85,000 Lives

I’m still reading Shake Hands With The Devil… haven’t had a lot of time to read lately as I’ve been so busy, plus this is a fairly heavy book to read… heartbreaking is more the word maybe. I was reading a passage from it this morning, when I came across these words, which cut me to the bone…

“As to the value of the 800,000 lives in the balance books of Washington, during those last weeks we received a shocking call from an American staffer, whose name I have long forgotten. He was engaged in some sort of planning exercise and wanted to know how many Rwandans had died, how many were refugees, and how many were internally displaced. He told me that his estimates indicated that it would take the deaths of 85,000 Rwandans to justify the risking of the life of one American soldier.

I don’t even know what to say in response to that. I’m not American, and I don’t want to pick on America, because the UK and other developed nations were no better… but what???! Why should an American (or British or Irish or whatever) life be worth more than an African life? We have a lot to answer for. I have a lot to answer for. In what ways do we still perpetuate this idea that African lives are worth less than ours? How do we overcome it?

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1 Response to “85,000 Lives”


  1. 1 Shawn February 26, 2007 at 6:12 pm

    We overcome it by opening our eyes to the reality that lays just beyond our borders. To open our eyes and look into things for ourselves and not trusting that FOX News or CNN or MSNBC or the BCC are telling us about every injustice going on in the world. You also have to remember our capitalist governments are run as a business, “what sense does it make to invest in a cause where we will reap no benefit to ourselves.”

    unfortunantly this is exactly the mentality of the developed worlds view on this. It is funny because we hear all the time by the “anti-war” constituants that we “should not loose one more American life over in Iraq.” great I always think, what’s a good exit strategy and how do we insure the safety of the people who will have to contend with evil? They never realy think about what they say when they say “one American life is too many” I counter that by saying it is as valuable to God as one Iraqi insurgents life!


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