at the door" and 13 bullets.  He died before he could get medical attention.  So Khaled left Iraq for Australia.

After smoking a joint in a McDonald's parking lot and then falling asleep in his car, he "was arrested, charged with offensive language, resisting police and driving without a licence."  This led to his being placed in the notorious Villawood detention center and given the 'choice' of remaining there or going back to Iraq.

Not only was he sent back to Basra but the Australian government charged him $20,000 for returning him (forcing his return) back to Iraq.

His return to Iraq was, apparently, more valuable than his own life.

Journalist Michael Ware speaking about the case of fmr Coalition interpreter . More:
Embedded image permalink


Then there's the government of Iraq.  Susannah George (AP) reports at least 69 people have died from electrocution as flash floods met faulty wiring and poor construction. George notes:

Many died in their homes as they waded through flooded first-floor rooms. Others, like the al-Qurayshi sisters, were electrocuted in the city streets where electrical lines are haphazard and jerry-rigged, connecting homes to the municipal grid and a network of generators. Most homes in Baghdad only receive nine to 14 hours of electricity a day from the government. While the rainy Iraqi winter has only just begun, this year's death toll is already higher than last year's, when fewer than 60 were killed by electrocution amid widespread floods.

These were preventable deaths.

The government should have ensured public safety.

Instead of pouring money into the crumbling infrastructure, the officials stole the money time and again which is why Transparency International regularly ranks Iraq as one of the most corrupt governments in the world.

Greed won out, human life was ranked worthless.

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