Wednesday, July 13, 2005

News Math

In a recent news article posted on, linked to through a subject line of "'Mostly children' killed in Iraqi bombing" it was reported that a suicide blast... well, actually that subject line is pretty clear.

Here's what the article reports:

27 people died
20 people were wounded
"at least" 7 children and 1 US soldier were killed.

The quoted "mostly children" contention in the subject line was not mentioned or attributed in the published report. I wish it was, because if of the 27 dead, SEVEN were children, it would appear that somebody was pretty hasty in sorting out the casualties, as 7:20 does not a majority make. CNN must have caught the error, since they didn't put it in context with the reported numbers and made a point to put the statement in quotes, to mark the logic as not their own. So who would say such a thing?

The claim stirs outrage that, as one US major put it, "The terrorist undoubtedly saw the children around the Humvee as he attacked. The complete disregard for civilian life in this attack is absolutely abhorrent." Perhaps that major was being quoted, but not attributed. The problem is, he'd be understandably shaken by the event, and likely motivated to communicate that his enemy is a barbaric monster. Shouldn't his statements be tempered by the journalist with the facts reported by hospitals and Iraqi police, as quantified above?

And who were the other 19 people that died (actual majority of casualties)? Iraqi civilians that, one may claim, "died for their freedom" in a war that came to their neighborhood? Why are they less important?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The second sentence in the article (maybe it's changed since you read it) states:

"Iraqi police said most of the dead were children."

So according to the article, Iraqi police are the source of the "mostly children" claim, which differs (possibly) from the US military claim of "at least seven children" out of 27 killed.

Regardless of the facts, I don't think the illegal US presence in Iraq, nor the construction of 14 permanent US military bases, helps matters much. Kinda like trying to put out a fire with gasoline, then insisting on more gasoline to put out the enlarged fire. Of course, if you're making money off the "gasoline" (i.e. the weapons, the military/economic control, government reconstruction contracts), and you don't care about the people being burned by the fire, then "putting it out" with gasoline makes perfect (perverted) sense.

7/30/2005 6:12 PM  
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