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October 01, 2007

Grim Milestone: AP Reluctantly Reports 14-Month-Low In US Combat Deaths

US Death Toll Drops, which is just a bad headline, since the death toll hasn't dropped (no one's yet been resurrected) but which manages to greatly downplay the success our troops are having:

US military losses in Iraq for September stood at 70 on Sunday, the lowest monthly figure since July last year, according to an AFP tally based on Pentagon figures.

The figure also marks the fourth consecutive drop in the monthly death toll following a high of 121 in May. June saw 93 deaths, July 82 and August 79. The monthly toll in July 2006 was 53.

Two US soldiers were killed on Saturday in separate incidents, pushing the overall toll of American losses since the March 2003 invasion to 3,801.

A surge in US troop numbers saw an extra 28,500 personnel deployed from mid-February, mainly in Baghdad and the neighbouring province of Anbar, although commanders said most were not in combat positions until May.

US commanders say the strategy is starting to work and that levels of violence are dropping, allowing for a possible drawdown of the 160,000 or so troops now deployed.

"The trend is certainly in the right direction," US military spokesman Rear Admiral Mark Fox told a press conference in Baghdad.

"The surge unquestionably is what has been the catalyst that has created the opportunity to have more forces operating in more places at the same time and to deny Al-Qaeda and the extremists safe-haven and to take away sanctuaries."

Former Spook wrote:

Call it Spook's Inverse Law of Iraq War Reporting: if you don't see a spate of stories on U.S. casualties at the end of the month, then there must be some good news the MSM is ignoring.

I don't need Bob Munck coming in here telling me the MSM isn't "ignoring" this as a brief stub by AP picked up by few and largely buried isn't giving the story proper play. The MSM always trumpets the high numbers of deaths and extrapolates further carnage from there; if it's truly unbiased, it would also take this month's relative success and give it equal play. But of course it's not unbiased.

Gateway Pundit reports that all violent deaths in Iraq have also plummeted: less than half this month what they were last month, and a mere one-sixth the number of violent deaths suffered in November '06.

Thanks for most of this to Instapundit.

Oh, and Dan Riehl notes the leftist blogosphere and their varsity in the MSM is currently crowing about the last ten Americans killed in Iraq, neatly ignoring the 60 recent insurgents killed in clashes.

A six-to-one ratio of battle deaths -- as heartbreaking as each US death is -- would be considered rather bad for the enemy by any MSM that wasn't wildly cheering the insurgents.


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posted by Ace at 01:51 PM

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