Caught on CNN, Tuesday while exercising at the gym:
A serious discussion of the problem of increasing suicides of young soldiers in the Army. Appropriately somber mien of the anchorwoman. Of course, this is yet another attempt by the liberal media to undermine our resolve in Iraq and in Afghanistan. Having failed in every other ways, liberals want to make inescapable that idea that what we are asking our military to do in war is so atrocious that many would rather kill themselves. The Army’s honest attempt to investigate and to improve the situation is shamelessly exploited by he same liberal media. The Army talking heads are allowing this to happen because many at the highest levels of the military have become politically correct (I was going to say chickified) or too afraid of what they think is public opinion.
As always, I pay attention to what the story does not cover.
1 Is the rate of suicide for soldiers higher than it is for similarly situated civilians?
2 Is the rate of suicides among marines higher, lower than, or more or less equal to the Army rate of suicide?
If the answer to Question # 1 is “No,” we don’t have a problem related to military life. In that case, no one should use suicides, even semi-consciously, to decide upon the desirability of our military presence in Afghanistan, or in Iraq.
If the answer to Question 2 is that the suicide rate among Marines is lower than or equal to that of Army personnel, then, a combat stress explanation is probably not valid. The reason for this is that Marines are considerably more likely than soldiers to be exposed to combat and for longer periods. Hence if the combat explanation were correct, Marines’ suicide rate should be higher than soldiers’. I say, “probably not valid” because such numbers still keep open the possibility that soldiers commit suicide because of combat exposure while Marines commit suicide for other reasons. This is unlikely but possible and worthy of finer research which could be done if anyone were interested.
So, a powerful and rich news organization such as CNN omits presenting relevant data that are easy to find, at least, for CNN. I know anchorwomen and anchormen are mostly dingbats. I don’t expect them to think this logically and this deeply! However, I want to believe that someone in the editorial room has had some experience with simple logic. If there is no one of that description then, CNN richly deserves its rolling demise. If there is, he or she is a thoroughly vile, dishonest person. Surprise!
Watch the liberal media and catch them in flagrante of bad faith by omission. It’s fun and it’s good exercise for the brain.