Friday, June 16, 2006

It Doesn’t Have to be Grim to be a Milestone!

Here we go again! Another milestone:

WASHINGTON - American deaths since the invasion of Iraq have reached 2,500, marking a grim milestone in the wake of recent events that President Bush hopes will reverse the war's unpopularity at home.

The latest death was announced as Congress was launching a symbolic election-year debate over the war, with Republicans rallying against calls by some Democrats to set a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops.

The Pentagon provided no details on the nature of the 2,500th death. Nevertheless, reaching the new marker underscored the continuing violence in Iraq just after an upbeat Bush returned from a surprise visit to Baghdad determined that the tide was beginning to turn.

It seems these “grim” milestones aren’t occurring frequently enough to suit the media. If memory serves, the “marker” used to be 1,000. I suppose the wait for 3,000 was too excruciating for the media to bear, so I guess 500 is now the new 1,000.

Despite the doom and gloom rhetoric and the defeatist attitude expressed in the excerpt above, this “grim” milestone actually says more about our success than it does our failure.

The 2,500 figure is astounding not because it is so high, but because it is so incredibly low. When this figure is actually compared to historical data of similar length conflicts, the most obvious conclusion should be how well and how safely it has been executed. While every death is indeed tragic, the facts show this as being one of our finest achievements, not one of our biggest failures.

It’s a shame the media refuses to note the historical comparisons and fails to acknowledge the damage their slanted coverage of this war has caused. By choosing to ignore or under report the numerous success stories, they have actually given encouragement to our enemies and have, in all likelihood, contributed to the death toll they so love to trumpet.

It is because of this mindset that they also miss other significant milestones such as this:

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan -- The Republic of Korea Medical Clinic located here will celebrate the benchmark of 200,000 Afghan National patients served since the clinic’s inception at a ceremony June 15, at 10:30 a.m.

The Korean Ambassador to Afghanistan, Young Bang Yoo, will deliver the keynote address for the ceremony.

In addition, Lt. Col. Joon Pil Moon, clinic commander; and Col. Kim Soon Ku, ROK Army Engineer commander, will be available for interviews following the event. Media are also invited to tour the facility following the ceremony.

The Korean Medical Clinic was established on November 2, 2002, and is currently in its ninth rotation in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The purpose of the clinic is to assist local Afghan civilians with basic medical treatment as well as minor and major surgical procedures.

News media interested in witnessing this historic event should arrive at the front gate of Bagram Airfield at 9:30 a.m. for escort onto the base.

[Emphasis mine]

I’d be curious to find out how many members of the media even bothered to show up at Bagram and document this milestone.

My guess is that seating was plentiful because reporting good news such as this does nothing to further their agenda and would only serve to prop up the good guys.

Update 6-17: Mike informed me the links were not working. They have been repaired now. Thanks, Mike!

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