Assessing the Human Cost

And of course, since we are arrogant Amerikans, we ignore the cost in Iraqi lives (dead, maimed, injured) for our permanent military bases in the Middle East.

How much Blood for Oil?
Published on Monday, January 01, 2007.
By Michael Munk

To bring the cost of the invasion and occupation of Iraq to the public, antiwar groups across the country are organizing to mark the 3,000th death of a member of its military components (at this writing the total is 2,991).

But by focusing only on the number of dead Americans we are being manipulated along with the media and public by the administration’s determination to minimize the cost in blood of establishing permanent military bases in the heart of the Middle East oil patch. That public relations strategy consists of prohibiting images of the dead and wounded returning home and those of US casualties in Iraq in the US media as well as aggressive efforts to prevent such coverage by foreign media—including deadly attacks on Al-Jazeera reporters and offices. It also plants stories and interviews, leaks to FOX and other Pentagon-friendly reporters and provides generous payola to foreign (especially Iraqi) news sources.

Still, the most consistent propaganda effort since the invasion aims to keep public attention away from the actual amount of blood being shed by the military victims of the war and their families. That cost now exceeds 50,000 casualties—a far cry from the 3,000 to which most of the public is restricted to know.

“Casualties” in the military sense is the total number made unavailable for duty from all causes, including deaths and wounds suffered in combat as well as injuries, accidents and illness. So whether caused by “hostile” (24,965 as of Dec.27) or “non-hostile” (25,406 as of Dec. 2) causes the Pentagon’s own web sites record more than 50,000 so far in Iraq.

Read the rest here.

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