Sunday, September 18, 2011

And the war drags on . . .

Relief International is in the news for a study they've completed. Sameer Yacoub (AP) reports the organization has found that of all Iraqi widows currently, three out of every five are widows as a result of the violence of the Iraq War. We'll explore the topic more when the report is published.

Staying with deaths, Margaret Griffis ( reports:

The U.S. military reported the death of an American soldier in a non-combat incident in northern Iraq. No further details were given, but this is the first U.S. military death in Iraq in almost two months. This is also the first death since August, which was the first month since the 2003 invasion to be completely fatality-free for U.S. soldiers.

I applaud Margaret for regularly covering Iraq. But I'm not in the damn mood tonight. The official Pentagon count shows that 2 deaths have taken place in the Iraq War since the end of August. Those two deaths are not the death above. This death is from today. How did the count rise by two last week -- see Thursday's entry -- if they included the one that died today? Has the Pentagon finally perfected their ESP programs? Until DoD explains their official count, no one should be writing "this is the first US military death in Iraq in almost two months" unless they want to look like a ____ idiot. I'm not in the mood. And it's really telling just how little attention anyone pays to the Iraq War.

The official count, issued by the Pentagon, has increased by 2 (not counting today's death) and no one noticed. Not NPR, not CNN, not the New York Times or the Washington Post.

Jackie Northam was just grandstanding last week on NPR and blaming Americans for the fact that media didn't cover Iraq and Afghanistan. But it was NPR that didn't cover the two deaths.

Now maybe there weren't two deaths.

I have no idea. I spoke with a friend at the Pentagon on Friday who assured me that the list was always accurate.

I then asked for an explanation on the increase in the count by two and was told he would look into it.

Until the Pentagon can offer an explanation for why the count has increased, no one should be saying of today's death that "this is the first death in nearly two months."

But the reality is most people aren't even aware that the Pentagon keeps and issues an official count. That's why so many outlets follow ICC which is really useless and has been for two or three years now. (When they couldn't keep their count straight and it went up and it went down and it went up and it went down and they never even noted that was happening, we switched to the official Pentagon count.)

The news is not: Today a US soldier died.

The news is: Today a US soldier died and, if the Pentagon's count is correct, he is the third service member to die in the Iraq War this month.

If Bush were in the White House and the count had increased by two with no announcement (death annoucements, after the family is notified, DoD makes the death announcement), this would be a huge story with conjecture of how Bush was trying to hide the dead again.

The increase happens under Barack and no one appears to give a damn.

It could be a mistake. If it is, it's happened twice in the last week and it's a serious mistake that DoD should have caught on their own. If it is a mistake, that too would be news.

They're just there to try and make the people free,
But the way that they're doing it, it don't seem like that to me.
Just more blood-letting and misery and tears
That this poor country's known for the last twenty years,
And the war drags on.
-- words and lyrics by Mick Softly (available on Donovan's Fairytale)

Last Sunday, the number of US military people killed in the Iraq War since the start of the illegal war was 4478. Tonight? PDF format warning, DoD lists the the number of Americans killed serving in Iraq at 4479.

Reuters notes a Kirkuk sticky bombing which left two people injured and a Kirkuk attack in which 1 police officer was killed and two more were left injured.

New content at Third:

And Ava and my TV piece we had to redo tonight at the last minute. I don't understand (and don't care) how it was lost, we had written, we had typed it and we had gone on about out day and evening (Emmys and after party) when we were called and told that our piece was lost and we needed to redo it. That took an hour and a half so I'm not really in an online mood. I had planned to do this entry and nothing else. (Isaiah's comic goes up after this. That was planned.) I'm tired and I'm pissed (over having to redo the article) and I have to be up in less than two and a half hours. Yea. It is what it is.

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