Friday, March 17, 2006

"The biggest air assault operation

since the war began."

That makes it sound like something BIG. When in fact, technically, while it is the largest simply because it has the highest number of helicopters used to transport the troops into the area of operation, it isn't really as significant as all that hype makes it sound like.

This is a perfect example of a situation where a reporter has absolutely no knowledge of military can hyperbolize something and make it seem bigger than it really is.

U.S. and Iraqi Military Push Forward with Offensive
U.S. Military Continues Sweep for Insurgent Bases in Iraq
U.S., Iraqi Troops Continue Their Sweep
US presses assaults on guerrillas
Iraqi Security Forces, Coalition launch Operation Swarmer

There were only 1,500 US troops involved and now that it's been running for a day or two, they're scaling back to 900 troops. And there are a bunch of Iraqi troops involved. And there were only 50 helicopters involved and there were no big airstrikes by ground attack aircraft or air-to-ground fire from the helicopters.

So the actual facts of the situation show something different entirely (just like the $600 toilet seat of the mid 1980s). Consider this when reading or listening to media coverage of the war. (i.e. they've got no fscking clue what they're talking about most of the time)

Well, to be fair I took a look at Google News so I could see what the media were reporting and almost universally they said "US Military sources reported the biggest ..." which seems to indicate that the actual term misapplied was used by someone in the Army PR system. Digging around the Army site to see who it was that has no clue I found no byline, very odd in the journalistic community if I understand things correctly. So the Doofus Journalist is actually an Army doofus journalist (or one of those embedded reporters).


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