from juan cole:
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?