Peace through victory - the American way.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

A cynical use of Iraq casualty figures to make an anti-war point.

The linked AP article that claims to tell the story in Iraq by the numbers is a classic example of how bias in the media frames the debate and pushes an agenda while purporting to simply report the news.

The article begins with the following sentence: "The conflict in Iraq can be told in numbers and milestones, from the more than 1,500 troops who have died to the number of weapons of mass destruction found - zero." The story then goes on to detail the casualties and highlight the costs of the war.

But there are a few numbers glaringly missing from the story. Here they are:

The number of people liberated from Saddam Hussein: 25,000,000.

The number of Iraqis who voted in a free election: 8,000,000.

A fair article that purports to tell the story in Iraq by the numbers would have included these statistics.

But that wasn't the purpose of the article. Instead the article was a cynical exercise designed to create the impression of failure by focusing entirely on the cost of the war in Iraq while ignoring the successes there. Cynical is an apt description for it. As Oscar Wilde famously said, "A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing."




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