Greg Mitchell points out that the media continue to give little coverage to non-combat-related deaths among American troops in Iraq. Actually, they seldom mention the number of those wounded in combat, much less putting them and their stories on the screen. (It happens. It is rare.)
Even as much press as the electrocuted soldiers got last week would not have been there if there had not been a change in the party that dominates Congress in November of 2006.
McClatchy profiles wounded veteran Victor Domenguez
As Michael Munk periodically reminds us, the numbers of our troops wounded in combat and those injured outside of combat are enormous:
“US military occupation forces in Iraq suffered at least 38 combat
casualties from July 2 to July 8, as the official casualty total
reached at least 65,889. The total includes 33,664 dead and
wounded by what the Pentagon classifies as “hostile” causes and
many more than the 32,187 last reported March 1 dead and
injured from “non-hostile” causes.*
The actual total is over 85,000 because the Pentagon chooses not to count
as “Iraq casualties” the approximately 20,000 casualties discovered only
after they returned from Iraq -mainly brain trauma from explosions.**
US media divert attention from the actual cost in American life and limb by routinely reporting only the total killed (4,117 as of July 8) and rarely mentioning the 30,349 wounded in combat. To further minimize public perception of the cost, they cover for the Pentagon by ignoring the 31,325 (as of March 1)*** military victims of accidents and illness serious enough to require medical air evacuation, although the 4,117 reported deaths include 764 (up one) who died from those same causes, including 145 suicides as of March 1.
* The number of wounded is updated weekly (usually Tuesdays) by the Pentagon [pdf]. The dead are reported by Iraq Coalition Casualties
** see USA Today, Nov. 23, 2007
*** the number of “non combat” injured is reported by Iraq Coalition Casualties. The AP.
Al-Maliki and other Iraqi leaders are handing out cash in the streets. This known as the Howie Mandell system of government. The problems, of sectarian favoritism and lack of government capacity to spend the money wisely, remain acute, as the Associated Press points out.
Al-Hayat reports in Arabic that Abdul Aziz al-Hakim of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq has agreed that his party will not use photographs of non-candidates in its compaign literature. The party has benefitted in the past from its association with Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, the spiritual leader of Iraq’s Shiites. ISCI official Hamid al-Mu`alla also said that the open lits system planned for the provincial elections scheduled in October will allow voters to vote for individual candidates rather than only for a list. He predicted that use of the system will almost certainly disadvantage women.
Meanwhile, Salah al-Ubaidi of the Sadr Movement accused the Islamic Supreme Council of attempting unfairly to exclude the Sadrists in the next election.