Saturday, December 04, 2004

Killing Those Who Count the Dead?

Are United States forces in Iraq attempting to suppress reporting of civilian casualties in Iraq? Naomi Klein thinks so.

Last week, Klein stated (in The Nation and in The Guardian) that "in Iraq, US forces and their Iraqi surrogates are no longer bothering to conceal attacks on civilian targets and are openly eliminating anyone--doctors, clerics, journalists--who dares to count the bodies." The comment drew the ire of Acting U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom David T. Johnson. In response to Ambassador Johnson's challenge, Klein presents her case in today's Guardian. Her conclusion recalls General Tommy Franks comment that "we don't do body counts" and states,

The question is: what happens to the people who insist on counting the bodies--the doctors who must pronounce their patients dead, the journalists who document these losses, the clerics who denounce them? In Iraq, evidence is mounting that these voices are being systematically silenced through a variety of means, from mass arrests, to raids on hospitals, media bans, and overt and unexplained physical attacks.

Judge for yourself whether her evidence supports this claim.