Thinking about the US invasion into Iraq. Thinking about Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Wolfowitz, Pearl, Ashcroft, Powell, Tenet, et al.
It is a curious world where so much can happen that is filled with poisons.
At the root of human misery, Buddhism sees three destructive impulses: greed, anger and foolishness, which it terms the "three poisons." These are the essence of all the delusions and negative workings of life that impede the realization of our full potential for happiness and creativity.
Of the three, foolishness is most fundamental, as it facilitates greed and anger. Foolishness here means ignorance (passive or willful) of the true nature of life. It is blindness to the reality of our interrelatedness--not merely our connectedness to and dependence on each other, but the connectedness of the unfolding of each of our lives to the unfolding of the very life of the universe; the fact that each of us is a vital component of life itself and a nexus of immense possibilities. Because it obscures life's true, enlightened nature, this ignorance is also referred to as "fundamental darkness."
(--from, Three Poisons --The Source of the Problem)So many dead. So many crippled. So many dispossessed. So much suffering and unfinished justice.
What has been the cost of the Iraq War? In strictly American terms, 4,486 U.S. military personnel died there (plus another 318 from Coalition allies); the dollar tab for the war is reckoned in the trillions. And in Iraq—how many people died as a result of the American-led invasion? That’s a harder question than it might seem.
A new study with a controversial back story attempts to provide a good answer. Writing today in the journal PLOS Medicine, the University of Washington’s Amy Hagopian and 11 co-authors estimate that roughly 461,000 Iraqis died as either a direct or indirect cause of the war and subsequent military occupation. But reflecting the tortured effort both of getting good numbers from a war zone and the history of controversial past counts, by the time all their calculations had settled the researchers put their “confidence interval” for possible excess deaths between March 2003 and June 2011 at between 48,000 and 751,000.
(--from, A Better Stab at Estimating How Many Died in the Iraq War, by Michael Todd,, October 15, 2013, in Pacific Standard, The Science of Society)How will we ever return to or find sanity again?