"Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons." Bertrand Russell

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

RTE report Iraq's dead

Months in the making - RTE report on Iraq's dead

a whole FOUR minutes:

RTE 9 O'Clock News 15/08/06

Previous posts on the issue the media ignores:

toirtap Archive - RTE facts and figures

and then (from May):

Dear Mr. Good,

In reference to an email you sent me in response to some questions I had regarding RTE's reporting of Iraqi mortality I have a follow up question:

It is now over a month and a half since you wrote:

"We are hoping to broadcast a report around the time of the anniversary of the fall of Saddam Hussein which explores the issue of why it is so difficult to get accurate and meaningful figures on the number of civilians killed in Iraq."

and I have yet to see any report discussing the number of Iraqi civilians killed as a result of the coalition's invasion. I have yet to see any interviews with Les Roberts of the Lancet study. I have yet to see any critical analysis of any of the reports or surveys of Iraqi mortality.

What I have seen, almost every day, are reports of tens of Iraqis killed in suicide bombing, gun fights, etc. The problem being, theses deaths give no indication of the bigger picture. How many Iraqis are dead? How many of those deaths could have been avoided if Ireland had not allowed the coalition to utilize Shannon airport? When can I, and the rest of the license payers, expect to see a report on this important issue?

While I commend your recent report on last years earthquake in Kashmir, there was much back patting for the work that has been accomplished as a result of Irish aid. While I support all efforts to help those whose lives were ruined by the earthquake, I can't help but think, while on the one hand we are helping people who were affected by a natural disaster, we are on the other hand contributing to a man made disaster in Iraq.

I look forward to your reply.

Yours sincerely,

Dear [Me],

The report about the difficulty of getting accurate figures on the number of civilians killed in Iraq has not been completed. But it is in train. We have had some difficulty in tracking down interviewees – Les Roberts is in Baltimore – but we do hope to broadcast the report before too long, though it's unlikely to be in the next two weeks.


Michael Good

Dear Mr. Good,

Thank you for responding and I look forward to the report on the anniversary of the fall of Saddam.

However, as you seemed to evade the principal question I asked, I'll leave it with you again.

Is there an intrinsic quality to the Iraq war that invalidates a survey of the dead, which conducted in many other wars and countries has been perfectly acceptable?


For more information on this issue please read the links below, you may find something left unanswered by Les Roberts. Be sure to quiz him on the Congo figures too.

Media Lens 1
Media Lens 2
Media Lens 3
Media Lens 4