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Tuesday, December 13, 2005


Townhall.com :: Columns :: The media's war by Thomas Sowell
The media seem to have come up with a formula that would make any war in history unwinnable and unbearable: They simply emphasize the enemy's victories and our losses.

Losses suffered by the enemy are not news, no matter how large, how persistent, or how clearly they indicate the enemy's declining strength.

What are the enemy's victories in Iraq? The killing of Americans and the killing of Iraqi civilians. Both are big news in the mainstream media, day in and day out, around the clock.

Has anyone ever believed that any war could be fought without deaths on both sides? Every death is a tragedy to the individual killed and to his loved ones. But is there anything about American casualty rates in Iraq that makes them more severe than casualty rates in any other war we have fought?

On the contrary, the American deaths in Iraqi are a fraction of what they have been in other wars in our history. The media have made a big production about the cumulative fatalities in Iraq, hyping the thousandth death with multiple full-page features in the New York Times and comparable coverage on TV.
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Our troops can kill ten times as many of the enemy as they kill and it just isn't news worth featuring, if it is mentioned at all, in much of the media. No matter how many towns are wrested from the control of the terrorists by American or Iraqi troops, it just isn't front-page news like the casualty reports or even the doom-saying of some politicians.

The fact that these doom-saying politicians have been proved wrong, again and again, does not keep their latest outcries from overshadowing the hard-won victories of American troops on the ground in Iraq.

The doom-sayers claimed that terrorist attacks would make it impossible to hold the elections last January because so many Iraqis would be afraid to go vote. The doom-sayers urged that the elections be postponed.

But a higher percentage of Iraqis voted in that election -- and in a subsequent election -- than the percentage of Americans who voted in last year's Presidential elections.
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There has never been the slightest doubt that we would begin pulling troops out of Iraq when it was feasible. Only time and circumstances can tell when that will be. And only irresponsible politicians and the media think otherwise.

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