Sunday, March 18, 2007

The NY Times 'Duh' of the Week

Courtesy of Mickey Kaus from yesterday:

U.S. military deaths in Iraq have apparently declined by about 20% since the "surge" began. It would be a caricature of MSM behavior if the New York Times, instead of simply reporting this potentially good news, first constructed some bad news to swaddle it in, right? From today's Times:

The heightened American street presence may already have contributed to an increase in the percentage of American deaths that occur in Baghdad.

Over all, the number of American soldiers killed in Iraq from hostilities since Feb. 14, the start of the new Baghdad security plan, fell to 66, from 87 in the previous four weeks.

But with more soldiers in the capital on patrol and in the neighborhood garrisons, a higher proportion of the American deaths have occurred in Baghdad — 36 percent after Feb. 14 compared with 24 percent in the previous four weeks. Also over the past four weeks, a higher proportion of military deaths from roadside bombs have occurred in Baghdad — 45 percent compared with 39 percent. [E.A.]

Soldiers presumably get attacked where they are, not where they aren't. If we deploy more soldiers in Baghdad more soldiers will presumably be attacked, and killed, in Baghdad. I don't see why that in itself is bad news, or even news news, if the overall casualty level is declining.

I used to have a foil in the ether-world of Internet message boards who continually harped on how the US had brought nothing but hardship and destruction to Iraq. In reply, I often would exclaim back to him in mock surprise that I'd been unaware that nothing good had happened in that country since August 1st, 1990.

I just didn't realize that he apparently worked at the NY Times...

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