The grim news was widely--though not universally--reported in the U.S. media (my local paper, the Philadelphia Inquirer, blacked it out), but few news organizations reported the most disturbing finding of the study, which was that 31 percent of those killed were acatually slain by U.S. and "coalition" forces (actually by U.S. forces, since most of the other foreign forces working with the U.S., with the exception of the British, have not played combat roles, and even the British have largely operated in the south where fighting has been much less severe.
This is the grand war of liberation and democracy that our bloodstained president hails as his legacy!
This is the war that we are told is making America safer.
Just to put things in a little perspective, the Iraqis killed at the hands of our "heroes" in uniform on orders of this great commander in chief represent about one percent of the Iraqi population of 24 million. If a comparable number of Americans were being killed in a war, it would be as if we had lost between 1 million and 1.9 million people! Imagine Americans referring to any army that did such a thing as a "liberator"! Anyone who thinks that we are making friends this way in Iraq has to be an idiot.
What made the Times article, which ran on an inside page, particularly offensive, was a page-one story that ran on the same day, headlined "3rd Iraq Death Has One town Shaken to Core." This piece looked in detail about how the deaths in Iraq of three servicemen from the New York hamlet of Highland, had caused such widespread grief and anguish in a small American town. How on earth could editors give that story--excellent and poignant as it was in its own right--such prominence while burying a report about the wholesale slaughter of a people by U.S. forces? Don't the editors realize that every one of those Iraqi deaths was producing the same kind of grief and anger in towns and villages across Iraq?
Americans still haven't grasped the horror that American troops are inflicting upon the Iraqi people, and hiding these numbers--and the American military's direct responsibility for nearly a third of them--is an example of why.
The Bush administration has carefully seen to it that Americans will not see the evidence of American deaths and injuries. Coffins are flown in to Dover Airbase, a closed military compound in Delaware, at night. The administration has also blacked out Iraqi deaths by refusing to provide body counts from U.S. military actions, and by preventing reporters from operating in Iraq unescorted.
The Lancet study has burst that veil of secrecy, at least partially, though the U.S. media continues to cooperate for the most part, it appears, in keeping the ugliest truth--the U.S. civilian casualty rate in Iraq--out of their reports. If you want that kind of information, you have to go to the Lancet report itself or to the British newspapers, like The Guardian, which have it stated clearly.