As the conventional wisdom of the New York Times and the rest of the US media elite tends to filter its way down into the minds of nearly every Torontonian, so that most everyone in these parts sounds like a cliche-spouting zombie on just about every major issue, I thought I’d blog about the Times’ front-page-above-the-fold story on Sunday, January 13, 2008, in which they propagate the “post-traumatic psycho” myth of the murderous returning American soldier.
Citing the figure of 121 murders committed by returning Iraq War veterans, the Times sends a clear message: now that it looks like the surge is working, and that Abu Ghraib was a one-off crime, and that no one cared that Saddam’s hanging made it to YouTube, we have to find some way to discredit the effort, and this is it – the army of decommissioned loose cannons roaming our streets, ready to unload an AK-47 on your arse next time you step into the 7-11.
And yet, they’ve once again stuck their collective foot in their mouth. As Ralph Peters of the New York Post points out in his column today, the 121 murders actually represents, statistically, just ONE-FIFTH THE MURDER RATE OF 18-34 YEAR OLDS IN AMERICA! Not only that, but check out this statistical wonder:
Know what else you’ll learn? In 2005 alone, 8,718 young Americans from the same age group were murdered in this country. That’s well over twice as many as the number of troops killed in all our foreign missions since 2001. Maybe military service not only prevents you from committing crimes, but also keeps you alive?
If you believe that returning troops are ticking time-bombs ready to go off, part of a generation destroyed by an unjust war…you’re simply believing what you want to believe to feed your anti-American bias. The numbers don’t lie.
Yet more evidence that today’s American military is the most moral, upstanding – and powerful – fighting force in the history of man.
UPDATE 01/16/2008 – Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto dissects the Times’ smear from a similar angle in this OpinionJournal video.