Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Bush's War Metric

With nearly seven years of experience behind us, we know how the Bush Administration works.

Step 1: Decide what conclusion to support.

Step 2: Invent a metric or an interpretation of evidence that supports the conclusion selected in Step 1.

In Iraq, it appears that the Bush Administration has appointed a group of soldiers to spend their days building Republican Propaganda, giving each Iraqi death the spin that they need in order to count their strategy a 'success'.

In What defines a killing in Iraq as Sectarian?, MSNBC describes a team of military personnel who have been given a set of criteria for classifying deaths that, hopefully, will yield data that that be interpreted in ways useful to the administration.

Before the war, in the famous Downing Street Memo, the Bush Administration was quoted as saying that war is inevitable, and that the intelligence is being fixed to the policy. They are still fixing the data to the policy - selecting only that data that yields the conclusions that they like, and ignoring the rest.

Does it really matter how your neighbors are dying, whether it is a shot to the head or a shot to the body? They are just as dead. And you are just as likely to end up like them.

We really need an administration that has a respect for independent, peer-reviewed processes for collecting and analyzing data so that it can have an honest assessment of what is going on, and make an honest adjustment in policy that is tied to reality - rather than attempting to distort reality to fit a desired policy.

1 comment:

Hume's Ghost said...

"the Bush Administration was quoted as saying"

I think it would be more accurate to say "Richard Dearlove was quoted as saying the Bush administration saw war as inevitable ..."

I know what you meant but if the Downing Memo quoted the Bush administration directly it would be even more damning than it already is.