Tuesday, December 01, 2009

US military deaths in Iraq highest since June

Will you see the above headline anywhere? Probably not. But they're still recycling the Interior Ministry's figures on Iraqi deaths for another day in the news cycle. They're unable to provide their own figures because -- pay attention -- news outlets aren't able to follow up. They can say, "X died today." But the idea of taking all the X they reported in one month? Way too much work for the news outlets.

As we noted yesterday, there have been 11 announced military deaths in Iraq for November (announced so far -- M-NF frequently waits a bit before noting all the deaths). The toll makes November the deadliest month of the year for the US military since June. The total number of US service members who have died in the Iraq War thus far is 4367.

It's interesting how little the eleven matters to news outlets. The 11, unlike the Interior Ministry figure, actually can be verified and established. They're running around like crazy over an unverifiable number (because they were too lazy to do the work) and ignoring another number.

They're also sending a message of: Only some deaths matter.

Some will read that and scoff. Others may think, "Well it's turnabout." Meaning the Western press has ignored its fair share of Iraqi deaths.

But that's not what I'm talking about. The bulk of November deaths carry with them in their M-NF announcement a statement to the effect that they are under investigation. Such as the most recent death yesterday:

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Pfc. Michael A. Rogers, 23, of White Sulphur Springs, Mont., died Nov. 27, at Forward Operating Base Hammer, east of Baghdad, Iraq, of injuries sustained from a non-combat related incident. He was assigned to the 210th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Fort Drum, N.Y.
The circumstances surrounding the incident are under investigation.
For more information media may contact the Fort Drum public affairs office at (315) 772-7267.

Some, not all, may end up suicides. (At least, where the woman was shot execution style is not a suicide but that hasn't prevented the US military in the past from declaring such a death a suicide.) So what's the press saying?

Last month, some attention was given to the fact that Barack does not write letters of condolences to the parents of service members who take their own life -- even those stationed in Iraq or Afghanistan at the time of the suicide. That's despicable and disgusting. And it does send a message that is at odds with the alleged efforts to remove the stigma from PTSD. But take a moment to notice the silence from your news outlets on the 11 deaths in Iraq this month and take a moment to realize that a lot of those reporters and editors, reporters and producers don't consider them 'real' losses. A message is being sent and it's not a pretty one and the media needs to be called out but don't expect that to happen. There's so little attention given to Iraq these days and the so-called left is still too busy whoring for Barack to stand up for those who need the help. (Your first hint, a president of the United States, regardless of whom he or she is, is rarely ever a victim or 'the powerless.')

Tom Gordon (Birmingham News) reports there will be a send-off ceremony for the 441st Ordnance Battalion of Alabama's Army National Guard tomorrow as they depart for Camp Shelby for additional training and then deploy to Iraq. Meanwhile Lt Col James C. Gentry is buried today. Jason Thomas (Indianapolis Star) reports that the Iraq War veteran died last Wendesday of lung cancer and Thomas explains:

Gentry, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2006, last spring joined a federal lawsuit filed in December 2008. It accuses Texas-based KBR and several related companies of concealing the risks faced by 136 Indiana National Guard soldiers potentially exposed to a cancer-causing agent, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The suit originally was filed on behalf of 16 Indiana soldiers but has grown to 47 plaintiffs, including the family of a soldier, David Moore, Dubois, Ind., who died of a lung disease in 2008.
Most of the plaintiffs served with a Tell City unit sent to Iraq with the Indiana National Guard's 1st Battalion, 152nd Infantry Regiment, based in Jasper. For three months beginning in May 2003, the unit provided security for KBR employees charged with rebuilding the Qarmat Ali water-pumping plant near Basra.

December 22nd Armen Keteyian (CBS Evening News with Katie Couric -- text and video) reported on James Gentry's developing lung cancer after serving at Iraq where he guarded KBR's water plant, "Now CBS News has obtained information that indicates KBR knew about the danger months before the soldiers were ever informed. Depositions from KBR employees detailed concerns about the toxin in one part of the plant as early as May of 2003. And KBR minutes, from a later meeting state 'that 60 percent of the people . . . exhibit symptoms of exposure,' including bloody noses and rashes."

The following community sites updated last night:

And Elaine's "Joni Mitchell, faux universal insurance," Ruth's "Harry Reid, no leadership," Marcia's "The always laughable ACORN," Trina's "Monday," Ann's "Michelle and Barry wasting our money" and Kat's "About the Joni review . . .."

The e-mail address for this site is common_ills@yahoo.com.

 armen keteyian

thomas friedman is a great man

oh boy it never ends