Undercovered Stories by Eleanor Clift

I couldn’t agree more with her


American casualties in Iraq: Supporters of the war cite the relatively low number of U.S. military fatalities (now around 1,300) compared to the 58,000 deaths in Vietnam. But coverage rarely focuses on the wounded, whose official number is close to 10,000.

Civilian deaths in Iraq: The U.S. military doesn’t keep count of “collateral damage,” but a report by researchers affiliated with Johns Hopkins indicates that 100,000 Iraqis have died as a result of the American invasion.

Stress and strain on National Guard and Reserves: John Kerry called the Pentagon’s reliance on these part-time soldiers to fill out the U.S. presence in Iraq a back-door draft. Forty percent of the 150,000 troops serving in Iraq are Guard and Reserves.

Cost of the war: John Kerry was accused of exaggerating during the campaign when he said the war cost $200 billion. George Bush waited until after the election to ask for more funding and Congress is anticipating another “supplemental” budget request when it assembles next year. The cost of the war is now well over $200 billion and counting.

The new air war in Iraq: The story, buried on page A28 of The Washington Post earlier this month, was that the Air Force would increase the number of cargo flights into Iraq. A hundred soldiers a month have been dying on the truck convoys supplying the troops.

Divisions in the Republican Party: GOP lawmakers call themselves members of the “Bleeding Lip Club.” They bit their lips and kept quiet throughout the campaign in order to get Bush elected, and now they’re speaking out. Differences over the war, immigration policy, Social Security and tax reform are erupting on Capitol Hill, and it’s not just the usual suspects.

Health-care insurance—its cost and access: Bush convened an economic summit to gin up a phony crisis in Social Security, which he proposes to solve by partially privatizing the program and borrowing the trillion dollars in start-up money it would cost.

The useless Star Wars program: The Pentagon delayed the latest test of this fanciful idea until after the election, and when the emerging technology flunked the test, a Pentagon spokesman insisted it didn’t fail, that it was “incomplete.”

The assault on the teaching of evolution: We thought this was settled 79 years ago at the 1925 trial of a high-school biology teacher in Tennessee, when celebrated defense attorney Clarence Darrow represented John Scopes in the legendary Scopes "monkey trial.” Now Christian fundamentalists are hawking a new theory, intelligent design, which posits a God-like figure overseeing evolution.

The dominance of right-wing media: It’s a food chain to die for—first Drudge, then Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, then The Wall Street Journal. When they get hold of a story, they can make it a blockbuster. Going into the Christmas season, they made the word “secular” sound worse than liberal.

Military fatalities are only counted as “in combat”. Other fatalities such as accidents and “friendly fire” aren’t counted in the governments reports. So the numbers are actually higher than what they report.

White House reports the economy is stabilizing, more jobs, WHERE AT?

Social Security, I was under the impression that Bill Clinton had fixed this. Is this where the money’s coming from to fight the war?