Media Blog

The Truth About Civilian Casualties in Iraq

From Foreign Affairs:

[A June 2003 Pew Global Attitudes survey] found that over 90 percent of Jordanian, Moroccan, Palestinian, and Turkish respondents and over 80 percent of Indonesian and Pakistani respondents felt that the United States “didn’t try very hard” to avoid civilian casualties in Iraq. That view was shared outside the Muslim world by over 70 percent of the Brazilians, French, Russians, and South Koreans polled.
And yet, despite some dark spots on its record, the U.S. military has done a better job of respecting noncombatant immunity in Iraq than is commonly believed. Over the past year, I have conducted dozens of interviews with commanders, judge advocates, and others who have served in Iraq; investigated operational “lessons learned” during a recent trip to Baghdad; observed the predeployment training of forces; and extensively reviewed unclassified Pentagon documents, official and unofficial histories, troops’ memoirs and blogs, and human rights reports. I have found not only that U.S. compliance with noncombatant immunity in Iraq is relatively high by historical standards but also that it has been improving since the beginning of the war.

Read the entire report, and then ask yourself: How would the media have responded to this report if its author, University of Minnesota professor Colin H. Kahl, had reached the opposite conclusion? (h/t Hot Air)
UPDATE: Dave Gerstman e-mails:

We already know the answer to that; it’s not hypothetical.