Post-Dispatch Watch #4

One of today’s biased stories from the Post Dispatch by Ron Harris deals with the “casualties” of war. Of course our hearts go out to the men and women who fight to keep this country safe and free. We admire your service and sacrifice. We also realize that there are tragedies and residue from combat in any war. However, as usual the PD won’t give both sides to this story. First of all, although the PD wants their average reader to be against the war, troop support remains very high.

Sixty-three percent of respondents approve of the way President Bush is handling the war, and 60% remain convinced it is a war worth fighting. Support for the war is even greater among those who have served longest in the combat zone: Two-thirds of combat vets say the war is worth fighting. In addition, 87% say they’re satisfied with their jobs and, if given the choice today, only 25% say they’d leave the service.

And as far as how this conflict compares to bicycle accidents:

The New England Journal of Medicine puts Operation Iraqi Freedom into perspective:

It’s true. Despite the incredibly dangerous job our armed forces do for us everyday, which involves explosive devices and getting shot at, it’s truly a wonder that combat deaths in Iraq have taken until now to reach 1,000 in the just over 20.5 months since March 2003.

For comparison, some 700 bicyclists were killed in traffic accidents in the U.S. in 2002, according to the National Safety Council, which if that rate were continued for 20.5 months rather than 12, would total some 1,196 fatalities. If we heard a constant drumbeat of the cycling casualties on American roads in the news, we’d be calling upon Charles to get out of that “quagmire” as well.

It is the good work and courage of the armed forces that ennobles their sacrifice above those who merely get hit by a car, just as it ennobles the work done by the police and firefighters and EMS here at home, and we need to hear more of it in the mainscream media. We dare not be shown the context it seems, lest the deaths have some meaning beyond a human tragedy.

Combat fatalities in Iraq are the lowest of any war in U.S. history, mainly because of advanced protective armor and battlefield medicine. It’s also an indication of the relative professionalism of the combatants, when the terror gangs are violating all the laws and customs of war, and still can’t survive a stand-up fight.

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