Saturday, July 02, 2005

Negative Multiplier

You couldn't make this one up. From the AP:
Iraq's U.N. ambassador accused U.S. Marines of killing his unarmed young cousin in what appeared to be ``cold blood'' and demanded an investigation and punishment for the perpetrators.

In an e-mail to friends obtained Friday by The Associated Press, Ambassador Samir Sumaidaie said the killing took place in his ancestral village in western Anbar province, where U.S.-led forces have been conducting a counterinsurgency sweep aimed at disrupting the flow of foreign militants into Iraq.

His cousin Mohammed Al-Sumaidaie, 21, a university student, was killed June 25 when he took Marines doing house-to-house searches to a bedroom to show them where a rifle which had no live ammunition was kept, the ambassador said. When the Marines left, he was found in the bedroom with a bullet in his neck.

Richard Grenell, spokesman for the U.S. Mission, said acting U.S. ambassador Anne Patterson received a call from the Iraqi ambassador ``and expressed her heartfelt condolences on this terrible situation, and contacted senior State Department and Pentagon officials to look into the matter immediately.''

Sumaidaie said the killing represents ``a betrayal'' of the values and aspirations of Iraqis and Americans to defeat the terrorists and build a country based on freedom, democracy, and respect for human rights and the rule of law.

``It is a betrayal of the American people who are making huge sacrifices to bring this about, and a betrayal of Iraq and all Iraqi patriots who have put their trust in the United States,'' he said.
No argument here. Read the entire piece to get the full flavor of what happened. Remember, the only reason we're hearing about this is because an innocent civilian relative of Iraq's ambassador to the U.N. was murdered. How many "unknown" Iraqis with no high-profile connections have met similar fates?

When I was in business school, I took a marketing course in which I learned that for every one person a happy customer tells about an experience, an unhappy customer tells four. This negative multiplier effect---which is obviously far greater when wars and the media are involved---extends beyond basic consumer psychology, and negates the effect of much of the good work we may be doing in Iraq and elsewhere. And that's why #15 on this list is so important.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree that what we DON'T know is how many other times this has happened.

7/02/2005 12:03 PM  
Anonymous jill said...


7/02/2005 1:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Something like 17 journalists have been killed too.

Good point about the negative multiplier.

I like not to think these were intentional; so I'll go that way unless proven otherwise. But what it simply points out, "shock and awe", "mission whatever", "smart bombs" innocent people get hurt and killed --- thus as General Franks said "we don't do body counts".

Some folks think it is perfectly okay to kill innocent other folks, in other countries, but, and we are only talking about the innocent, is it really and what does that say about us as human beings?

War is hell, there are no guarantees, there is a lot of risk, and should not be entered into lightly.

Don't you wonder the real reason we are in Iraq? Eventually, it'll have to show its face, as long as we follow what they are doing and no just what they are saying. I hope I live long enough to find out.

7/02/2005 3:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since the troops know that whatever they do they will never be held accountable for their actions, including murder. They generally think of the Iraqies as subhuman, dogs, why not do what you feel like at any given moment. Since they are all just potential road kill anyway, so why not! This administration mouths their "respect" for Iraq, but it is in reality hollow and the way 99% of the Americans, military and civilians, to have been behaving themselfs why is anybody surprised by this. I am NOT. We only hear of it because it is a relative of somebody important, I would not be surprised if this does not happen in some form or fashion at least a number of times a week, probably even oftener.
We worked VERY HARD IN GETTING THE IRAQIES TO HATE US, and we in that at least have succeded. Oh what great accomplishment, it shows how tough we are, how macho.
It is now too late to try do change that.
Remember you reap what you sow.

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