Monday, October 31, 2005

What I'm waiting for the media to point out on this Report of 26,000 Iraqi Casualties

CNN did a good "half" job of reporting that the Pentagon hid within a report an estimate of the number of Iraqi civilians killed or wounded in Iraq at 26,000. But note the way in which the estimate is laid out:

In a rare look at how the Defense Department tracks non-U.S. casualties in the war in Iraq, the Pentagon is estimating that 26,000 Iraqis have been killed or wounded by insurgents since Jan. 1, 2004.

What's missing from that statement?

First, of course, the casualties from March 2003 through the end of that year.

Second, the estimate is of "Iraqis killed or wounded by INSURGENTS"

It is no secret that often when American troops respond to threats they respond with overwhelming force. There are reasons for this, of course, but one cannot pretend that in such circumstances that many are killed or wounded on account of simply being unfortunately nearby.

For example, there have been several occasions where we have received detailed reports of wedding parties or the like being hit by armament (often bombs) that leave scores dead, including children. Thanks to American bombardment asserting they were attacking insurgents.

Is the military in their estimating including those casualties and claiming they are caused BY insurgents?

Or, are they, in fact, not counting them at all?

It's possible, of course, the report itself makes this distinction.

The report on CNN, and the report in the newspaper do not seem to consider this question, but I wish someone besides some smartass in Iowa would.

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