Tuesday, July 24, 2007

deteriorating

A short AP dispatch recently referred to "the deteriorating security situation in Iraq". According to Jack Kelly in the Washington Times(*), the reporter probably put it that way without thinking much about it. But he's wrong: the situation  may be "bad" or "grim" etc., but it's hardly getting worse, Kelly says, referring to al-Anbar.

It's interesting that words like "bad" or "grim" are not sufficient for people, but they have to say it's "deteriorating". Of course, it may be true that the situation in Iraq is hopeless, given the current state of public opinion in the US, but to say that would be to admit a whole set of more complex emotions.

Mind you, he did say two years ago that Iraq was "turning the corner" ('Some people can't accept the truth even when it's handed to them'). But in his recent piece, purely on this semantic point, he's right. 

* Via C-span / BBC Parliament, 22 Jul

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