Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Nature Magazine Bias Watch

A sentence in a news feature about developing more environmentally friendly munitions caught my eye as I was thumbing though the Feb. 12, 2004 issue of Nature.

Collateral Damage by John Giles.

Even munitions that are never used in anger can have a long-term impact on the environment, and the military is anxious to minimize the risks.

Now, I'm all for reducing the environmental impact of military munitions, but what exactly does the intent of the person using the munition have to do with anything? And plus, wars nowadays are not fought because Joe Schmoe is ticked off at some rude neighbor down the street. I mean, what is up with that? Are the coalition forces in Iraq shooting at Al-Qaeda and Fedayeen operatives because they are mad at them? Or could it be because they don't want to be killed, they don't want their buddies to be killed, they don't want nearby Iraqi civilians to be killed, and they don't want Iraq to be destabilized and thus cause a whole lot of civilian deaths in a civil war?

I'm not saying that soldiers never get personal because they have feelings too, and I'm sure I'd be angry if someone had shot my buddy. However, our soldiers (and I'm sure other coalition soldiers) are well trained and disciplined so that they do their jobs efficiently and effectively. The author, a writer from London, just effectively insulted his own military and the militaries of the British allies. A simple word change would have solved this issue and would not have made Nature's anti-war bias show through so clearly. All Mr. Giles has to do was substitute "combat" for "anger" and the sentence would have made perfect sense.

Even munitions that are never used in combat can have a long-term impact on the environment....

Gee whiz, show a little professionalism. Please!

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