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Sunday, January 07, 2007

Truth, as mangled by Nancy Pelosi and Al Franken

By Dennis Byrne

If we’re to have an intelligent and informed discussion about U.S. options in Iraq, House Speaker (D-Cal.) will need to speak more precise English.“There is complete chaos now,” she replied to CBS News correspondent Bob Schieffer on Sunday’s “Face the Nation” when he tried to ask if she were worried about what might happen to Iraq if U.S. troops started moving out in four to six months, as she wants.

The point here isn’t so much her redundancy—the definition of chaos is “complete disorder,” so “chaos” should suffice. It’s like newscasters who are in the habit of saying they are bringing you the “very latest” news when putting “very” in front of latest, doesn’t make it any more recent. It’s either the latest or not. My point is larger: the habit of war opponents to engage in such hyperbole, if not distortions.

Iraq is far from chaos. If Iraq were in chaos, there would be anarchy. No one would have electricity or water. There would be no government. No one would be safe. Everyone would be shooting at everyone else.

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1 comment:

Stephen Schade said...

Mr. Byrne:

The Johns Hopkins study was based on the same method -- household interviews -- that the FBI uses to construct its crime index. That is considered far more reliable than police records, since many crimes go unreported.

Yes, Franken's numbers may have been wrong. But the problem is that you fail to see the forest for the trees. The issue here is not body counts but that we never should have started this war in the first place. That the debate is not partisan is borne out by the increasing number of Republicans who oppose the war.

Many Iraqis do not have electricity or water for more than a few hours a day. Many also fear walking the streets because of the sectarian violence. I am sure they would call it "chaos."

No occupying power has ever won a guerrilla war. Let's get this mess over with quickly.