Friday, September 22, 2006

AP Trumpets Meaningless "Milestone" As Service Losses in Iraq and Afghanistan Exceed 9/11 Deaths

Mainstream Media never misses an opportunity to lower our national morale and weaken support for the war against the jihadists. This article from AP notes, "Now the death toll is 9/11 times two. U.S. military deaths from Iraq and Afghanistan now match those of the most devastating terrorist attack in America's history."

And the significance of that statistic is--what? As Associated Press writer Calvin Woodward concedes in his article:
"Historians note that this grim accounting is not how the success or failure of warfare is measured, and that the reasons for conflict are broader than what served as the spark.

The body count from World War II was far higher for Allied troops than for the crushed Axis. Americans lost more men in each of a succession of Pacific battles than the 2,390 people who died at Pearl Harbor in the attack that made the U.S. declare war on Japan. The U.S. lost 405,399 in the theaters of World War II."
Having admitted in his own article that his preoccupation with body counts is meaningless, Woodward nonetheless presses on:
"Despite a death toll that pales next to that of the great wars, one casualty milestone after another has been observed and reflected upon this time, especially in Iraq.

There was the benchmark of seeing more U.S. troops die in the occupation than in the swift and successful invasion. And the benchmarks of 1,000 dead, 2,000, 2,500.

Now this."
What would the Pulitzer Prize winning war correspondent Ernie Pyle have thought about Mr. Woodward's story? In the summer of 1943, when he returned to the United States for some R&R after 15 months covering the fighting in World War II, he explained that fatigue had begun to affect his journalism. He wrote:
"I was fed up, and bogged down. Of course you say other people are too, and they keep going on. But if your job is to write about the war, you're very apt to begin writing unconscious distortions and unwarranted pessimisms when you get too tired.

"I had come to despise and be revolted by war clear out of any logical proportion. I couldn't find the Four Freedoms among the dead men. Personal weariness became a forest that shut off my view of events about me. I was no longer seeing the little things that you at home want to know about the soldiers.

"When we fought through Sicily, it was to many of us like seeing the same movie for the fourth time. Battles differ from one another only in their physical environment - the emotions of fear and exhaustion and exaltation and hatred are about the same in all of them. Through repetition, I had worn clear down to the nub my ability to weight and describe. You can't do a painting when your oils have turned to water.

"There is, in the months and years ahead, still a lot of war to be written about. So I decided, all of a sudden one day in Sicily, that you who read and I who write would both benefit in the long run if I came home to refreshen my sagging brain and drooping frame. To put it bluntly, I just got too tired in the head. So here I am."
Of course, Pyle returned to the war, eventually meeting his death on April 18, 1945, on Ie Shima, at the hands of a Japanese machine gunner. Journalists were different then. In our day the press specializes in "writing unconscious distortions and unwarranted pessimism." It is considered a journalistic virtue, not a sign of combat fatigue.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

As one who read Pyle as a teen, he brought our war to everyone's living room and made the war come alive and ours -unlike the MSM body counting and tsk tsking since Viet Nam.

Notice this Pyle quote from above it says it all -

"When we fought..."

We? Today's reporters won't divulge enemy traps to our troops and our "blow dry" talking heads won't wear an American flag.

Who needs Tokyo Rose when we have a living room full of them every evening?

Great post Hedgehog 

Posted by DL

Saturday, September 23, 2006 3:23:00 AM  
Blogger Aitch748 said...

Wow, 3000 civilians died in ONE DAY in 2001, and it only took FIVE YEARS for the number of war dead in TWO COUNTRIES to reach double that number. Boy, John Kerry's right, we're just getting our asses handed to us and need to turn tail and run away screaming for our lives. After all, we can just make the terrorists stop bothering us by declaring the War on Terror over and standing down, right? [/sarcasm] 

Posted by Aitch748

Saturday, September 23, 2006 7:12:00 PM  

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