blogenlust
12.02.2004

Misleading Headline


Did someone say information wars? Here is the current headline on CNN's frontdoor:
Picture 1
While technically it is true that we are sending 1,500 troops to Iraq, the reality is that we are extending the stays of more than 10,000 other soldiers who are currently serving in Iraq but were scheduled to return to the States. This will raise the total number of troops to 150,000, which is 2,000 more than the size of the force we used to invade Iraq in March 2003. Although it is a semantic difference, the difference between the implications of each message is quite substantial. Highlighting that only 1,500 troops are going to Iraq, without also mentioning that 11,000 more are sticking around longer than expected is disingenuous because it is intended to depict a picture of Iraq that's contrary to reality. More to the point: the more troops we send over to Iraq the worse off the situation appears to be, and the less number of troops it appears we're sending to Iraq the less bad the situation looks. That being said, I don't think raising the troop levels is a bad thing. We really should have done this 10 months ago. Had we done it then, we might have been able to stabilize the country for the long term. The only thing 12,000 troops will do now is allow us to get to the elections without things getting much worse. Beyond that, god knows what will happen. update: Of course, they took the number out of the headline as soon as I finished writing the post.