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January 13, 2009

Only 17 troop deaths in December?

The subhead under the article “Casualty figures met with caution” (1/3, A-1) read “U.S. had only 17 deaths in December.” Why only 17 deaths? Don’t those 17 matter?

That abstract figure, 17, stands for 17 men and, possibly, women who will never walk again or see the blue sky or feel the soft breezes of the spring of 2009. Those 17 left behind 17 families that will grieve and never be fully comforted.

Each of those 17 people’s lives was priceless. The media’s take on these dead soldiers leaves those 17 lives without importance.

Patricia Keens
Kansas City




the only offensive comment in this entire thread comes from Blue Springs resident idiot.

Off thread....mu son took me to the matinee showing of "gran Torino". Best Clint Eastwood movie in decades. A must see for people who've seen death up close and personal. Nothing like Deathwish, which was typical anti-hero shoot em' up fare. This movie brought more than a tear to my eyes.


a reason to be offended.


This thread would seem to fit the definition of "a tempest in a tea pot". It would have been better if the article had read "during December the number of fatalities was reduced to 17" but that was what the wording used was intended to say. In my opinion to take the wording as meaning anything else is simply looking for a reason to



Are you saying the American people value criminals more than our servicepeople?


I wonder what the total loss of life due to gang bangers, drug dealers, etc. was in the US during the same month? Would that total have been preceded by "only"? I doubt it.


This reminds me of news reports that describe natural disasters and say things like, "Fortunately, there was only one death..." And it's similar to TV meteorologists who salivate at the thought of "impressive" storms, like kids waiting for Santa Claus. I always take note (and cuss at the television) when the media put the word "only" before a death count. It is an unforgivable insult to the loved ones of those who died.


I find the word "only" both obscene and reasonable. Obscene that 17 more young lives are lost, reasonable that as a comparative, 17 is better news than 18.


T. is right. People will always read their personal prejudices into the reporting of the issue, no matter how mundane the reporting.

It seems reasonable to understand that the word "only" was being used for comparative purposes, highlighting the difference between December's casualty figures and those from previous months.

T. Hanson

Ahh once again, if the media does not put the numbers on the front page it is catering to the "War at all cost" people. If the media puts the numbers in any other area it is catering to the "Give Peace a chance" crowd.

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