Sometimes there's silence when war crimes are being covered up - and sometimes there's just plain old disinformation. This morning Lourdes Garcia-Navarro, reporting on Bush's trip to Iraq opts for the latter:
"In many ways the Iraq War defined Mr. Bush's presidency....more than 4200 US service members have died, not to mention tens of thousands of Iraqis..."Imagine the firestorm of criticism that would result if NPR reported that "hundreds of US service members have died." And imagine how galling it would be if NPR continued to do this not once but over and over. The outrage would be immediate and well deserved.
And yet, NPR reporters feel completely comfortable reducing the Iraq death toll by a factors of ten. In June of 2007 John Ydstie silently accepted the low figure of 75,000 deaths "on both sides of the Iraq War," and in August of 2007 Robert Siegel used the comforting rhetoric of "tens of thousands of Iraqis" having died in the war. And sometimes it's simply deafening silence or distortion when reality intrudes on the fantasy of Iraq that NPR and the US government is trying to sell. As Media Bloodhound points out, NPR is right in the mainstream on this coverup of the slaughter that the US has wreaked on Iraq - but that doesn't make it any less criminal...
As always, for more on the well researched Iraqi civilian death toll take a look at Just Foreign Policy.