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OP-ED: Would as Many as 1 Million Be Alive If the Media Had Done Its Job


World  (tags: war, world, society, media, freedoms, 'HUMANRIGHTS!', middle-east, iraq )

Cal
- 254 days ago - truth-out.org
A recent poll asked people in Britain how many Iraqis had been killed as a result of the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The answers they gave were shocking.



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Comments

Joanne Dixon (38)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 11:04 am
The only problem with making the situation as clear as this makes it is that it becomes depressing and therefore dispiriting. I hope I am wrong. Everyone, please prove me wrong. Never give up.
 

Roger Garin-michaud (62)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 11:57 am
most so called "reporters" are today just mouthpieces for the propaganda of Rupert 'the spy" Murdoch and the likes...
 

GGmaSheila D. (169)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 12:18 pm
The problem with the electronic age of instant access is that mainstream people don't want to hear about depressing news. They believe every sound bite and Internet bombardment of misinformation. Distract and Decieve is the motto of Governments and Military the wold over. Don't ell the truth if you can tell a lie and get away with it...the general public isn't interested in the truth unless it personally affects them.

Hate to admit but I was just like them when I had my TV. Watch the noon and/or evening news, any news specials that sounded good and believed almost everything I was fed. When I felt overwhelmed, I stopped watching the news and specials for as long as a few months. Had no Internet back then, so brainwashing wasn't total...Four years later, here I am.
 

Hartson Doak (33)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 12:31 pm
Lies of omission.
 

barb horban (46)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 12:45 pm
Instantious news is not always documented news. The media has overstepped its authority and innuendo and omission
 

Jamie Clemons (279)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 1:03 pm
And how many are still being killed?
 

Katherine May Williams (0)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 1:25 pm
We must be the media. Each of us.
 

Lois Jordan (55)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 1:47 pm
Well, many of us DID protest prior to the Iraq war.....by phone, mail, and even in the streets. But, the overwhelming corporate media was a lapdog for the Bush admin.--with their fearmongering and slanted reporting. Remember Dumsfeld saying, "the Iraq war will pay for itself." He was counting on the oil.....which is now going to China. As the article states, Iraq did not have Al-Qaeda prior to the U.S. invasion, and Sunni & Shiia were intermarrying--getting along. Now, they're at war with each other. Meanwhile, the corporate war profiteers are like King Midas now, counting their gold. We absolutely terrorized Iraqi citizens....which only created more hatred for the U.S. Counterproductive? Maybe not---as this explodes in the news cycle, I'm going to bet that there will be a renewed call for more "military support" in Iraq.....to please corporate contractors.
As more articles appear about humanitarian abuses in other countries like Syria, this is being targeted for another invasion "to protect the people...the children." Invading another country NEVER protects the children.
 

Birgit W. (144)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 2:23 pm
Who is still believing our media? PEACE!
 

Mary Donnelly (47)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 3:26 pm
Thanks Cal. When are George W Bush, Tony Blair, John Howard et al going to be charged with war crimes, or crimes against humanity?
 

Allan Yorkowitz (453)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 3:57 pm
The terrorists that took down the World's Trade Center buildings were" independent Saudis"? There were no al-Queda or jihadists in 2003? They groups together in what year? What a non-factual, almost ridiculous article.
 

Jeremy S. (2)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 8:02 pm
There are some valid points in this article, and some that are stretching a bit--linking things that really don't have any correlation. But on the whole, the point of the article stands---that the more people promote war, the more war occurs. The more violence country 1 commits against country 2, the more likely country 2 is to retaliate, with a vengeance. War begets war,
 

Tom Sullivan (99)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 9:17 pm
I hate the news, not like it was way back in the day. But we have Cheney & Bush to thank for all the deaths,
 

Donn M. (1)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 11:18 pm
We set them free to kill each other with abandon. Obviously the only reason they lived beside each other in peace was because they all lived in fear of Saddam Hussein. Now instead of one dictator killing his fellow citizens all the citizens have the opportunity to kill each other. So yes, maybe that 100,000 or so who have died might not have died.
 

John S. (303)
Thursday January 9, 2014, 12:46 am
And in order to prove the point that the media has been ineffective they take a poll? Does that indicate a new ability to lead?
 

Alfred Donovan (46)
Thursday January 9, 2014, 1:04 am
The war would never have taken place if Iraq had not invaded Kuwait most Arad countries including Iran wanted rid of the murderous maniac Saddam.Less people forget this was an American led invasion supported by many countries.Apologists like Pilgar get up my nose where was his opposition before the war started?.
 

Stephen Brian (23)
Thursday January 9, 2014, 5:48 am
I checked the studies to which the article refers. The one that appears t say a million people died as a result of the war was not an actual study of war-related deaths, but of the beliefs regarding the numbers of casualties o war, asking Iraqi civilians. A more accurate interpretation is not that the war killed over a million people, but that Iraqi civilians, feeling the impact of the war directly, overestimated the casualties. The second-highest estimate came from the Lancet and was debunked once it was shown to have attributed every single death in Iraq between the beginning of the war and its publication to the war.

