DECATUR, GA: One man's dissatisfaction with conflicting press reports over Allied deaths in Iraq has led to him to create a web site that has had as many as 38,000 visitors in a single day since its launch.
But don't go to the bluntly named "Iraq Coalition Casualty Count" looking for a political screed, even though it is run by an opponent of the war. What you'll find there is an accounting of the still mounting death count told in a bare-bones fashion: through press releases.
"People were misrepresenting the figures," said Michael White, an IT developer and
the founder of the site. "[The media] was low-balling, and some on the left were high-balling."
The site has popped up as guerrilla attacks on the coalition force increase and as the news media has turned its attention to the impact the prolonged conflict has had on the soldiers and their families.
It pulls together official death notices from CENTCOM, the Department of Defense, and the British Ministry of Defense, among others. More than just a catalogue of names, it groups the tolls based on phases of the war. There are no accompanying obituaries, and the site, at http://lunaville.org/warcasualties/Summary.aspx, is designed to be free of both politics and sentiment.
"I am against the war," said White, "but I wanted to make sure there's nothing on it that would offend somebody from the military."