Surge Working?

Juan Cole has a good link this morning taking apart the “spinning of US military deaths in Iraq for the corporate media”. As Juan says, “the intrepid Brian Whitaker gets it“. Here’s an excerpt:

The 74 US military deaths reported in July (since revised upwards to 78) were indeed the lowest since November. According to a high-ranking commander quoted by the New York Times, this is a “positive sign”. Viewed in another way, though, the figure is alarming. As Juan Cole, the blogging professor from Michigan University, points out, a decrease in July would be normal:

July is like a blast furnace in Iraq, with temperatures approaching 120 degrees F in the shade. Guerrillas typically lie low in this unfavourable environment, compared to other seasons, and so the casualty rates go down. Instead, this year the killing season has gone on as if it were spring.

In fact, last month was the deadliest July for American troops since the war began. The July figures for previous years range between 43 and 54, so – behind the spin – this year has seen a big increase.

Whitaker goes on to point out that according to the Iraqi government, civilian deaths were up by one-third in July over June, totaling 1,652. He further shows that it was the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), the leading neocon thinktank, that provided the surge idea to Bush and the administration. However, as he points out, the AEI has been proved so wrong about so much in relation to the Middle East that it’s amazing anyone still listens to it or gives it money.

Why can’t our corporate media point out these things?

  1. Valentin’s avatar

    In WW2, US govt kept secret the loosing of Wake
    atol until the heavyly risq operation to
    bomb Tokio.

    Media manipulate. And not by mistake nor coz of some evil people. Is a feature…

  2. Mardé’s avatar

    I was always under the impression that the loss of Wake Island was not kept secret but was used to show what a great fight America put up against overwhelming odds. A popular movie was even made about it in 1942 which I may have seen but don’t remember. Maybe you’re thinking of a different island?

  3. Mardé’s avatar

    Thanks for the link, Valentin, in your message to me on MyBlogLog. This link gives a time line for the war in the Pacific and shows that Wake Island surrendered to the Japanese on 23 December 1941. This was not kept secret.

    But you do mention the only bombing of continental United States that took place during WW2, a fruitless incendiary bombing of Oregon forests by a Japanese “floatplane” launched from a submarine off the coast of Oregon in 1942. I had never heard of this — thanks for the info — and I also found it here in a Google search. To quote from this article,

    From a military standpoint, however, the bombing raids were virtually meaningless, because no serious fires were started or significant collateral damage inflicted. Likewise, although some public apprehension was caused by the attacks, no widespread panic developed on the U.S. West Coast, at least partially due to heavy press censorship.

    OK, here’s a case of media manipulation but there was a good reason for it in this case I think.

  4. Valentin’s avatar

    I can`t find the book where I read about
    delaying of press announcement. 😯

    I think was in the book about Enterprise carrier,
    yet I`m not sure. As I don`t remember to whom
    I`v give several books about Pacific WW2 …

    On another hand, I think you may want to see

    Is allmost 2 hours video. Worth seen all,
    have 3 chapters.

  5. Mardé’s avatar

    It looks like you’re a student of WW2 and probably know much more about it over there in Bucharest than I do here in Maine! Good going! I started to look at that video and will continue later. It’s clearly very powerful. Thanks, Valentin!


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