David Ignatius is thrilled, simply THRILLED that the troops are so brave and strong and happy, because that means the wars he loves can continue on, consequence free. In an Op-Ed he wrote yesterday, he claims that all this talk of our armed forces being stretched to the breaking point is a bunch of pansy bullshit:
“This picture of a traumatized military is misleading. Certainly, the Army and the other services are stressed by the demands of combat. But what’s striking to me this Veterans Day is how healthy the military is, given all the weight it has been carrying for the country these past eight years.”
Adm. Ignatius then supplies the reader with loads of empirical data to prove his point.
No, wait, he does the exact opposite.
Ignatius instead dons the Personal-Anecdotes-Are-All-The-Evidence-I-Need hat that they give out (along with the squirting flower) when you graduate Pundit college, and proceeds to assure his readers that all the troops are fine, because one time he saw some troops and no one was having a flashback that instant. Plus, they’re tuff:
“Facing a new and disorienting kind of warfare, the military has learned and adapted. Rather than complain about their problems, soldiers have figured out ways to solve them.”
Yeah, you wouldn’t want soldiers “complaining” about their “problems.” Much better to find your own solution. In fact, in 2008, 128 soldiers found a permanant solution to their problems, a record number of solution-finders for the second year in a row. Why, this year in Fort Hood alone, 10 soldiers solved all their problems, and since 2003, 75 personnel have thought outside the box and not complained–just solved shit once and for all.
Those who don’t kill themselves may have a lifetime of PTSD to look forward to. In 2008, the number of soldiers reported to be suffering from PTSD was up from 2003, and in 2009 the number of those suffering is estimated to be as high as 35%. But that can’t possibly be a sign of war taking its toll on human beings.
Also, reading Commander Ignatius’ piece leaves a reader with the impression that all the soldiers actually want to be deployed.
“You could only wonder at the spouses and children left home, the marriages gone bad, the personal courage of the men and women who had returned to the line of fire again and again.”
Two words, asshole: Stop-Loss. Though the abhorent practice of involuntarily extending troops’ deployment has decreased, the army still retains “9,600 soldiers past their resignation or retirement date,” according to the army’s website. At its height, over 50,000 troops were affected by stop-loss. That inconvenient fact doesn’t fit Ignatius the Warrior’s self-serving “everything is a-OK” narrative though, so it gets left out.
In fact, Ignatius is unable to marshal even a single piece of evidence to support his thesis, because all available data points to the exact opposite conclusion. That the Washington Postallows this idiotic, fact-free garbage to litter its pages given their so-called “editorial viewpoint” is not surprising, though it is disappointing.
Why any reader would believe a single sentence Ignatius wrote yesterday is beyond me. He literally could not be more demonstrably wrong about this issue if he tried to be. Because of that, expect to see him promoted to the New York Times any day now.