Sunday, May 01, 2005

Hyman Contradicts Facts, Military, and Common Sense

It’s bad enough when Mark Hyman misinterprets the facts to suit his political agenda. It’s even worse when he simply makes them up.

In his
recent commentary on a “breakthrough” in Iraq, Hyman claims that there are hopeful signs that the insurgency is waning. By itself, that’s a rather overly optimistic interpretation of events on the ground in Iraq.

But to bolster his argument, Hyman says “Violence directed against Iraqis and coalition forces by insurgents has fallen off dramatically since the free elections in January.”

That is simply a lie. While U.S. fatalities have been down since the January elections, this trend has been accompanied by a
surge in fatalities among Iraqi security forces and civilians.

According to, Iraqi civilian fatalities jumped from 240 in March to 302 in April. Iraqi security force casualties were 109 in January and 103 in February, but jumped to 200 in April and 199 in May.

Even the numbers on U.S. casualties are misleading. The drop in numbers of Americans killed in action looks good when compared to the spikes in casualties in November of last year and in the days following the elections in January.
Seen in the context of the entire conflict, however, the current rate of American families losing loved ones in Iraq is nothing to be terribly cheery or hopeful about.

Members of the U.S.
military themselves acknowledge that there’s evidence that the insurgency is in fact increasing the sophistication of its attacks and that claims that the insurgency was eroding were premature and misplaced.

In fact, on April 25th, the same day on which Hyman’s commentary aired, the
Christian Science Monitor ran a story detailing a wide variety of reports that all suggest things will likely get worse in Iraq before they ever get better, even by the estimation of members of the military itself.

The drop in U.S. casualties is only good news if one looks at the situation with a severe case of myopia. Given that the latest rationale for unilateral invasion was to come to the aid of the Iraqis themselves, to tout a drop in American casualties as good news when this drop has come at the expense of more Iraqis losing their lives is a bit callous, to say the very least. To rely on a statistic as simplistic as a body count to measure success is to be both foolhardy and ignorant of the lessons learned in Vietnam.

It would be wonderful if the insurgency was on the verge of dying out, and there’s nothing I’d rather see Hyman be right about than this. But when it comes to issues touching the lives of the men and women we’ve sent around the world to do our bidding, as well as the lives of those we claim to want to help, we cannot afford to look at the situation with rosily-tinted glasses. We owe it to those we claim to care about to be realistic in our assessments, lest our decision-making do more harm than good.

And that’s The Counterpoint.


At 11:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hyman and his fellow neo-fascists couldn't care less about the truth. The truth doesn't fit in to the new reality that they are busily inventing and creating for the sheeple, who will take what he says as fact. Hyman is the lowest of the low, and he and his kind, Limbaugh, Boortz, Liddy, Hannity, Savage, O'Reily and all the rest, are doing more damage to our democracy from within, than any foreign enemy could ever do.

Thanks Ted, and keep on bustin' Hyman.

Mike B. in SC


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