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The Bias of Reality

Ever since the New York Times published an op-ed by Micheal O'Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack, there has been much debate about their assessment that he surge is working. Much of the criticism has centered around their claim that they've always been "critics" of the war and the surge. Of course a close reading of their record will show these claims to be utter bunk, but still it was this supposedly counterintuitive claim which no doubt attributed to the op-ed garnering so much attention.

Kevin Drum was one of the few who decided that it might be best to base his opinions on more concrete evidence besides the subjective claims made in the op-ed. So he has been reading through the Brookings Report (pdf) which the duo based their NYT piece on. His take away is not surprising: O'Hanlon and Pollack's argument has some very wobbly legs holding it up.

O'Hanlon took the pages of the Washington Post yesterday to sort of refute the claim he is pulling data out of is posterior but few found his claims anymore persuasive than last time.

While it was not specifically mentioned in his new screed, O'Hanlon has long contended that troop morale remains high. But the LA Times reports that many soldiers, worn down by longer and multiple deployments, are more apt to let their frustration show publicly.
"I don't see any progress. Just us getting killed," said Spc. Yvenson Tertulien, one of those in the dining hall in Yousifiya, 10 miles south of Baghdad, as Bush's speech aired last month. "I don't want to be here anymore."

Something else O'Hanlon has put forth as proof the surge is working is the decrease in deaths attributed to sectarian violence. But again, when one crunches the numbers, as the AP did, one finds the death toll nearly double what it was this time last year.

With all this contradictory data pointing to the surge having so little effect, one wonders the lengths the Pentagon's new propaganda office war room information hub will go to in order to portray the opposite.

(Filed at State of the Day and All Spin Zone)

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