The UK Guardian appears to be recycling old stories, refitting them with a new ‘hidden truth about casualties in Iraq’ meme, and letting gullible (or willing) Democrats get all in a tizzy about it. In this case, the accomplices are Atrios and TalkLeft. Here is a snippet from the Guardian piece they are referring to:
US military casualties from the occupation of Iraq have been more than twice the number most Americans have been led to believe because of an extraordinarily high number of accidents, suicides and other non-combat deaths in the ranks that have gone largely unreported in the media.
Since May 1, when President George Bush declared the end of major combat operations, 52 American soldiers have been killed by hostile fire, according to Pentagon figures quoted in almost all the war coverage. But the total number of US deaths from all causes is much higher: 112.
Any way you look at it, the news is bad enough. According to Thursday’s press and television reports, 33 U.S. soldiers have now died in combat since President Bush declared an end to the major fighting in the war on May 2. This, of course, is a tragedy for the men killed and their families, and a problem for the White House.
But actually the numbers are much worse — and rarely reported by the media.
According to official military records, the number of U.S. soldiers who have died in Iraq since May 2 is actually 85. This includes a staggering number of non-combat deaths. Even if killed in a non-hostile action, these soldiers are no less dead, their families no less aggrieved. And it’s safe to say that nearly all of these people would still be alive if they were still back in the States.
My favorite part is the ‘rarely reported by the media’ line. I guess it is rarely reported, if you mean ‘SOME VARIATION OF THE SAME DAMN STORY WILL APPEAR EVERY TWO WEEKS WITH ONLY THE NUMBERS SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT.’
Both articles refer the readers to a website called the Iraq Coalition Casualty Count, which is tracking all deaths in the war. Funny, but I did a google news search for the Iraw Coalition Casualty Count, and as you can see, this UNREPORTED or UNDERREPORTED phenomenon of fudged casualty numbers was only published in about 40 newspapers. So much for rarely reported by the media.
In other words- people die in combat zones- from accidents, suicide, and combat. Counting suicides and car wrecks as combat deaths is stupid (even though I agree it is no less tragic), and we should expect the left to try it again in about two more weeks in another breathless article telling you that the media is ‘under-reporting’ casualties.