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Iraqi Deaths Misreported - Were 3 Times What Was Orignally Reported

Reported by Donna - September 6, 2006 -

On Monday I posted that Fox was reporting that around 1,000 Iraqi citizens had been killed in the month of August. On today's Studio B with Trace Gallagher substituting for Shepard Smith it was reported that the real number has now been confirmed at three times what was originally reported.

However, later on in the broadcast they had a banner that said the Iraq Health Minister said that more than 1500 were killed in August. So, somewhere between 1500 and 3000 had been killed in Iraq in the month of August. This made the talk of civil war much more real.

Michael O'Hanlon from the Brookings Institution was the guest and he says that the talk of civil war may be nothing more than a matter of semantics now, that Iraq may, indeed, be in civil war now that the new numbers for August were released.

This segment concentrated on the fact that an Iraq leader has said Iraq will go under if the differences are not solved, that the country is coming close to collapse.

O'Hanlon spoke again about shifting the populations into separate neighborhoods and also suggested that they needed a jobs program like the one FDR had during the depression. But even this, he said, might not be enough to save Iraq from civil war. He said that things needed to change in the next couple of months, but he's said this before.

Comments: Fox wasn't very clear on how many civilians were killed during August. Gallagher reported that it was 3 times what they had originally reported which would put it at around 3,000. Then later they have a banner saying the Iraqi Health Minister said there were over 1500 Iraqi deaths. Which is it? There's a huge difference between 1500 and 3000.

The more that O'Hanlon talks about Iraq, as the months pass, the more he seems to not see any good news out of Iraq. He seems to be resigned to the fact that Iraq may indeed be in civil war now. While the president talks about how important it is to 'win' in Iraq, maybe he should look at the realistic numbers on the ground - bad, no matter what number is being reported.