Friday, March 23, 2007

We Support the Troops..

...but only if they are deserters from the United States Armed Forces, according to Scrappleface. In the meantime, the New York Times tries to convince us that desertions are rising due to "toll of wartime deployments and point to the increasing percentage of troops who are on their second or third tours in Iraq or Afghanistan." In other words, it's all because of George Bush's warmongering!

However, as Jules Crittendon clearly demonstrates, if one actually reads the article in question, one finds that according to Lieutenant Colonel Brian Hilferty, "..numbers remain below prewar levels, and retention remains high. So the force is healthy." Crittendon also states that in the actual article from the Times, the following text is buried,
Desertions rates actually jumped in 2001, with nearly 1,000 more soldiers deserting when all we were doing was invading Afghanistan and hunting for Osama bin Laden, than since we opened the second GWOT front in Iraq, when desertions dropped. Desertion rates during Vietnam Redux nowhere near desertion rates during Classic Vietnam. The 2006 increase mentioned above is still many hundreds below the popular war period of 2001 and 2002.

Curiously, in the online version of this article, the above text is not included. Could the NYT be trying to spin a story to give the opinion diametrically opposite to what the actual data shows? The "Paper of Record"?? Say it isn't so!

Hmm, does that also mean that soldiers were more apt to desert BEFORE the supposedly unpopular war in Iraq began? One would think so. One would also think it would behoove journalists to actually proofread their writing so as to avoid cases like this where the actual news is in complete opposition to the headline. But that would require open minds and the ability to think logically- something too many reporters clearly lack.

Hat tip to Glenn Reynolds.

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