Friday, July 24, 2009

Military to stop reporting militant death tolls

The military in Afghanistan has been told to stop the reporting of the number of militants killed in attacks. The reason is to avoid a constant scorecard, as well as maybe pumping up body counts to get support. Somehow this is going to make the Afghan citizens more safer. Maybe because giving death counts is like bragging, making the enemy retaliate more.

We think this is a good idea. But we want to go a step further. We wish all news media outlets would refrain from posting body counts of American soldiers. It makes no sense to post cold numbers. Somehow by posting numbers, they wish to embarrass the military and make people support them less. Political and military decisions are not best left to the news media. They are actually not best left to polls and popularity. Military decisions need to be made my chosen military leaders in conjunction with the president. Period.

If we can make accommodations for the Afghan people, why can't we make the same decision for our military families at home? We have always felt that numbers serve political passions, not logic. If a military family wants to give details, let them. But give them the choice. We now allow news media to take pictures of flag drape coffins without any questions. Horrible and tragic. Our men and women in uniform should be given the utmost respect, especially in death. The death's of our brave men and women who are fighting to keep us free and safe should NOT be used for political gain.

We also believe the flip side is true. We should not brag about kills. Except in rare cases when a high profile terrorist is killed. Like Osama Bin Laden's son. That is a success. But the reporting of deaths on boths sides just to pump up numbers has no place.

We also wish that all news media outlets would refrain from showing our soldier being held. Nobody should air his staged comments, nor make him a political football. Supoort the military. Period. If you want to do political things, leave military personnel and deaths out of it.

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