The NY Times not updating its ‘Casualties of War’ page – American Thinker. Blog – February 25, 2010

Originally posted at American Thinker.

During the Iraq War and when the New York Times was actively campaigning for Barack Obama, Grey Lady readers were subjected to a military service obituary entitled Faces of the Dead.  Daily, readers were forced to “face” the grim reality that young American soldiers were prematurely dying in Iraq.  The content of the site focused on poignant stories juxtaposed against the backdrop of what liberals argued was an unjust war.

Every day readers were confronted with demographics, photographs and related links like, 2,000 Dead: As Iraq Tours Stretch On, a Grim Mark (October 26, 2005) and U.S. Death Toll in Iraq War Hits 4,000 (March 24, 2008). In addition, the NY Times online included a photo diary containing excerpts from e-mails and journals of six soldiers who died in Iraq

In May of 2009, around the same time Obama decided a troop surge was necessary in Afghanistan, the NY Times death inventory came to an abrupt halt. To date, eight-months after the first major wave of new troops were ordered by Barack Obama into Afghanistan, Casualties of War has not been up-dated to include Afghan surge fatalities.  Military victims of Obama’s Afghan war are missing from the Faces of the Dead section, which throughout Bush’s Iraqi war effort was refreshed on a daily basis.

The NY Times said the following about Casualties of War,

“However you feel about the war, this graphic presents facts and allows the viewer to develop their own impressions and opinions rather than packaging the same information with any sort of bias.”

So, in the spirit of unbiased journalism, it’s time the NY Times extended the present administration an equally impressive detailed register of soldiers dying under Commander-in-Chief’s Obama’s war watch.

In the last eight months 600 dead has grown to nearly a thousand. If pertinent “facts” allow website viewers “to develop their own impressions and opinions,” which was the supposed purpose of Casualties of War, then the NY Times has an opportunity to actively reengage the public in forming independent opinion by monitoring and reporting in an interactive way the sharp increase in statistical military death related data.

For instance, readers may be interested to know that the seven years and four months preceding Obama’s eight-month surge, seven deaths per month took place.  However, in eight months those figures grew to almost 39 deaths per month, which corresponds to a 450% increase in military lives lost.

Robert Gibbs contends, “We never have a plan to transfer anybody either to a home country or to a third country that we have reason to believe will present a security situation for us or for that country.” Thus, the NY Times could also include a groundbreaking addition to the presentation called The Adventures of Released Enemy Combatants. Maybe the website can dedicate a specific section to soldiers who would otherwise be alive today if not for a fatal meeting with insurgents released from the prison Obama wants permanently closed.

The uptick in war related Obama troop surge fatalities could provide the NY Times lots of vignette fodder, as well as many more photos of the president saluting flag draped coffins in the middle of the night.  If the New York Times decides to chronicle the current combat obituary, if the last eight months are any indication of what’s ahead, The Obama Years: Casualties of War has the potential to be even more damaging to Obama’s presidency than the NY Times 7-year narrative on Bush in Iraq.


  1. Gordon Ringer

    Your article is in error. I see the casualty list continue to be shown in the NYT. How about a little intellectual honesty, and so some research yourself. It took me about 10 seconds to find the daily counts in the NYT. I would think a correction would be in order if you really value integrity as you seem to imply in your articles. But if you do not, then will have to conclude just more partisian BS, which makes you just a rightwing Bill Mahr, spouting rhetorical and discounting facts.


    Gordon Ringer

    • jeannieology

      I did not say that they don’t list the war dead…what the article said was that the Casualties of War, which is a specific NY Times website that chronicled the Iraq war dead was discontinued in May of 2009.

      Of course the NY Times in articles lists when soldiers are killed. I did not say they didn’t.

      If you can find me dates after May 2009 that are displayed on this specific website The Casualties of War, I would be more than willing to register an apology.

      Presently we are in a war in Afghanistan and yet there is no daily update of the brave soldiers that are losing their lives in Afghanistan in the same format as Casualties of War or Faces of the Dead — I’ve done extensive research and didn’t find any such website sponsored by the NY Times.

      Please direct me to the Afghanistan based Casualties of War page.

  2. Gordon Ringer

    Seems to be a question of semantics. For the Title of your article and the initial paragraph (which is often the only portion our coffee fueled fast paced Aerican reads) seems to imply that the NYT is not updating casualty lists, which in fact they are. Please understand I am not some rabid leftwiner, I also support President Bush with his surge, and was frustrated at the “negative war coverage” provided by many media outlets. In many ways, I feel your article does the same, it attempts to “politicize” something which should not be made partisan in anyway, namely the sacrifice of our brave men and women. And the fact is the New York Times does recognize these brave souls each time one of them makes their final deployment, and they should be given credit for that, rather than some veiled criticism of the Administration. We need to do more to “unite” the nation behind the troops, rather than “divide”. Articles such are yours do them a disservice in my view. Politicizing something that should be sacrosanct in my opinion.
    But I do wish to thank you for your prompt and thorough response. Even if I do not agree with your rational for the article, I do appreciate the discourse on the subject. So in the spirit of America, I guess we shall agree to disagree.



  3. Gordon Ringer

    In other words, you concern yourself too much with the format of the information that is provided, than the actual information itself. And your article does imply that casualty lists are not updated, when in fact they are.
    It is not the wrapping that is important, but the package that is contained within.

  4. jeannieology

    Gordon…I understand what you are saying. But Casualties of the Dead, if you visit the site, is a display of each individual soldier, pictures, stories that have a great impact on people’s perception of war. Why not do the same with the 900+ soldiers that have died in Afghanistan. If a publication like the NYTimes didn’t list the war dead — it would loose all credibility completely — however, they have removed the drama and personal stories from the listing and in turn, managed to give more impact to one war and less to another — that is my argument.

    I appreciate your thoughtful input though thank you for reading and expressing your opinion.

    Blessings to you – Jeannie

  5. jeannieology

    ps. Gordon, I just want you to know that the title to that post was given by American Thinker, it was not the title I originally gave the piece which was, Casualties of War: The Obama Chronicles.

    Oftentimes, when I submit a piece for the AT blog they change the title.

    My problem is the inequity. When Bush was President, the drum beat of every face of every soldier was placed before us. The NYTimes did not make it a secret that they despised Bush and felt the war was “unjust.” I found it especially interesting that as soon as Obama ordered the first wave to Afghanistan the drumbeat stopped and the Faces of the Dead was discontinued the same month — which is playing politics with our brave service men and women.

    That is what bothered me so much.

    Thank you for being so reasonable and participating in an intelligent discussion.

  6. Gordon Ringer

    I am in total concurrence with you as to the shoddy treatment much of the media gave to President Bush, when it came to the War in Iraq. They were monumentally remiss in reporting any of the good news that came from the combat theater, and as an Iraq Freedom Vet, it truly bothered me. That is why when I got out of the military, one of the things I wanted to do (my form of cathartic exercise) was to ensure the American Public remained supportive of our troops and their sacrifices. I did not criticize President Bush at the time, for the same reason that I hold some of my criticism’s of the current President when it comes to military operations, namely understanding the immense pressure they are under. It is often far harder to send men into combat, than to go into combat yourself. You carry the death of each man that goes into combat with you always, when you are the one who sent them there. And for that, I will always respect those who have had the courage to sit in the Oval Office, no matter what party they are.
    You are an excellent writer, and your civic mindedness is something we should all strive for. I kind of figured that perhaps AT had titiled the article. It is sad that today, sometimes it is the headline which captures the readers attention, rather than the detail of the peice. Thank you very much for the chance to comment.


    Gordon Ringer

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