Snow Suggests Some Iraqi Deaths Are More Worthy Of Counting Than Others
If we are to believe White House Press Secretary Tony Snow, not all Iraqi deaths should be counted, including ones that have a direct genesis from the U.S.-led Iraq War -- those caused by insurgents, foreign fighters, or sectarian violence.
Here's a snippet from yesterday's press briefing:
Q So what is the latest working number?
SNOW: I don't know. But maybe what you ...
Q Can you find that out for us?
SNOW: Yes, but what -- the purpose is ...
SNOW: And how will you put that in perspective?
Q It's perspective.
SNOW: And how will you put that in perspective.
Q We keep track of how many American personnel are killed and wounded ...
SNOW: ... (I)f you're going to assess the situation, find out -- it's also important to try to match up the sources of the violence, the people who are doing the killing, and the commitment of the government for going after them, whether they be militias or insurgent groups.
So let me get this straight. Before the Iraq War began:
-- There was no tie between Al Qaeda terrorists and Iraq, and no Al Qaeda-backed terrorism occurring in Iraq.
-- There was no Iraqi insurgency fighting us, and there were no "foreign fighters" helping fuel that insurgency.
-- There was no sectarian violence (read: "civil war") between Shiites and Sunnis.
So why shouldn't an official tally of Iraqis killed since the war began include those who have died at the hands of insurgents, foreign fighters, or sectarian violence? How can those deaths not be considered directly related to the Iraq War?
It's not like someone is trying to suggest that such a tally should include the thousands of Iraqis who are believed to have died from shortages of medicine, vital equipment and qualified doctors, or the children who have died because the child mortality rate has worsened since the war began.
Not counting Iraqi deaths caused by insurgents, foreign fighters, or those engaged in Civil War is a form of denial. It prevents Americans from considering a number that is almost incomprehensible and subsitutes one that can be spun by the White Hosue as more palatable if the U.S. wants to win the "war on terror."