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FOX News Suddenly Discovers There Is a War Going on in Iraq. Lower Casualty Figures Trigger War Coverage.

Reported by Marie Therese - November 4, 2007 -

GUEST BLOGGED BY BILL CORCORAN

For over four years, FOX News has given their audience only snapshots of what is taking place in the Iraq War. Casualties of American troops were seldom mentioned. The capture and later execution of Saddam Hussein and his two sons caught the attention of Fox News editors, but daily reports on sectarian violence was covered in a perfunctory fashion. Unlike other cable news outlets, who have reported daily on American casualties from the Iraq war, Fox News would give the deaths of American GIs a quick mention at the half-hour news break or relegate their deaths to a scroll along the bottom of the screen. But now a Pentagon report indicates American casualties are down for the month of October for the first time in almost two years, and suddenly FOX News has "discovered" there is a war going on Iraq. For example, during Special Report this past week Brit Hume has at least twice mentioned that "only" 24 Americans died in combat in Iraq. Hume said the other ten GI deaths were the result of non-combat activities or illness. Does this mean Brit Hume believes that these ten deaths somehow don't count because they are non-combat deaths? He made it sound like it. Also on the very day Brit Hume was boasting about how few Americans died in Iraq in October, the Department of Defense announced three soldiers had been killed in Baghdad, and the following day the DOD announced the death of two more soldiers.

But there is much, much more taking place that is related to the Iraq War. As usual, FOX News gave only a passing mention to these events - or no mention whatsoever.

We start off this guest blog with the report on the reduction in American casualties in Iraq which has awakened FOX News from their four year slumber. We then report on events unfolding in Iraq, or pertaining to the war in Iraq, as well as the latest developments relevant to a possible war with Iran.

U.S. says monthly Iraq death toll moving lower
37 troop deaths so far in October, lowest level in nearly 2 years


MSNBC

BAGHDAD - The monthly toll of U.S. service members who have died in Iraq is on track to being the lowest in nearly two years, with at least 37 troop deaths recorded as of Tuesday, but the military cautioned it's too early to declare a long-term trend. Iraqi civilians, meanwhile, faced more attacks on Tuesday. At least four mortar rounds slammed into a village near Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit, killing a woman and wounding five other civilians, police said. In Baghdad, gunmen in a speeding car tossed a hand grenade into a crowd of shoppers in eastern Baghdad, killing one person and wounding five, according to an officer in the capital. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to release the information. At least 37 American service members have died so far in October, nearly a third from non-combat causes.

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That was the good news that FOX News has been hyping all week, but there is more to the Iraq War than just the number of U.S. troops killed in action or who died from non-combat incidents.

Iraqi deaths up in October in blow to US 'surge' policy

Yahoo News

BAGHDAD (AFP) - - The number of Iraqis killed in insurgent and sectarian attacks rose in October, according to government figures obtained on Thursday, in a blow to a nine-month-old US troop surge policy. At least 887 Iraqis were killed last month, compared to 840 in September, according to the data compiled by the interior, defence and health ministries. As in previous months, the dead were overwhelmingly civilians, with 758 reported killed against 116 policemen and 13 soldiers.

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Iraq, Afghan Vets at Risk for Suicides

AP News

WASHINGTON (AP) - Mary Gallagher did not get a knock at the door from a military chaplain with news of her Marine husband's death in a faraway place. Instead, the Iraq war veteran committed suicide eight months after returning home. She is left wondering why. It's a question shared by hundreds of families of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who have taken their own lives in a homecoming suicide pattern of a magnitude that is just starting to emerge.

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Undiagnosed brain injury - the hidden legacy of Iraq

MoD begins study amid fears that up to 20,000 soldiers may be affected

The Guardian

The Ministry of Defence is conducting a major study into brain injury in troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan amid fears that thousands of soldiers may have suffered damage after being exposed to high-velocity explosions. The US army says as many as 20% of its soldiers and marines have suffered "mild traumatic brain injury" (mTBI) from blows to the head or shockwaves caused by explosions. The condition, which can lead to memory loss, depression and anxiety, has been designated as one of four "signature injuries" of the Iraq conflict by the US department of defence, which is introducing a large-scale screening programme for troops returning from the frontline.

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Iraqis weigh limits on U.S. military

Los Angeles Times

Leaders of parliament may seek to restrict American operations in response to a rash of civilian casualties.
BAGHDAD -- Leaders in the Iraqi parliament said earlier this week that they were taking steps to examine the U.S. military presence in Iraq with an eye toward possibly restricting the force's activities, in a continuing backlash over an American raid that Iraqi officials say killed 13 civilians. Before the end of the year, the United Nations is expected to take up its annual reauthorization of a Security Council resolution that allows the presence of U.S. troops here. Iraqi leaders have complained that the U.S. military has used too much force in responding to attacks, leading to the deaths of civilians, and that the Americans have not coordinated enough with Iraqi forces.

