ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

30,000 "Civilians"

Greyhawk at the Mudville Gazette caught the MSM in a distortion yesterday:

Instant Urban Legend?
Greyhawk

Yesterday:
Q Since the inception of the Iraqi war, I'd like to know the approximate total of Iraqis who have been killed. And by Iraqis I include civilians, military, police, insurgents, translators.

THE PRESIDENT: How many Iraqi citizens have died in this war? I would say 30,000, more or less, have died as a result of the initial incursion and the ongoing violence against Iraqis. We've lost about 2,140 of our own troops in Iraq.

Today's headlines? "Bush says 30,000 Iraqi civilians dead in war"Meanwhile, Reuters reports that voting has begun in Iraq
Voting started on a day that U.S. President George W. Bush gave a rare estimate of the number of civilians killed since U.S. troops invaded in 2003, acknowledging that 30,000 civilians had died in the violence.

We're sure corrections are forthcoming.

Reuters, famous for its use of scare quotes around the word "terrorists", is still claiming that there are 30,000 civilian deaths.

The SFGate, on the other hand, has corrected their headline (without acknowledging the original error):
Bush says 30,000 Iraqis dead in war
He says 'terrorists, Saddamists will continue violence'
But instead of referring to Iraqi civilians and combatants (or "insurgents" or "terrorists"), they simply refer to Iraqis and provides only this clarification buried in the story:
The White House later said that Bush, by using the 30,000 number, was repeating the casualty count mentioned in the media and by independent groups. The Web site Iraqbodycount.org estimates the number of Iraqis killed at a low of 27,383 and a high of 30,892, based on online media and eyewitness accounts.

The figure includes Iraqi civilians and military and police personnel
But no insurgents or terrorists?

They then include figures from the Brookings Institute, which use Iraq Body Count to tracks "civilian" casualties:
The Iraq Index compiled by the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank, uses data from Iraq Body Count to estimate the number of Iraqi civilians killed through acts of war since the invasion from 16,300 to 28,700. It also says more than 3,700 Iraqi military and police officers have been killed since June 2003.

Confused? Could it be that Bush was referring to 30,000 deaths of combatants (both Iraqi military during the initial incursion and insurgents/terrorists after the end of "major combat operations"? And the MSM decides it's a great time to go after the civilian death angle?

See Michelle Malkin & Basil's Blog as well.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Comments (4)
Anonymous said...

so how many do you suspect were actually terrorists...all 30,000...3,000..and where do you draw the line on killing innocent people...is it okay to kill 5000 innocent people if you kill 500 terrorists...

St Wendeler said...

Hmmm.... let's see, I'll take up your argument with the following counter-argument:

1 - How many innocents were slaughtered by Saddam before we invaded?

2 - How many of the civilians were casualties of US action vs. terrorist acts?

You see, the US military tries to avoid civilian casualities. Al Qaeda and Saddam prefer to target civilians intentionally.

Steve B said...

ALL insurgents are, by definition, civilians.

For this to be a real statistic, it needs to be broken up into non-combatant deaths, vs. those killed fighting.

St Wendeler said...

Or, as Michael Moore would put it, "All Insurgents are Freedom Fighters"