Pilger committed precisely the offenses of which he accuses others in the interview, presenting Saudi Arabia as a monolith and effectively promoting a totally needless and counterproductive war between the West and its allies, Saudi reformists, who are really on the front lines against the violent Jihadist movement. He whitewashed oppression of Shiite Muslims under Saddam, who banned celebration of Shia-specific holidays. While discussing the history of Sunni-Shia relations in Iraq and in particular those of the 1990s, he managed to ignore things like the Shiite rebellion against Saddam in 1991. He encouraged a war, hid the crimes of a government, and actively hid the deaths of something in the range of 100,000 people (according to studies run at the time of the 1991 rebellion), exactly as he accused others of doing.

Media-malpractice has killed easily over a million people, but not in the case to which Pilger referred.
 

Linda Rust (66)
Thursday January 9, 2014, 6:50 am
As I've read the comments above, I have to agree with the point several commentators seem to belabor--that the numbers of Iraqui dead are disputed, and that we'll probably never know 'for sure' how many civilians died during our illegal attack on their country. (I've read estimates of 100,000-300,000 myself) However, I think you're missing the point of the article. Would any Iraqi civilians have died if we had not been convinced through "proven lies" by the Bush administration that the country had WMD's? If the media here in the U.S. had investigated those claims in an objective manner instead of cheerleading for the War Hawks? There was no Al-Quaeda in Iraq before our illegal attack (Hussein and Al-Quaeda were deadly enemies), now the organisation flourishes thanks to our recruitment . How many innocent people killed by the illegal lies and machinations of the Bush Administration would be acceptable to the commentators here? During the war, daily tallies were given for the number of American soldiers killed, but there was never a mention in the mainstream media of the number of innocent Iraqi people killed, as if they didn't count somehow. That sort of dehumanization of the so-called enemies is a common tactic used when trying to create support for an immoral war...
 

Mitchell D. (131)
Thursday January 9, 2014, 8:55 am
IF the media had done its job, Bush's belief that God meant for just him to become president at the time of his first stolen election would have been made public. all it would have taken was for the reporter who was interviewing him to ask a simple follow=up question, and report the delusional answer.
Not that the Bush people would not have still tried to steal the election, but their efforts might, then, have come to nought.
Sadly, the concept of honest investigative reporting has all but gone the way of the Dodo! Corporate greed runs too much of the news.
When Time Magazine can have the Pope AND Miley on the same short list, one has to understand that it's really all about entertainment,, and money!
 

Mitchell D. (131)
Thursday January 9, 2014, 9:02 am
Taking this string a little farther:
Had the media actively questioned the disappearance of Bush's Texas police record, known about at the time of his first candidacy, and raised the appropriate questions about that, we may ALL have been spared the Bush/Cheney legacy.
BTW, I believe that Bush has been indicted for crimes against humanity, in Europe, but I do not recall where.
 

Stephen Brian (23)
Friday January 10, 2014, 6:20 pm
Hi Linda :)

Part of the trouble is that the initial invasion was entirely legal. I was one of the first people to oppose the war, but once it started being called "illegal", I switched my position on it. The trouble is that the Gulf War was never resolved with a peace treaty, only indefinitely paused with a conditional ceasefire, and the conditions of the ceasefire were thoroughly and blatantly broken. Equating a conditional ceasefire to peace would only mean negating the traditional standing of one or the other, and demanding that the conditions of peace be applied would mean specifically negating the tradition of the conditional ceasefire.

Without conditional ceasefires, once fighting starts, there would be no mechanism to stop it and seek a diplomatic resolution to a conflict. There would be exactly two ways to end wars after that: Either one side or the other would have to be completely defeated and have terms dictated to it, or a full peace treaty would have to be negotiated while fighting continues. Full peace treaties regularly take years to complete even after both sides agree that peace should be possible, so losing the conditional ceasefire would mean extending war-scale violence for years (except in cases of total war where no negotiated peace is possible anyways). At the time, I expected the body-count of such extensions, which would be a global matter affecting every war until the precedent of equating ceasefire and peace could be forgotten (likely at least a decade), to be vastly greater than that of the single war in Iraq. Even after the eventual body-count far exceeded expectations, I still believe that had a precedent been set after the war was called "illegal", the cost in blood would have been even greater in Mali, Sudan, the Ivory Coast, Sri Lanka, Egypt, and in the future as the violence in Afghanistan, Syria, and Pakistan would be extended.

I guess had the media done its job fact-checking legality of countries' acts, Bush's hand might not have been quite so badly forced (though the war would still have happened), and violent responses to entirely legal acts elsewhere would have lost their pretexts, saving lives. Oddly, the media managed to accept that real war-crimes were legal reprisals in the formed Yugoslavia when the instigating acts turned out to be pure propaganda. It's almost as if news-agencies are trying to get people killed.
 
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