When I am not writing books and columns, I work as a media relations and political strategy specialist at Michael J. London & Associates a public relations, marketing and advertising agency in Trumbull, Connecticut.
Over the years we have worked for a variety of clients ranging from high technology firms to political candidates, on issues that can include development of fuel cells, or attorneys arguing death penalty cases.
We do our job and do it well, and pride ourselves on finding the best possible way to highlight our clients' assets.
I have noticed, however, that not every firm works that way. For instance, since my specialties are media relations and politics, I have noticed that when a candidate has taken a position that doesn't stand up to scrutiny, some PR folks will go to extremes to make the situation appear other that what it really is.
One example is when the raw numbers aren't remarkable enough to generate public response on an issue, some candidates will revert to using percentages to make it appear that something large is happening when it isn't. Or when even percentages won't work, they use one person, or one group to indicate that they represent a much larger segment of the populace when they don't.
For instance, say that last year two people were afflicted with a particular disease, and this year there were four. Someone wants to raise money for that cause, but rather than publicizing its devastating affects on a small segment of the population the news will say that this year there has been a 100 percent increase in people suffering, giving the false impression that an epidemic is soon to follow.
I was reminded of this when news came out of Iraq this week that the desertion rate in the US Army has increased a whopping 80 percent since the beginning of the war! In the second paragraph we find that the increase in the past year is half of that, or 42 percent, but still a rather large increase. Right?
Well, maybe. You see, 4,698 soldiers deserted this year, compared to 3,301 last year. The article didn't say if they were all in Iraq, or had been in Iraq, or going to Iraq, or if they were all in combat arms or rear echelon support troops.
Nonetheless, if there is an 80 percent increase in the desertion rate since 2003 that means that roughly 2600 soldiers deserted in the year before the war in Iraq. (I wonder why?)
But 4,700 deserters last year works out to less than one percent of the total of 507,000 people in the US Army as of April 2007. Holy Moly, stop the bleeding, get some bandages, apply direct pressure! Run in circles, scream and shout! How did we ever come to this low point?
More than 99 percent of America's soldiers are NOT deserting, but we run a major scare story on the less than one percent who are? Wow. Does this seem like propaganda to you too?
I wouldn't make such a big deal of this but the American Terrorist Media chose to interview and feature comments from a deserter who claimed that he wouldn't have deserted if it wasn't for the war in Iraq.
Quoting from CBS News, that bastion of impartial, pro-American, pro-military reporting, and the AP (ditto) I get the following:
"Sgt. Phil McDowell is one of those deserters. Now living in Canada, he had served one tour in Iraq and was getting out of the Army when Uncle Sam said "not so fast."
"The reason I was being called back was to go to another tour in Iraq, and I didn't agree with that," McDowell told CBS News national security correspondent David Martin.
McDowell could eventually be deported from Canada and court-martialed, but for him that beats going back to Iraq.
"If I had been asked to go to Afghanistan I would have gone there," he told Martin. "But the Iraq War I didn't want to have any part of that any more."
Apparently it is OK by this man's estimation to get shot at by terrorists in Afghanistan but not by their brethren in Iraq.
Excuse me while I stick my finger down my throat. What a crock!
Aside from media hacks who are interested only in propaganda, it has been written numerous times, here and many other places, that the primary reason we went into Iraq was because the late terrorist leader Abu Al Zarqawi, who had an unpleasant meeting with an American bomb in June 2006, fled to Iraq after getting wounded fighting against us in Afghanistan in 2002. Saddam Hussein gave him sanctuary while he recuperated in a Baghdad hospital run by Saddam's son.
When he was back on his feet, Al Zarqawi didn't return to Afghanistan, where the Taliban had been routed, but instead began establishing a new terrorist network in Iraq with Saddam Hussein's knowledge, consent and assistance!
All the WMD bull that was thrown around the United Nations was window dressing that had next to nothing to do with the real reason we went into Iraq. I also have pointed out that I, like many other Americans, was disappointed by some of the directions taken in the war after we defeated Saddam.
But that doesn't alter the fact that Al Zarqawi was reestablishing the terrorists' network in Iraq after our forces kicked the crap out of them in Afghanistan. So we went to Iraq and pre-empted efforts to establish the next launching pad for attacks on the west.
The War on Terror is the War on Terror and the job of our military is to kill terrorists wherever and whenever we find them. Enlistment contracts don't give individual members of the armed forces the right to say which war they will fight or where. Claiming that somehow there is an escape clause in an agreement to serve our country is not only a lie, it is a blatant attempt to undermine our military.
In addition to exposing the numbers and percentages there is another way to put this desertion issue into perspective. In WWII, The BIG ONE, the last valid war according to the leftist democrats and other communist collaborators, US Army Air Forces tasked with bombing Europe in 1944 were taking huge losses.
In a two month period in late winter, early spring 1944 nearly 1000 pilots and crews fled to neutral countries - in their bombers! That was just the Army Air Corps in one section of the European theater in two months!
Face it media! Desertion happens at all times in all branches of every country's armed forces and the numbers increase during war! This is no surprise and it certainly does not represent a flood of desertions.
Wouldn't it have been nice on Thanksgiving Day for the American Terrorist Media to do some stories about how successful our troops have been, how most of them are loyal and capable and don't run when the going gets tough? OK, maybe wishful thinking on my part.
But I'll tell you this. In WWII, The Big One, the media was well aware of the desertion rates, which were much higher than they are today, and they held the stories or downplayed them so as not to negatively affect troop morale for those who were engaged in some horrific battles.
So, if the media from back then knew that stories on deserters would have a negative affect on morale, we can safely deduce that today's media lackeys know it too. Then we have to ask ourselves just what the American Terrorist Media hopes to accomplish by running stories like that, and deliberately making the problem appear far worse than it is.
Seems like propaganda for the terrorists to me. Isn't that punishable under the Constitution? Remember, that part about treason and giving aid and comfort to our country's enemies?
I think it should at least warrant a review by the Justice Department.
Oh, one last thing. Analysts say the Army has the highest numbers of desertions while Marine and Navy desertions declined last fiscal year. Didn't see a headline on that little tidbit did you?
Do you think the soldiers are running off to join the Marines?
Thursday, November 22, 2007