Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The death toll

The number of US service members announced killed in the illegal war since it started in March 2003 stands at 3799. That's the ICCC total, that's the Reuters count.

On the subject of Iraqi deaths, Martha notes Karen DeYoung's "What Defines a Killing as Sectarian?" (Washington Post) and attempt to follow the 'logic' of how deaths are categorized:

In an Iraq assessment released this month, the Government Accountability Office said it "could not determine if sectarian violence had declined" since the U.S. troop buildup began in the spring and saw no decrease in overall attacks against civilians as of the end of July. The GAO recommended that the administration expand its statistical sources to include "all relevant U.S. agencies" and that it use "broader measures of population security" to establish trends. An unpublished, classified annex to its report listed the sources of differing agency opinions and provided more detail on the kinds of measurements the GAO thought should be included.
[. . .]
The killing of seven Iraqis on Aug. 25 in the predominately Shiite Baghdad neighborhood of Kadhimiya was judged sectarian. The victims were Shiites, and the method and location -- a car bomb in a marketplace -- pointed to Sunnis.
Two Iraqis killed by a car bomb on Sept. 3 were not included in the sectarian database, however. The attack occurred on a road near Ramadi, not far from where President Bush was meeting with government officials that day. But the victims, regardless of ethnicity or sect, were Iraqi policemen. They were counted elsewhere.

Yesterday, Josh White and Joshua Partlow (Washington Post) offered up some news on the targeting of Iraqis by US snipers. You knew it was coming, yes, PvZ. PvZ's coming, hide your brain, you better better hide your brain, PvZ's coming, better walk, walk, but you'll never get away from the dumb and the stupid . . .

Nod to Nyro and here's PvZ clueless in "Snipers Baited and Killed Iraqis, Soldiers Testify" (New York Times):

Under a program developed by a Defense Department warfare unit, Army snipers have begun using a new method to kill Iraqis suspected of being insurgents, using fake weapons and bomb-making material as bait and then killing anyone who picks them up, according to testimony presented in a military court.

Don't you love when things are 'news' and 'new' that have been known forever? We'll note PvZ further in today's snapshot but let's remember that James Burmeister explained this program sometime ago.

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