Wednesday, November 9

Useless and disputed numbers (or "terrorists")

"When the Pentagon claims that it has just killed 50 or 70 or 100 rebel fighters, we have no means of knowing who those people really were. Everyone it blows to pieces becomes a terrorist."

George Monbiot has broken the great taboo of U.S. media, albeit in a London newspaper, by daring not only to speak of civilian deaths in Iraq -- that much alone is improper and indecent of him and somehow, obscurely, probably aids the terrorists (please savor the sarcasm)-- but also to point out that, despite a number of tough-guy, public statements from top Pentagon officials (Franks, Rumsfeld) claiming that the Pentagon doesn't count the useless corpses of useless Iraqi civilians, documents have emerged that suggest that, in fact, such counts are done and do exist (although the numbers are surely well hidden from public inspection).

All Souls' Day, Wroclaw, Poland Photo by terrette

Monbiot's article throws light on the purposeful obscurity cooked up by powerful media engines in the U.K. and U.S. around the issue of civilian deaths and the fair estimates of these deaths. It can be read here. The Guardian has appended a number of useful documents and links to Monbiot's piece.