Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Respect the Troops. Don't Spread False Information.

For several weeks now I've seen a Facebook post shared by various people about "31 Troops" lost in Afghanistan in the previous day and how they are forgotten and disrespected. With all due respect to the those who sacrifice on our behalf, it seems odd that 31 Troops keep dying every day or so with or without our respect. I never see any source cited for this information.

If I were serving, I would not be happy about false information about my fellow servicemen and women spread for some sort of agenda, even with well-intended patriotism or whatever. I'm not happy to see false information as a patriotic U.S. Citizen in the civil service with great respect for all who serve our country.

I can't personally vouch for it, but this site appears to be more accurate: http://icasualties.org/OEF/Index.aspx. It seems to match up fairly well with a Congressional Research Service Report current up to May 2012 found at http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/R41084.pdf. It also seems to complement the comprehensive information gathered by the Washington Post at: http://apps.washingtonpost.com/national/fallen/. Casualty lists have historically been difficult to keep accurate. Negligently spreading questionable information does not help at all -- especially when much more reliable information is so readily at hand.

If you haven't figured out already, I get really annoyed with false information deliberately or negligently spread through the internet. It's even more disturbing that this is by a lot of my friends - people I greatly respect for a lot of good in them. But we are all a mix of good and bad. It's important that we simply try to constantly improve. Emotionalism masquerading as patriotism is as bad as when it mimics true faith.

IMHO it's valid to have differences of opinion and belief. State your views and your reasons and you're free to influence others. It even works on me sometimes. However, you're not going to win me over with clearly false information. Honor our Troops with Honesty.

Addendum (later, same day)
Phil, below, is absolutely right. It's not at all difficult to do a quick Google search for "31 Troops killed in Afghanistan." To save you the typing, just click here and follow the results.


  1. Here's an excellent site:

    Problem with the 31 troops killed yesterday post is it's old by quite some time; in fact it's been almost a year when the same Navy Seal Team responsible for getting Bin Laden was among those killed when their Chinook Helicopter was shot down.

    I too am bothered by those who continue to try to paint themselves as patriotic by passing on this false information and for the fact they're too lazy to verify it before they do. It took all of five second to get the news story by typing in "31 troops killed in Afghanistan".

    Excellent post

  2. Thanks, Phil. You inspired an addendum above.

  3. This is true of SO many other things, as well.

    Mindless distribution of information without checking on its accuracy is the heart of so much unnecessary strife. With our own heritage of having to defend ourselves from this sort of garbage, you'd think Mormons would be last people to do unto others as has been done unto us.

    Unfortunately, the natural (wo)man is stronger than we tend to admit - and I know that's true of me in other areas, as hard as I try not to be guilty in this one.


Comments are welcome. Feel free to disagree as many do. You can even be passionate (in moderation). Comments that contain offensive language, too many caps, conspiracy theories, gratuitous Mormon bashing, personal attacks on others who comment, or commercial solicitations- I send to spam. This is a troll-free zone. Charity always!