Friday, August 01, 2008

Shifting The Ground

I'm not talking about earthquakes. It's time to post some opinion again. This is about the "quaky" stats that the media keeps feeding us. This morning on one of the news broadcasts the commentator said that fatalities in Iraq were "way down" in July. Only 11 US troops died compared to 80 military & civilian deaths a year ago.

Did you notice the statistical shift in that statment? 11 US military deaths vs 80 total (combined US, coalition military, Iraqi forces plus civilian) deaths from a year ago. Talk about comparing apples and oranges. Maybe they should have thrown in how many expatriate Iraqis died of cancer while outside the country a year ago to inflate the comparison further.

Those figures are bogus anyway. The devil is in the details, the details in this case being which deaths get counted. The iCasualties website lists 13 US military dead in July 2008 and I distinctly recall reading only a week or two ago about bombings that killed at least 80 civilians. And then there is the practice of not counting as war deaths those US soldiers who are air lifted out of the country for treatment and then die in a military hospital in Germany or the US.

Is violence down in Iraq? Are the number of deaths from insurgent attacks down? When we can't trust the numbers we are being fed and there is limited to no reporting on such events as the Iraqi Christians being driven out of the country or into hiding, it is hard to agree that the surge has really "improved" the situation and stability of Iraq unless you consider an ethnically purged society a stable society. I fear that all we have done in Iraq is changed one bad situation into a different bad situation.

No comments:

Post a Comment