Death toll riddle

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THAT was an admirable article on Afghanistan from Bill Jamieson, (Perspective, 30 May).

However, it revealed one
serious flaw, by omission, that Osama bin Laden locked onto, as have his successors. He notes the conflict has “in terms of blood and treasure been colossal” and cites the number of UK military dead and wounded, with not a mention of the number of Afghans killed. Do any of us know?

This western blindness was at its most evident when Paul Bremer, the US pro-consul in Iraq, was asked on television how many Americans had been killed. He knew to the last number. When asked how many Iraqis had died, he looked surprised that anyone should ask that question, to which of course he had no answer, while giving the impression he didn’t care either.

What bin Laden said was that to us in the West, Muslim blood does not matter as much as western blood. All the evidence shows he was right. Until we in the West correct that moral error, and our policy follows suit, there is little chance of us winning the struggle against the radicalisation of young Muslims.

Jim Sillars

Edinburgh