Tag Archives: Iraq War casualties

Easy Way to End American Deaths in Iraq

I woke up last night thinking, the answer is so obvious, yet Bush, Cheney, Rove and Rumsfeld all missed it. End the American deaths in Iraq by no longer reporting them to the American people.

As Frank Rich pointed out Sunday in the New York Times, that is exactly what Iraq’s Prime Minister Nuri al-Malaki has done. He ordered his Health Minister to stop releasing any figures on the number of Iraq citizens being killed because of the increasing number dying in the civil war going on. It’s bad for morale.

Bush has already implemented part of this strategy. The U.S. Military only releases Iraq civilian death estimates quarterly and that’s only because Congress said they had to.

But the problem of the public and the world knowing what’s really happening in Iraq on a number of fronts goes way beyond efforts to “hide” the number of deaths of Iraq citizens. As Michael Yon of the Conservative Weekly Standard says the present press coverage of Iraq is censorship. He notes that “we have an “embed” media system that is so ineptly managed that earlier this fall there were only 9 reporters embedded with 150,000 American troops in Iraq. There were about 770 during the initial invasion.”

He says there is an an “all too real censorship of the U.S. war effort. I don’t use the word lightly. Censorship is a hand grenade of an accusation, and a writer should be serious before pulling the pin. Indeed, some war-zone censorship for reasons of operational security is obviously desirable and important……But we can and should complain when authorities willfully limit war reporting. We should do so whether it happens as a matter of policy, or through incompetence or bureaucratic sloth. The result is the same in any case.”

But alas Michael Yon is a little slow on bringing up this issue. We already have implemented this censorship not just in Iraq but also at home in the US. The deaths of US servicemen and women are shielded from public view. Note the official policy and censorship that prohibited the photographing of flag draped caskets of dead soldiers. Keep the dead out of the public view. Part of the “wisdom” of the old saying “out of sight out of mind.”

And as we’ve written previously this censorship includes keeping anyone who opposes Bush’s war policies away from him – like blocks away or even in jail.

So not releasing to the American public the names and numbers of soldiers would only be one more step in the censorship game. Bush could officially declare that releasing names and numbers of the dead aids and abets our enemy by letting them keep track of how many Americans have been killed.

We don’t want to increase the enemy’s morale do we? So the answer is – let’s stop releasing to the press how many soldiers have been killed or wounded. Afterall, if we’re “staying the course” by whatever name the Bush war cabinet wants to call it , does it really matter what the cost is?
The numbers can be released whenever the war is over.

The New York Times on Oct 10, 2006 reported that “A team of American and Iraqi public health researchers has estimated that 600,000 civilians have died in violence across Iraq since the 2003 American invasion, the highest estimate ever for the toll of the war here.

Americans who have died in the Iraq War now total 2814.
Soldiers from other countries killed – 232.
Americans who have died in Afghanistan 341.

American Math

The estimates of those killed run into the tens of thousands. The number of wounded two or three times the number who lost their lives. Even President Bush, estimating recently that 30,000 civilians may have been killed, acknowledged that was no more than an abstraction from unofficial calculations, not a Pentagon count.”

John F Burns writing in the NEW York Times 12/26/2005

Now I guess we can see why President W is pushing his No Child Left Behind education agenda.
Even the estimates of those killed in Iraq are getting too high for the Pentagon to officially calculate. How can they do accurate kill ratios for dollars expended if they can’t handle the counting.

Here are some other sources of deaths calculated by people outside W’s inner circle.

http://www.iraqbodycount.net/ lists REPORTED Iraqi deaths at 27,592 to 31,115

The British Journal Lancet last year estimated the actual count closer to 100,000.
See http://www.iraqbodycount.net/

Coalition death count is listed below:

“There have been 2,363 coalition deaths, 2,164 Americans, one Australian, 98 Britons, 13 Bulgarians, two Danes, two Dutch, two Estonians, one Hungarian, 26 Italians, one Kazakh, one Latvian, 17 Poles, one Salvadoran, three Slovaks, 11 Spaniards, two Thai and 18 Ukrainians in the war in Iraq as of December 26, 2005, according to a CNN count.
from CNN War in Iraq

see also http://www.antiwar.com/casualties/