We all know that the media likes to portray itself as "unbiased," but do the media organizations live up to their claim? As of this writing, the number of US military dead in Iraq is 2,081-2,085 (depending on the source). Yet there is a critical piece of information missing here. What about the insurgent casualties? I have done some research and I have found that the lack of reporting about insurgent casualties is as much the US military's fault as it is the media's. Early in the war, General Tommy Franks famously said, "We don't do body counts." This decision permanently confined the media to mere speculation about insurgent (and civilian) casualties. General Franks's stance was based off of experience gained by the US military during the Vietnam War. Daily tallies were shown on the evening news then, displaying the number of "ours" who were killed alongside the number of "theirs." This practice, the military believes, created a false sense of "scoring" by weighing "our" losses against "their" losses. The military also believes that this placed pressure on commanders to provide good numbers, causing some officers to issue inflated reports. The very nature of the conflict also created difficulties in reporting enemy losses. In Vietnam (as in Iraq) aerial forces frequently struck at enemy positions. The destruction caused by a string of 500-pound bombs made the process of estimating the enemy's losses all but impossible. In many cases, teeth or bone fragments were all that remained of the enemy soldiers and an estimate was inaccurate at best. Though the process of estimating enemy dead may be difficult, the military's refusal to release the information it does have results in incomprehensive reporting. We know that at least 2,081 US soldiers have died in Iraq, but we have little way of knowing how many enemy combatants have perished. Imagine, for example, that your favorite sports team won a game yesterday. The sports section of the newspaper reports the score by saying that the winning team scored 5 goals. This report fails to focus on several important aspects of the game. How close was the game? Was it a shutout? Did the winning team score its goal in the final seconds of play? These critical pieces of information are lost due to the incomplete nature of this kind of reporting, just as important information is left out of Iraq War coverage due to the US military's policy. It is true that 2,081 US soldiers have perished in Iraq, but how many insurgents/terrorists/fanatics were killed or captured during the same time period that the US sustained those losses? Fortunately, the US military seems to be revising its policy. As reported by the Washington Post, the US recently announced that it is abandoning "its previous refusal to publicize enemy body counts and now cites such numbers periodically to show the impact of some counterinsurgency operations." How extensively the media reports these numbers has yet to be seen, due to the recent nature of the change, but it will be interesting to see how the media picks these numbers up. We now arrive at my question: In spite of the difficulties in reporting the Iraqi insurgent casualties, do you think that the media, as a whole, has irresponsibly omitted information about insurgent setbacks and/or casualties? Does the media have a contract of responsibility, made with the public, to find the numbers even if the US military will not release them? Your votes and discussions are welcome.