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Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Spot the missing item

Headline: "Iraq civilian, U.S. military tolls at new low in Oct."

Notice anything missing? I hope so. It's the group of whom I have never seen a cumulative count - Iraqi police and army. However, this particular article does have the last two months' data:

Figures from Iraq's health, interior and defense ministries recorded 758 civilians killed in violence in October, along with 117 policemen and 13 Iraqi soldiers.

In September, 884 civilian deaths were recorded, and 62 policemen and 16 Iraqi soldiers were killed.
So an alternative headline might have included this phrase: "Iraqi police tolls double in October." But that doesn't fit the "message," and although the actual numbers did make it into this article, you can bet money that the story on TV news will include only the data on Iraqi civilians and U.S. military, and won't mention anything else.

As far as the other Iraqis, the resistance forces? The only time you ever hear about them is when you read a headline like "U.S. forces kill 40 insurgents" (a good percentage of whom are almost always in reality civilians, not resistance fighters). As far as cumulative totals, forget it. The only place you'll see them is in scientific studies like the Johns Hopkins survey, which as we all know aren't even worth mentioning to the corporate media.

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