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Can I Have Your Attention

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Do you really think the French, during our revolution, cared one iota about saving the colonists, or democracy. Hell no. They were all about economic benefit. Anything to stick it to the English. However, in the process the United States of American came into existence.

Oh, and yes, the people of Libya would be ignored if there was no oil. However, I can not help but wonder if the violence would even be happening in the Middle East if there was no oil.

Now, that being said; Mustang Bobby is right:

All war is just a bad, bad idea. It means that there are no ideas left, and that just isn't acceptable.
Every so often some information comes to me via the internet that restores my faith in human kind. Today, it is by way of LGM: Mortality Rates Decline During Wars.

First, the mortality rates in question are national mortality rates. The authors of the report look at national death rates and see whether they rise, fall, or fail to change on average when the country is at war. They find a general decline. But this doesn't mean people aren't dying where war is happening. They are. The question is why this isn't resulting in a spike in mortality at the national level. Here's why:

a) Peacetime mortality rates are declining steadily around the globe. This is largely due to the revolution in child survival caused by immunization campaigns. So death rates are already falling, and the question is whether enough people get killed in today's conflicts to reverse that decline. They don't, because...

b) Wars are generally much smaller and more localized than previously, so a conflict breaking out in one province of a country, for example, doesn't necessarily reverse the already steady decline in peacetime mortality rates. At most, it may slow it a bit. (There are exceptions in the data - Rwanda in 1994, for instance.)

c) Today, when wars break out, an influx of humanitarian assistance arrives on the scene to increase life-saving interventions such as vaccinations against the kinds of diseases - malaria, diarrhea, and respiratory infections - that account for the massive death tolls in conflict zones, as well as significant numbers of preventable deaths in peacetime. These additional interventions offset the numbers being killed due to violence in buttressing the overall national survival rate, particularly for children under five. In some cases, they actually cause more people within the country to survive than might have been the case in the absence of the war.
So, despite the ongoing examples set by the Conservative/Republican/Tea Party faction of the human race, it seems we really are evolving.

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