The mainstream media breathlessly informs us every chance they get that over 1900 soldier have died in Iraq. I wouldn’t be surprised to read a story that said, “President Bush has declared parts of Louisiana and Mississippi a disaster area after Hurricane Katrina, despite the fact that over 1900 soldiers have died in Iraq.”
Even in peacetime. The media’s breathless tabulation of casualties in Iraq–now, over 1,800 deaths–is generally devoid of context. Here’s some context: between 1983 and 1996, 18,006 American military personnel died accidentally in the service of their country. That death rate of 1,286 per year exceeds the rate of combat deaths in Iraq by a ratio of nearly two to one.
That’s right: all through the years when hardly anyone was paying attention, soldiers, sailors and Marines were dying in accidents, training and otherwise, at nearly twice the rate of combat deaths in Iraq from the start of the war in 2003 to the present. Somehow, though, when there was no political hay to be made, I don’t recall any great outcry, or gleeful reporting, or erecting of crosses in the President’s home town. In fact, I’ll offer a free six-pack to the first person who can find evidence that any liberal expressed concern–any concern–about the 18,006 American service members who died accidentally in service of their country from 1983 to 1996.
Thanks to Brutally Honest for the tip.