Letters to the Editor

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IRAQ: Where’s context for all those statistics?

Letter by Michelle M. Ryder, Lake Tapps on Dec. 5, 2011 at 1:00 pm | 7 Comments »
December 5, 2011 2:23 pm

The Associated Press article about Camp Victory (TNT, 12-3) notes Saddam Hussein’s “convoluted” view of the world. I agree with that sentiment entirely, but in kind, I ask you to take note of the convoluted view your paper inadvertently promotes.

You print statistics with questionable sources (from the Brookings Institute that peddled the war and the Pentagon that fought the war), quote incomplete figures (the electricity statistic), and use curiously evasive language (why are only Iraqis displaced within Iraq called refugees, and not those who fled its borders?). Even worse, you printed these statistics without context.

I am disturbed that the shoddy reporting that got us into the ill-gotten Iraq war in the first place continues to this day. So let me make a suggestion: Don’t print volleys of statistics concerning real human beings without context.

Iraq, a nation we devastated though decades of U.S.-led sanctions, two U.S.-led invasions and nine years of occupation, deserves better.

Here’s some honest-to-goodness context for you: According to the reputable Mercer 2011 Quality of Living Survey, of more than 220 cities around the world,  Vienna is the best place to live, and Baghdad is the worst.

Yes, Baghdad – a place we liberated – is the worst place to live in the world.

Baghdad is still waiting. And so am I – for solid, contextualized, honest reporting on a nation we’ve utterly destroyed.

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