US Fatalities Down Since Media Declared Civil War

The US has lost 12 soldiers so far this month in Iraq.
In the month of February, the US lost 58 of its finest in the War in Iraq.

As sad as these numbers are, we are seeing a low number of US fatalities since the media declared a Civil War in Iraq.

The average US fatality number for the last month and a half in Iraq is 1.63 which makes it the lowest average since March of last year and one of the lowest fatality periods since early in the war.

If the figures for March continue (0.92 average for the month so far) they will be the lowest number of fatalities for US forces in Iraq in over two years (0.79 fatality average in February of 2004).

Also today the BBC is reporting that the UK will withdraw several hundred troops from Iraq and possibly up to one tenth of the total forces stationed there:

The reduction will be “several hundred and probably around 800”, said BBC defence correspondent Paul Wood.

The minister will also reveal to the House of Commons plans to relocate forces from certain parts of the country over the next few months.

Lt Gen Nick Houghton, the UK’s senior commander in Iraq, had told a newspaper they could withdraw by 2008.

The BBC correspondent said the forces to be withdrawn could comprise Army trainers of the Iraq security forces.

Later in the day British Defense Secretary John Reid said in a press conference that Britain will cut its forces in Iraq by 10 percent — a reduction of about 800 troops — by May because Iraqi security forces are becoming more capable of handling security.

Update: I have not seen official figures of civilian casualty counts in the last week or so since the Golden Mosque was bombed back on Wednesday, February 22, 2006.

However, the weekend after the mosque attack the media grossly exaggerated the death counts in Iraq with the Washington Post leading the way. The WaPo reported the “toll in the deadly surge had reached 1,300”. Iraqi Officials, however, disputed the number as “inaccurate and exaggerated” and reported that 249 had been killed in the resulting violence.

The official counts did continue to rise but there was quite a bit of difference in the original reports!

Dean’s World has further thoughts on these numbers.
Wilsonizer offers opoinion on “divided generals and elusive plans”.

W. Thomas Smith, Jr. at Townhall asks if the reporting we are seeing on the War on Terror is responsible or not.

Update 2: More questions about the reporting from the Washington Post via Iraqpundit:

Whenever I read newspapers, I ask myself, who are these people? The Washington Post’s Ellen Knickmeyer, for example, who has single-handedly insisted that the body count in the Baghdad morgue was more than 1,300 immediately after the Samarra mosque bombing, now presents Moktada Al Sadr as some kind of a moderate.

In a story in the Post today, she still clings to that morgue figure:

“Violence since the shrine bombing has claimed the lives of more than 1,000 people, according to Iraqi and international officials monitoring the deaths, with much of the killing blamed on Shiite militias unleashed after the attack. Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jafari’s office puts the toll above 500.”

Knickmeyer’s story described the sectarian violence that is depressingly on the rise in Iraq. In her report, she described Moktada Al Sadr as an increasingly influential cleric and militia leader who holds out “hope of reconciliation.” Sadr! Moreover, she makes him sound rational when she quotes him addressing Sunni hardliners during a TV interview:

More at Iraqpundit.

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