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Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Brain Teaser of the Week: The Shameless Antagonist's Real-Life Story Problems From Hell

Human Rights groups have been attempting to assess the number of Iraqi civilians killed during the War and Occupation. Iraq body count ( estimates that between 7,918 and 9,749 civilians have died in the conflict. They have compiled a list of casualties by painstakingly searching a broad spectrum of print media...An article in today's Guardian seems to indicate that the actual total could be much higher.

"In one area of south-western Baghdad, controlled by the 82nd Airborne Division, an officer said a total of $106,000 had been paid out to 176 claimants since July.

The US military has paid out $1.5m (£907,000) to Iraqi civilians in response to a wave of negligence and wrongful death claims filed against American soldiers, the Guardian has learned.

...Yesterday the US military in Baghdad admitted a total of $1,540,050 has been paid out up to November 12 for personal injury, death or damage to property. A total of 10,402 claims had been filed, the military said in a brief statement to the Guardian. There were no figures given for how many claims had been accepted".

The Pentagon policy, and the Policy of the Bush Administration has been to hide the human cost of war as much as possible. As General Tommy Franks said, "We don't do body counts".

Calling all math teachers (This means you, Dad...)...Here are my story problems from hell:

Part One: If the 82nd Airborne has paid out $106,000 in compensation for wrongful deaths to 176 claimants, how much is an Iraqi life worth to Coalition forces?"

Part Two: If the U.S. Central Command has admitted to paying out $1,540,050, and a total of 10,402 claims have been filed, have many families of civilians have collected damages ( assume that the answer to part one is the standard amount per claim)?

Answer Key: Answers may vary. If your students respond with an actual matematical figure, you must be a good teacher. Congratulations. If your students respond by saying, " The actual number doesn't matter--we've already lost too many soldiers and innocent lives to this conflict", they're obviously liberals, and you should notify the Department of Homeland Security. If they respond by saying " I don't want to bother my beautiful mind", you're probably teaching a young scion at Andover with Bush blood in his/her veins (see the previous comment).

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