I've been thinking:
I'm repulsed by the sheer brutality of the Hamas attack, yet it strikes me as bizarre how we, inhabitants of the WEIRD Nations – Western, educated, industrialized, rich, democratic, tend to believe that the civilian casualties we've inflicted through bombs and standoff missiles during our two-decade-long war in the Southwest Asia are somehow less horrifying just because we can't witness the carnage up close, unlike what occurred in Israel.
The Brown University's Watson Center Cost of War Project maintains a chilling scoreboard.
- Iraq (March 2003 - March 2023): Nearly 200,000 non-combatant souls forever lost
- Afghanistan (Oct. 2001 - Aug. 2021): 46,000 civilian lives extinguished
As the U.S. military doggedly avoids tracking civilian casualties to sidestep public outrage at home, we're left to grapple with an unsettling truth: we'll never truly grasp the extent of the collateral damage, whether attributed to us or the "other guy."
But here's the painful reality, especially for us in the Western world – when it comes to remote warfare, if you can't smell the acrid breath of your victims, hear their prayers for mercy, or listen to their desperate pleas buried under rubble, their lives are deemed inconsequential in the West.