We've detailed how CNSNews.com has repeatedly emphasized the casualty rate of U.S. troops in Afghanistan without mentioning that the rate was much higher at the peak of the Iraq war. Now, CNS finally admits that U.S. troops are still getting killed in Iraq.
A July 5 CNS article by Patrick Goodenough reports that "Fifteen U.S. troops died in Iraq in June, more than in any single month since June 2009." Of course, CNS is days behind in reporting this revelation. But that didn't appear until the third paragraph of Goodenough's article; a claim that "Iranian security agencies" were to blame for "a fresh increase in violence" comes first.
Goodenough further tries to spin things by stating that "attacks on U.S. and Iraqi forces and Iraqi civilians have dropped fourfold since 2007, when they averaged some 400 each week." No such spin is permitted Edwin Mora's monthly body counts, where the word "Iraq" is prohibited.
Admission of the existence of casualties in Iraq, this story is reminiscent of CNS' coverage of Iraq war casualties from 2007 to 2009, with heavy emphasis on how they have fallen. Here are some sample headlines from that period, where even monthly casualty increases are accompanied by proclamations of how they are down from the previous year:
- Surge Credited for Drop in US Casualties (10/07; date on article is incorrect due to July 2008 database change)
- Iraq Casualties Continue Decline in First Half of October (10/07; date on article is incorrect due to July 2008 database change)
- US Deaths in Iraq Down Nearly 50 Percent Since Last Month (11/07; date on article is incorrect due to July 2008 database change)
- Iraq Combat Deaths Down 50 Percent in November (12/07; date on article is incorrect due to July 2008 database change)
- Iraq Casualties in December Down 80 Percent From Year Ago (1/08; date on article is incorrect due to July 2008 database change)
- US Casualties in Iraq Up Some in January, But Down from Highs (2/08; date on article is incorrect due to July 2008 database change)
- US Combat Deaths Show Sharp Year-to-Year Decline in Iraq (4/08; date on article is incorrect due to July 2008 database change)
- IED-Caused Casualties in Iraq Down 89 Percent Since Surge (6/08; date on article is incorrect due to July 2008 database change)
- Non-Combat Casualties in Iraq in July Exceeded Combat Casualties (8/08)
- Iraq Casualties Up From July, Down 76 Percent from Year Ago (9/08)
- U.S. Combat Deaths in Iraq Down 86 Percent from Last September (10/08)
- Spate of Attacks in Iraq Follows Least-Deadly Month Since War Began (4/09)
- Two Years Later, Sustained Dramatic Decline in Casualties in Iraq Demonstrates Surge Strategy Worked (6/09)
- U.S. Casualties in Iraq Dropped to All-Time Low in July (8/09)
- U.S. Death Toll at Record Low in Iraq, at Record High in Afghanistan (9/09)
- December Poised to Be First Month With No Combat Deaths in Iraq War (12/09)
By contrast, as we noted, the last two body-count articles by Mora carried the headlines "Under Obama, U.S. Casualty Rate in Afghanistan Increased 5-Fold" and "2011 On Pace to Match Deadliest Year in Afghanistan for U.S. Troops."
Will Mora and CNS be touting the inevitable casualty rate declines in Afghanistan as breathlessly as it did for Iraq casualty declines? Don't count on it -- that's not part of CNS' mission.