Sunday, February 06, 2011

NYT Omits Iraqi Body Count from
Rumsfeld Book Review

The New York Times on Friday printed a review by Michiko Kakutani of the new memoir by former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. It was a pan of the book, "Known and Unknown," and one paragraph stood out for what was omitted:

Of a war that has already cost the United States more than $700 billion and claimed more than 4,400 American lives, Mr. Rumsfeld writes: “Knowing what we later learned and recognizing the costs, there is not a persuasive argument to be made that the United States would be in a stronger strategic position or that Iraq and the Middle East would be better off if Saddam were still in power. In short, ridding the region of Saddam’s brutal regime has created a more stable and secure world.” 

Has the war in Iraq also cost any lives of that county's civilian population? Yes, of course, it has and the latest estimate for civilian deaths from the Iraq Body Count site puts the number at 108,782. A six-figure loss of life among the Iraqi population and it doesn't warrant a mention in the Times' review.

I suggest Kakutani and her editor widen their worldview to encompass not only the American lives and dollars squandered fighting the Iraq war, but also the heavy death toll on Iraqi civilians.

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