Sunday, December 19, 2004

A Tale of Two Articles

In the December 16th Christian Science Monitor, Brad Knickerbocker writes about "The pattern of discontent in US ranks". The article discusses "what appears to be growing resistance from the troops" regarding the campaign in Iraq. Among the evidence Knickerbocker cites is "numbers of deserters (reportedly in the thousands)".

On the very next day, UPI published an article by Pamela Hess on the same topic. The one difference being that she actually bothered to do some research before coming to her conclusions. She found that:

The number of annual military desertions is down to the lowest level since before 2001, according to the Pentagon.

The Army said the number of new deserters in 2004 -- 2,376 -- was just half the number of those who deserted prior to Sept. 11, 2001. That number was 4,597.

The numbers of deserters has dropped annually since the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington. The fiscal year 2004 total number of Army deserters is the lowest since before 1998, according to Army data.

According to Hess's article, the Marines reported 1,297 desertions in Fiscal Year 2004, a slight increase from 2003 but much less than the 1,603 recorded in FY 2001. In other words, the rate of desertion in the two armed services bearing the brunt of operations in Iraq is substantially lower now than it was prior to 9/11. Yet according to Knickerbocker, the number of desertions is evidence of "growing resistance from the troops".

No, there's no such thing as media bias.

(Links courtesy of Stranded On Blue Islands)


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