For those who feel (“ah! This world…is a tragedy to those who feel” [Horace Walpole quoted in Miguel de Unamuno, Tragic Sense of Life (New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1954), 315]), calling the two leggedhomo-sapiens in the war-zone as “population” is like calling one’s mother “a woman.” It is technically correct but emotionally explosive. A mother is invariably a woman unless die-hard feminists finally succeed in achieving gender-equality in sharing the godly burden of reproduction. But somehow use of the word woman destroys the spirit of the whole idea attached to the word “mother.” When I call the lady who bore me in her womb as “mother” or “mom”, there is a glow of attachment, love and care that shines through her blurry eyes. I cannot imagine calling her “hey this woman!” That is the difference between calling human beings caught in the war zone, torn between their sympathy for insurgents who belonged to them and the military that occasionally comes to them, as “people” as against “population.”
On the other hand, digging under the Urd-ish, you can sort of see his point.