Thursday, July 28, 2005

Newsweek Slams Iraqi Civilian Death Numbers

Perhaps Newsweek is attempting to get back into the good graces of the American people following their false Koran/Quran desecration story. I missed this last week, but I can't let it go without some comment. In any case, the magazine published an interesting article on civilian casualties and their causes in Iraq. You may recall my own attempt to add some perspective to the numbers from the Iraq Body Count website, which goes out of its way compare the civilian casualties to the number 0.

Civilian Deaths in Iraq

Newsweek attempts to make the same point.

Truth is the First Civilian Casualty

Tens of thousands of Iraqis have died since 2003. But killings by U.S. troops are not nearly as common as the war’s critics would like us to believe.

I can’t believe its Newsweek.

In regards to the frequency of civilian casualties: But how often, really? The answer: not very often, in fact. And not nearly often enough to make the 150,000 U.S. and coalition troops in Iraq the leading scourge of Iraq's civilians. That dishonor goes, hands down, to the insurgents.

This must be some sort of mistake. The editor must have been on vacation.

It has become an article of faith among them that American troops have been slaughtering Iraqi civilians indiscriminately, and that one of the consequences of the war has been an unconscionable loss of life among the civilian population. It just isn't true.

I think I should sue Newsweek for stealing my material.

…it's highly dubious to suggest, as this report (Iraq Body Count) clearly intends to do, that these deaths were the fault of the U.S. military presence in Iraq.

And, as I have mentioned many times before, the total civilian deaths, even using the faulty numbers in this report, are still less than they were under Saddam Hussein, by more than half.

Is it the policeman's fault when the hostage taker kills his hostage?

Good analogy.

Fully 30 percent of the civilian fatalities Iraq Body Count records took place prior to May 1, 2003, when U.S. troops were actively engaged in the invasion and in subduing remnants of Saddam's army. During that military campaign, large numbers of Saddam Fedayeen and other irregular forces foght back from the cover of civilian dress, a violation of the laws and customs of warfare. Those who died were inevitably declared civilians by their loved ones.

Aha, now there’s a nice little piece of information I hadn’t heard. The anti-American death mongers on the left are looking more and more foolish.

The Iraq Body Count report goes through some interesting contortions to downplay the degree to which violence against civilians is predominantly caused by insurgent activity. U.S.-led forces alone, it says, killed 9,270 civilians, or 37.3 percent of the total (although it does not note at that point that 30 percent of that 37.3 percent was in the first six weeks of the war). Anti-occupation forces it blames for only 9.5 percent of the total, 2,353 civilians. Crossfires between insurgents and U.S. forces claim another 2.5 percent. And then most of the other deaths it attributes to "predominantly criminal killings" (35.9 percent) and "unknown agents" (11 percent). But it turns out that unknown agents are defined in the report as "those who appear to attack civilian targets lacking a clear or unambiguous link to the foreign military presence in Iraq.

Ok, I’ve stolen enough of this article. It is a good read and vindicates most of what myself and my fellow right wing conspirators have been saying for quite a while. Please take the time to read the entire piece. Remember where you heard it first!

Now, given that Newsweek, whom we all know is not a part of our conspiracy, is reporting this, how is it that MSM was able to use Iraq Body Count’s statistics in what they claimed were legitimate news stories? They never qualified them as productions of a left wing, anti-American organization. They printed them as fact. Newsweek seriously screwed up with their Koran desecration story, but they at least apologized for it. It was a weak apology, but it was something. CNN, CBS, the BBC and others present Iraq Body Count numbers fact, and no one whispers one word of protest, other than a few fanatical bloggers that is.

In Sports:
Nats blow it again. Who cares what the score was.