Our eyes glaze over when we read statistics of the horrific mayhem ravaging Syria. Numbers lose all meaning. One way for Americans to appreciate what those figures mean is to compute what the impact would be if the same tragedy were devastating the United States.
With 313 million people, the U.S. population is 14 times larger than Syria's 23 million. Thus, if Americans were being slaughtered at the same rate as Syrians since the Spring of 2011, the number of American dead would be greater than 1.4 million, and increasing at an ever accelerating pace.
That 1.4 million is greater than the total of all Americans who lost their lives in every war that Americans have fought in -- including the Civil War.
But with foreign backers providing weapons and money, the level of mayhem has only ratcheted up. According to the United Nations, 7,000 Syrians were killed in just the past month.
The equivalent figure in the United States would be 100,000 Americans slaughtered per month. Even allowing for the much smaller American population at the time, that toll far exceeds the average monthly mortality rate -- 4,250 -- during the Civil War, the bloodiest conflict American's ever engaged in, that raged from 1861 to 1865.
Meanwhile, more than two million Syrians have fled abroad. That translates into 28 million Americans packed into teeming refugee camps in Canada and Mexico. Another 75 million Americans, would have fled their homes and towns and cities to become what the aid agencies refer to as "internal refugees."
The total number of Americans displaced equals more than one third of the nation -- one hundred million Americans, terrified, uprooted, their lives destroyed, desperate for the conflict to end -- turning for help to the outside world -- which continues to fuel the conflict.
Barry Lando is author of a new mystery, "The Watchman's File", about Israel's most closely-guarded secret (it's not The Bomb) Available on Amazon.