The meaning of “degradation”

Old Blog Import

To recite from a Pentagon press release that an Iraqi division has been degraded by 70 percent” is an astounding abdication of journalistic responsibility. A journalist these days must not just report the facts, but also explain the news, give it color and significance. The graphic reality of degradation” is a large pile of dismembered bodies. Surely some picture or explanation of what the wiping out of an entire division with high explosives actually looks like is called for.

NY Review of Books