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Mainstream Press Not Focusing On Rising Death Toll In Iraq

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In the next few weeks, the U.S. will almost certainly cross the threshold of 2,000 casualties in the Iraq War.

What’s sad is that you have to dig around most newspapers to find any mention of the mounting death toll. The New York Times is one of the few newspapers to track each announced casualty, but even that little (or not so little) box is hard to find — today it was on page A8.

In fact, stories on the day-to-day battle to defeat the Iraqi insurgency are hard to find these days. The exception is the conservative-driven storyline that we should “stay the course” in Iraq. You see a lot of Republicans, such as President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, saying that it would be wrong to “quit,” “abandon” or “cut and run” from the insurgency — even though it’s hard to find any Democratic leader calling for that.

A gameplan to defeat the insurgency? Yes. To train the troops? Sure. To transfer power to the Iraqis? Absolutely. To bring in NATO or the United Nations? Perhaps. To focus our attention on hunting down Osama Bin Laden and dismantling Al Qaeda? Absolutely.

But “cut and run”? That made for a good Bush campaign speech, but find the Democratic Congressional leader with such legislation in the works. The rest — Cindy Sheehan, the marchers in Washington — is not much more than background noise to the people who can actually do something about policy.

“The American people and Congress are growing increasingly frustrated with the refusal of the Bush administration to come clean and talk straight about the war in Iraq,” Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said last week. “Our troops and the American people need the president to pay more than just lip service to a strategy for the war in Iraq, they need him to lay out what that strategy is with clear markers by which success can be measured.”

And rest assured, the Bush Administration will “stay the course,” at least until next year, and then only if they lose control of the House or Senate. And while the odds of Democrats taking control of the House or Senate may be improving, they remain iffy.

The death toll will continue to mount. We are not in the “last throes,” as Vice President Cheney spun in May. Gen. George Casey, the top commander in Iraq, told Congress Sept. 29 that insurgencies last an average of nine years, and “there is no reason to believe this one will take any less time.” That same day, U.S. intelligence chief John Negroponte told the Defense Department intelligence conference that the U.S. is still struggling to understand the nature of the insurgency.”

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For a better idea of how many U.S. casualties there have been, check out this short movie. Needless to say, it’s highly critical of the Bush Administration — as we all should be when it comes to this war.

The reasons behind the Iraq war amount to the second-greatest intelligence failure in U.S. history — surpassed only by our inability to stop the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Each U.S. death is a reminder of that failure by our so-called “leaders,” who tried to convince the world of some tangential relationship between Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden — a relationship that never existed.

The death toll will continue to mount. 2,000 deaths — likely to be reached in just a few weeks — will almost certainly not be the last threshold the U.S. crosses.

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This item first appeared at Journalists Against Bush’s B.S.

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About David R. Mark

  • Mike Mihaljevich

    Want to know total American casualties, i.e. wounded which I imagine at this point is over 15,000….as it was abouit 13,000 a year or so ago.

    Also, is it possible to know severe casualties from minor ones?

    Also, there were said to be over 30,000 troops suffering from some disability over a year ago. This included a wide variety of causes: mental breakdowns, suicidal attempts, diseases, injuries, etc.

    Is there a way of knowing this total?

    Also, An article this past year pointed out that there were over 5500 Americans gone AWOL. Is there an update on this fact.

    I believe that all these statistics should be publicized in a consitent way to let Americans know how much impact the war has had on families.

    Any hope of getting response?

  • RogerMDillion

    Maybe they got that report entitled “No One Died in Iraq Today”?