Nancy A. Youssef of McClatchy Newspapers has an article on American military casualties in Iraq on the front page of today’s Kansas City Star. The Star headline (front page, above the fold) in this morning’s printed “Kansas City Edition”?
American casualties plunge in Iraq
[This headline is not available on the Star web site.]
The headline on McClatchy Newspapers national website?
Combat deaths in Iraq decline; reasons aren’t clear
Juan Cole observes:
…journalists are still falling for the false Bush administration story that the death toll for US troops has fallen this summer because of the surge. First of all, the death toll has always fallen in the summer because it is hot as hell in Iraq then. Second, the death toll is way more than previous summers, and the total number of US dead this year is much greater than for the same period in 2006…
Larry Johnson, via Juan Cole, writes:
…Compare the current number of U.S. fatalities in Iraq with previous eight month periods for 2006 and 2005. For the first eight months of 2007 there have been 735 American troops killed and 4430 wounded. This is significantly higher than the casualty rate in 2005 or 2006. We have 1000 more dead and wounded this year than last year for the period January-August….
….fewer deaths [of Iraqi civilians] in certain neighborhoods has an alternative and darker explanation. Violence is down because there are fewer people. The absence of respiration is not a sign of life….
Look at the actual numbers – either at the Iraq Coalition Casualty Count or at USWarWatch. From February 1, 2007 (the start of the surge) to today the average daily number of coalition military fatalities in Iraq has been 3.27. For the 1626 days of the war the average daily number of coalition military fatalities in Iraq has been 2.48. In the 412 days preceding the “surge” the average daily number of coalition military fatalities in Iraq was 2.39. You tell me, is that a “plunge” (in the headline words of the Star)?
In August 2003 there were 35 American fatalities for a total of 43 coalition fatalities. In August 2004 there were 66 American fatalities for a total of 75 coalition fatalities. In August 2005 there were 85 American fatalities for a total of 85 coalition fatalities. In August 2006 there were 65 American fatalities for a total of 66 coalition fatalities. In August 2007 there were 81 American fatalities for a total of 85 coalition fatalities. You tell me, is that a “plunge” (in the headline words of the Star)?
Has there been a decline over the last few months? There was an increase in American and coalition fatalities in April, May and June (with a horrific peak in May), but the levels in July and August are the same, if not higher than in previous years. You tell me, is that a “plunge” (in the headline words of the Star)?
Is serial dubya administration apologist and cheerleader E. Thomas McClanahan of the Kansas City Star now extending his op-ed schtick into being a headline writer?
The only way to make today’s Kansas City Star headline true is to bring our troops home now.