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Don't Worry, Be Happy Iraq

Reported by Ellen - November 16, 2004 -

What a coincidence that on the same day that a US Marine was videotaped shooting an unarmed and wounded Iraqi at a mosque, FOXNews.com just happened to come up with this report, Military Seeks to Minimize Civilian Casualties. In fact, the story contains a lot of sobering news about the number of Iraqi casualties suffered and the Iraqi resentment toward the US forces. The article even includes a comment from FOX News military analyst Col. David Hunt that the reason the Pentagon hasn't counted the number of civilians killed is because "They don't want you to know." But fear not, FOX followers. The network we have come to know and not love hasn't really changed its tune.

For example, the article by Kelley Beaucar Vlahos reassures us that coalition forces try to reduce civilian deaths by "engaging in more ground action.. rather than striking solely by air... even though there is a likelihood of a higher casualty rate among Marines." (Comment: Notice that it just so happens to be the Marines in greater danger, the same branch of the armed forces that was just caught in the embarrassing videotape.)

There's also this piece of phony propoganda: "Some analysts say the best way is to let people know what's coming, even if it means warning the enemy of an impending offensive. 'Quite frankly, the best you can do is encourage people to get out of town when you know it's going to be a battlefield and hope for the best,' said retired Col. Gary Anderson, a military analyst with the Potomac Institute."

What reporter Vlahos doesn't mention is that the US forces turned back hundreds of men who wanted to leave but were not allowed to do so. From Canada's CBC News: "Only women, children and the elderly are being allowed to leave. The military says keeping men aged 15 to 55 from leaving is key to the mission's success. 'If they're not carrying a weapon, you can't tell who's who,' said one officer with the 1st Cavalry Division." I have read similar reports in earlier FOX stories as well.

We are also reminded that "'civilian deaths caused by Americans are used copiously to inflame the insurgency,' according to Peter Khalil, a former advisor to the Coalition Provisional Authority and now a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution." Notice that he says the civilian deaths are USED - like a propoganda tool - to inflame the insurgency. It leaves the impression that the Iraqis don't get naturally upset all on their own.

The article ends with this reassuring information: "Khalil said the insurgency's best weapon is twisting the Americans' goal of liberation into a picture of murderous occupation. He said he doesn't think it works overall, but warns that civilian casualties are mighty recruiting tools. 'It's really important, among all of the media stories, to get across that the military is not coming in specifically to target civilians,' he said. 'It simply doesn't happen that way.'