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More Guard Units Heading to War

Military.com

WASHINGTON - The Pentagon is preparing to alert eight National Guard units that they should be ready to go to Iraq or Afghanistan beginning late next summer, The Associated Press has learned.

The U.S. military is reaching out to more Guard units in an effort to maintain needed troop levels, ease some of the strain on the active duty Army and provide security for ports, convoys and other installations.

According to defense officials Wednesday, seven of the units would deploy to Iraq and one to Afghanistan. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the orders had not yet been signed and the announcement is not expected until the end of this week.

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Putin lashes out at US policy in Iraq
Russian president says US should set date for Iraq pull-out, oil one of aims of Iraq invasion.

Middle East Online

MOSCOW - Russian President Vladimir Putin lashed out at US policies in Iraq and Iran in a national phone-in broadcast on Thursday, and announced new nuclear weapons for Russia's increasingly powerful armed forces. Speaking live on national television and radio with Russians from across the vast country, Putin called the US intervention in Iraq a "dead end" and suggested that the US-led invasion was aimed at controlling Iraqi oil fields. Putin said the United States should set a date for its final pull-out from Iraq to force the war-torn country's leadership to build up its own security forces. "The Americans say you should not name a date for withdrawal," Putin said. "I think this should be done because unless it is done the Iraqi leadership feels under a US umbrella and won't rush to build up its own security forces."

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As we reported here last week, FOX News continues to hype going to war with Iran. Even though every reliable source claims the U.S. military is stretched to the breaking point with some units on their fourth and fifth rotation to Iraq, the FOX News warmongers continue to call for the U.S. to take military action against Iran before Iran develops a nuclear bomb. FOX hosts and guests are long on rhetoric and short on evidence, but that hasn't stopped them. Here is just a sampling of some of the stories FOX News selectively reports on pertaining to going to war with Iran. Not everything below made it to the FOX News airwaves, and if it did it was given only a passing mention.

Secret move to upgrade air base for Iran attack plans

The Herald

The US is secretly upgrading special stealth bomber hangars on the British island protectorate of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean in preparation for strikes on Iran's nuclear facilities, according to military sources. The improvement of the B1 Spirit jet infrastructure coincides with an "urgent operational need" request for £44m to fit racks to the long-range aircraft. That would allow them to carry experimental 15-ton Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) bombs designed to smash underground bunkers buried as much as 200ft beneath the surface through reinforced concrete.

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No evidence Iran is making nukes: ElBaradei

The Herald Sun

Article from: Agence France-Presse

From correspondents in Washington

CHIEF UN atomic watchdog Mohamed ElBaradei said overnight he had no evidence Iran was building nuclear weapons and accused US leaders of adding "fuel to the fire" with recent bellicose rhetoric. "I have not received any information that there is a concrete active nuclear weapons program going on right now," the director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) told CNN. "Even if Iran were to be working on a nuclear weapon ... they are at least a few years from having such a weapon," he said, citing assessments by US officials themselves.

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Iranian minister accuses U.S. of helping Kurdish rebels

Los Angeles Times

TEHRAN: Iranian Foreign Minister Manoucher Mottaki, at a news conference this past week with his Turkish counterpart, accused the United States of backing Kurdish separatists waging warfare against Turkey and Iran. Turkey and Iran have been fighting guerrillas with the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, and the Party for Free Life in Kurdistan, or PEJAK, holed up in the mountains of northern Iraq. Turkey has amassed troops near the Iraqi border and threatened to launch an invasion into Iraq's Kurdistan region to root out rebel bases after the killing and capture of Turkish troops in cross-border clashes in recent weeks.

CONCLUDING SUMMARY

As U.S. casualties from the Iraq War diminish, the fever for another war, this time with Iran, is rising at FOX News and, unfortunately, it would seem - based on polls released y FOX News last week - the American public is buying the hype. Retired Col. Ollie North was on "Hannity and Colmes" Thursday advancing the need for military action against Iran. Guest talk show hosts like Michael Reagan, son of the former President, and other right wing radio talk show hosts are getting plenty of "face time" on FOX News to tout going to war with Iran. Nobody at FOX News ever stops to question the "chickenhawks" calling for war with Iran with harball questions about how the United States is going to find the manpower and ordnance to fight a war with Iran. The only plausible way a war with Iran could be carried out is by re-instating the military draft, but you don't hear anyone at FOX News calling for such a thing.

Here is what one Republican Senator said about the idea of a draft:

McCain: Draft would be unfair to poor families

Marine Corps Times

A military draft will never work until there is a way to ensure that the children of wealthy families serve, said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., a Vietnam veteran and a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008. "Before I would even have remote consideration for it, someone has to tell me how rich people are forced to serve along with poor people. Rich people can always find a doctor who can say they have a bad knee," McCain said in a meeting with Military Times editors and reporters.

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McCain had no problem telling the truth to the Marines, but we have yet to hear him repeat it to FOX News.