Monday, 17 September 2007

ORB: 1.2 million now dead in Iraq

The carnage in Iraq continues. So, what's new? Well, actually, a new study which clearly shows the immense scale of death and misery in this ravaged, blood-soaked land.

In 2006, the esteemed Lancet study put the number of violent deaths in Iraq since 2003 at over 655,000. The latest reputable survey from ORB has now raised that to over 1.2 million.

The loss and suffering can only be imagined. And imagined without the aid of a media which, in its varying servitude to power, thinks that this new evidence need not concern us too much. Which is why it's either been ignored or buried by editors and reporters since its publication last week. Was there ever a more graphic example of how the media regards the pain of the non-Western other?

Never mind. The tabloids and mainstream news channels might retain their casual disregard for human life beyond these 'civilized' shores, but thank goodness, at least, for the gallant liberal media serving to keep us all updated and morally abreast.

Or perhaps not. The ORB findings, like the Lancet study before it, have been conspicuously absent, or given only token attention, in the Guardian, Independent and on Newsnight.

This telling little exchange with Jon Snow of Ch 4 News gives a flavour of how the liberal media gate-keepers are a key part of the problem.


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