There’s an email forward that’s been circulating since at least 2003 that lists loads of statistical data about various accomplishments in Iraq now that Coalition forces have been present. I doubted that I could find verifications for all of the individual stats listed, and Snopes doesn’t bother to go that far either. One post I found links the Department of Defense as a reference point, being that they, “are verifiable on the Department of Defense web site,” but by clicking the link you’re only sent to the main front page to look them all up seperately by yourself.
CommonDreams.org notes, “The stuff is written simply and factually, but in that bullying tone of self-evidence that omits the relevance of evidence — context, proof, explanation, perspective.”
What I’ve found overall is that, while these stats generally speak toward the goodness of things that have occurred there, the media generally does not report these kinds of things so openly because they would have to verify each individual figure — but Betty and Barney J. Hillbilly don’t bother with actually looking something up (ya dern tootin’!) so they feel free to just send out anything that sounds smart and resembles positive thinking. While many of them certainly could be true, actually visiting the locations of each one to verify that a school is actually running is nothing short of wholly implausible — considering what Americans think of a school is not the same thing as a school in Iraq, and may consist of only a handful of students taught by one teacher in a single-room, tin-and-wood structure that to Americans might suspect more resembled a tool shed.
The media is generally after (despite your views on its liberality, etc) the truth as far as, information that can be personally verified. Credible sources generally do not pass along information in the form of, “Well Frankie Sue from two houses past the water tower said that our troops have set up twelve thousand triage tents. I dunno what them is, but it sure sounds swell, gee willikers,” that these emails more often tend to convey, perhaps inadvertently.
A legitimate argument in favor of these details would include precisely what source each fact came from. Instead, we’ve essentially been handed a list of genus species notations and suggested that we could just go ask a biology teacher to verify whether those organisms actually do exist or not — but in this case aren’t even told which teacher to ask as if, heavens forbid, we actually go checking out the story and not taking your word for it because you’re my grandpa or my cow-orker [sp] from the next cubicle over who keeps putting salt in the sugar tin.