imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

''U.S. media misleading public on Iraq casualties''

by Matthew Riemer Thursday, Jul. 24, 2003 at 7:15 AM

That the U.S. Media Lies is a Given. They are Paid Whores of the elites who own them. Here is one of the ways they lie.



''U.S. media misleading public on Iraq casualties''

Date: Wednesday, July 23, 2003 @ 01:02:55 CDT

Topic: Matthew Riemer

By Matthew Riemer

YellowTimes.org Columnist (United States)

(YellowTimes.org) – Media outlets have been spinning the information on U.S. casualties in a most curious way. Instead of regularly updating viewers and listeners concerning the number of killed and injured U.S. servicemen and women since the beginning of the war in Iraq, an insidious and disingenuous distinction is being emphasized more than ever: that of the "combat deaths" and the "non-combat deaths." Phrases like "hostile fire," "friendly fire," and "in-action deaths" are now commonplace in Washington's and the media's handbook of propaganda and euphemisms.

News agencies are constantly making the above distinction, reporting the number of U.S. soldiers killed by "hostile fire" as well as those killed in other ways but only keeping a running tabulation of those who have lost their lives in combat. Updates are almost unheard of regarding the number of casualties resulting from non-fatal injuries.

As of July 21st, 233 U.S. soldiers have died and over 1200 have been injured since Operation Iraqi Freedom began. Yet the media focuses only on those killed by "hostile fire" as if those killed in other ways or those simply injured are less important. An Internet search will reveal a thousand stories about the numbers killed by "hostile fire" to every one that offers the complete details.

For example, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty ran a story by Charles Recknagel on July 15th that began, "As the number of U.S. troops killed by hostile fire steadily grows, Washington is becoming increasingly preoccupied with the poor security situation in Iraq and what it means for efforts to stabilize the country. The toll now stands at 32 U.S. soldiers killed since U.S. President George W. Bush declared major combat over in Iraq on 1 May. Most of the soldiers' deaths have occurred in attacks on patrols and convoys by unidentified men firing rocket-propelled grenades." Nowhere in the remainder of the article is the total number killed or wounded mentioned, though the pressures faced by Washington are the focus of the story.

Such articles are misleading because they exclude important information to the point of being conspicuously incomplete. One of the reasons for concern in Washington is due to the ever-increasing domestic criticism directed towards it by its own soldiers and their families both in Iraq and at home. Much of the time, such criticism emanates from the families, friends, and comrades who have lost friends and loved ones in Washington's war.

More U.S. soldiers have been killed in "non-hostile" situations than in actual combat since May 1st. This is significant because it is many of these individuals' friends and families -- those not killed in combat -- who are now critical of the Bush administration. So the tension now looming over the occupation of Iraq, whether one is in a firefight in Baghdad or waiting for one's son to return, is caused by the totality of all the dead and injured, not just those from "hostile fire."

In another, more glaring example, National Public Radio reported on July 20th about new casualties in Iraq and, in a logical manner, closed the report with a tally of the dead. The newsreader said, "That brings the number of U.S. soldiers killed in the war in Iraq to 150." So not only does NPR make the same distinction as their less palatable media brethren (because 233 U.S. soldiers have actually been killed), but they don't even inform the listener when giving updated casualty figures that their numbers don't include those killed in any other way except from "hostile fire" -- a clear breach of journalistic integrity.

However, unlike in the first case, this obviously incomplete and vaguely presented information is clearly fallacious. A listener who does not follow international events or politics that closely may have no idea what is really happening in Iraq. Following this NPR report, then, they may believe that only 150 U.S. soldiers have lost their lives while serving in Iraq, that only 150 families are now grieving for their fallen loved ones. They may even refer to such a "fact" in a conversation with a fellow citizen -- and once they have, the radiation of misinformation has begun.

Another half-truth being perpetuated by various news agencies is that more U.S. soldiers have died in the current war in Iraq than in the first. This is true for "hostile fire" deaths only but not for total deaths: as already mentioned, 233 have died so far in Operation Iraqi Freedom while 299 died in Operation Desert Storm. While many reporters do make this distinction, many don't. The most conspicuous example again took place on NPR on July 21st when Diane Rehm, host of the eponymously named talk show, said in a painstakingly clear and simple sentence that more U.S. soldiers have died this time around than in Desert Storm. And then she stopped speaking and the show went to a break. No qualifying statement, no explanation, no insidious distinctions, nothing. Maybe she was unaware of these facts, but a host of a popular, national talk show has no excuse for such ignorance. So, at the very least, she passed on false information to millions of listeners.

The importance of these partial truths and media spin are significant for two reasons: one apolitical, one political.

First and foremost, the obfuscation of U.S. casualties by very wide swaths of the media is a disservice to the U.S. armed forces, their families, and the American public. Whether or not one considers U.S. servicemen and women heroes without equal, respectable people just doing their jobs, or patriots who have been duped to serve the geopolitical interests of a fairly undemocratic bureaucracy called the U.S. government, shouldn't change the fact that all of their lives are of equal value.

How does the mother who lost her son to friendly fire or a truck accident feel as the media constantly chatters about "combat deaths" and about how "these deaths" are putting pressure on President Bush and Paul Bremer? Does she wonder if her son's death is putting pressure on anyone or has forced others to reconsider what's happening in Iraq? Does her son's life matter as much? Or is her son half way in between an Iraqi and an American killed by hostile fire on a scale of their worth?

And what about all the injured who go unmentioned? It's hard to imagine a soldier claiming that his life was not changed forever because of the war, but many have had their lives changed in the most horrible ways. These soldiers are now paraplegics and cripples, blind and deaf, or learning to live with artificial limbs. Are not these victims part of the "cost of war" as well?

Secondly, and finally, this deception is significant for the anti-war movement and, more broadly and accurately, the large and inherently diverse cross-ideological, international resistance to U.S. hegemonic bullying in the Middle East, if only because it seeks to lessen the perceived impact of the war -- and now occupation -- upon the feelings and beliefs of the American public and, to a much lesser degree, the international community. All individuals opposed to the U.S. occupation of Iraq should highlight this "oversight" on the part of the media so as to make others more aware of the actual impact of this poorly conceived, designed, and executed unnecessary war and occupation.

[Matthew Riemer has written for years about a myriad of topics, such as: philosophy, religion, psychology, culture, and politics. He studied Russian language and culture for five years and traveled in the former Soviet Union in 1990. In the midst of a larger autobiographical/cultural work, Matthew is the Director of Operations at YellowTimes.org. He lives in the United States.]

Matthew Riemer encourages your comments: mriemer@YellowTimes.org

YellowTimes.org is an international news and opinion publication. YellowTimes.org encourages its material to be reproduced, reprinted, or broadcast provided that any such reproduction identifies the original source, http://www.YellowTimes.org. Internet web links to http://www.YellowTimes.org are appreciated.

This article comes from YellowTimes.org

http://www.yellowtimes.org

The URL for this article is:

http://www.yellowtimes.org/article.php?sid=1496
Report this post as:

LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 3 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
The human cost of War. Scarecrow Thursday, Jul. 24, 2003 at 7:17 AM
Correct fresca Thursday, Jul. 24, 2003 at 7:37 AM
fresca fresca Thursday, Jul. 24, 2003 at 7:38 AM

Local News

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes A08 9:48PM

Paraphysique de l'autorité A08 12:11AM

Two Podcasts on fbi corruption A06 10:13PM

Fbi assassins assault & try to kill DAVID ATKINS A06 7:29PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy