Thursday, June 15, 2006

"Another grim milestone is reached"

That is what the media says every time an certain number of dead American soldiers is reached; that number usually being some factor of 500 or 1,000. Today, our new number is 2,500. I remember when we reached 2,000, the unlucky soldier who died to reach that number was profiled by the media, and thoroughly obsessed over. This is not to say that the soldier should not be profiled, but what made him any more special than dead soldier #1,999 or 2,001, other than some arbitrary number?

I can't help but wonder, during World War II, did the press keep a daily and diligent count of our dead? I also wonder how our media of today would handle the casualties we suffered during World War II? (408,000 dead and about 700,000 wounded).

I should have linked to it, but I saw a great letter to the editor in the Sacramento Bee right around the anniversary of D-Day. The letter writer gave some possible D-Day/WWII headlines if today's press had been around back then. They were to the tune of:

15,000 French civilians killed in Allied invasion

Scores of U.S. paratroopers drown in invasion misdrops; Eisenhower to be investigated

2,000 U.S. troops killed in one day in Normandy; is the war a lost cause for the Allies?

Operation Market-Garden fails; is the war a lost cause for the Allies?

Huge German counter-offensive in the Ardennes; is the war a lost cause for the Allies?

One month of fighting and the Marines have yet to take Iwo Jima; is it a quagmire?

7,000 Marines killed in only one month on Iwo Jima; Admiral Nimitz to be investigated; is the war a lost cause for the Allies?

To steal a phrase from Spiro Agnew, I have never seen such a bunch of nattering nabobs of negativism than when I watch typical news coverage of the war in Iraq.

Good Day to You, Sir

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