Thursday, January 17, 2008


The Los Angeles Times has come out with a story saying both the Pentagon and media no longer want to report on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This explains why you NEVED see anything on TV or in the print media about the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan. Fox example: Yesterday three U.S. soldiers were killed in Iraq, but I never saw it mentioned anywhere on Fox News, CNN or MSNBC.

If there was a military draft, you would suddenly see a lot more interest in the war, but that is not about to happen either.

So as it stands now we have 160,000 troops in Iraq and another 30,000 in Afghanistan and the ONLY people who care in America are their immediate families.

What a sad, sad indictment of the American people.

This is why I started this blog. I was a GI in another forgotten war, the Korean War, and I know what it is like when nobody back home but your parents, or if you are married your wife or husband, cares at all about what you are doing in the United States military.

Bill Corcoran, host and owner of this blog. The ONLY blog in the United States devoted to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

The American war dead

Americans keep dying in Iraq, but Pentagon policy and media fatigue obscure the full picture.

January 17, 2008

As of wednesday, 3,915 U.S. service members had been killed in Iraq. You may not have heard about this, because it isn't a nice, round, milestone-type figure -- unlike, say, 2,000, a number that inspired headlines across the country when that body count was reached in 2005.Another thing you probably haven't seen lately is images like the front-page photograph in Wednesday's Times, which showed the flag-draped coffin of Army Sgt. David J. Hart of Lake View Terrace as it arrived on an airport tarmac.

Such images are rare, partly because of a media tendency to see the commonplace as unworthy of coverage and partly because of a calculated effort by the Bush administration to prevent the American people from seeing them.Wednesday's photograph was possible because Hart's body was flown into Long Beach Airport rather than a military facility, where media photographers are forbidden from chronicling the ongoing human cost of the Iraq war.

A lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act forced the Pentagon in 2005 to release more than 700 pictures of coffins and honor guard ceremonies that were taken by military photographers, but it did nothing to ease the 1991 ban on media coverage of returning casualties.

You also may not have heard that 2007 was the deadliest year yet for U.S. troops in Iraq: 899 lost their lives, surpassing the previous high of 850 in 2004. A few newspaper and TV websites continue to list casualties, but these have nowhere near the effect of "Nightline" anchor Ted Koppel's 2004 recitation of the names of the then-721 dead. The Tyndall Report, which monitors network news broadcasts, shows that less time was devoted to Iraq coverage in 2007 than in any previous yearof the conflict.

The war remains an important issue in the presidential campaign, but candidates from both parties have stopped raising it as often as they once did. The apparent success of the "surge," which has reduced both the overall violence in Iraq and the number of U.S. casualties, has unnerved critics who last spring were calling for an immediate pullout. If there's still a chance of victory, doesn't it argue for staying the course?

As politicians dither, the C-17s keep delivering a steady cargo of coffins.The vast majority of them are seen only by military personnel and the families of the dead.


Iraq's healthcare left in disarray after invasion

· Experienced staff emigrate due to lack of protection· Bribery is part of system, says independent report Sarah Boseley, health editorWednesday January 16, 2008The Guardian,,2241367,00.html

Thanks to Lori Price, managing editor of CLG, and her excellent website for this news tip.

The full extentT of the destruction of Iraq's healthcare system and the devastating impact it has had on its people is documented today in a new report which indicts the allied invasion force for failing in its duty to protect medical institutions and staff.
The report, by an independent team of researchers and advisers from Iraq, the UK, the US and elsewhere, says the provision of healthcare "has become increasingly difficult" since the invasion. "Doctors and nurses have emigrated en masse, exacerbating existing staff shortages.

"The health system is in disarray owing to the lack of an institutional framework, intermittent electricity, unsafe water, and frequent violations of medical neutrality. The ministry of health and local health authorities are mostly unable to meet these huge challenges, while the activities of UN agencies and non-governmental organisations are severely limited."

The report, by the organisation Medact, tells how the charges for healthcare, abolished by the coalition forces in a flurry of idealism, have been quietly reinstated by health authorities unable to pay salaries and buy the drugs they need. Worse, patients now have to pay bribes to get into hospital. The report tells of one young woman, Aseel, in labour for three days with no pain relief, doctor or midwife. Her family decided they would have to find the money to get her into hospital.

"After parting with my first bank note to secure petrol from my neighbour, we prayed for safety during our long trip to Diwaniyah maternity hospital," said Aseel's husband. "Thankfully we arrived safely, and were greeted by the open hand of the security guard. We parted with another note to get in. It took a long time to find a midwife. Eventually a sleepy midwife answered my pleas and we exchanged papers, notes and promises to bring more notes. Amin was born the next morning.

"Aseel developed a serious kidney infection and needed antibiotics, but we couldn't get them in Diwaniyah. Amin had to be fed powdered milk diluted with tap water. There wasn't enough money to buy formula milk, so we had to make it last.

"Amin survived one of the toughest milestones of life - birth. By Iraqi standards his life of hardship had just started."

The provision of basic health services is very challenging, the report says, quoting Dr Ali Haydar Azize at Sadr City hospital: "Iraqi hospitals are not equipped to handle high numbers of injured people at the same time." Junior staff frequently carry out procedures beyond their competence, the report says.