Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Murdering 26 people is 'no reason to punish'

The AP reports here that the US military admits that not all rules were followed during combat operations and this resulted in the deaths of 26 Afghan civilians last month. 78 Taliban fighters were killed in the process, they claim. Even giving the military the benefit of the doubt - that they are not exaggerating the number of killed who were Taliban and minimizing the number who were civilians - the ratio of collateral damage is 25%... one in four people killed by the military last month were civilian. That is nothing short of carnage.

Do you think killing those 26 civilians in order to kill the other 78 Taliban fighters got us any closer to capturing OBL? Would you be as indifferent if there had been 26 civilian American casualties? Why should you care less if 26 human beings are murdered in Kandahar than if 26 human beings are murdered in Podunk, USA? Odds are, you are no more closely related to any given American than you are to any given Afghan. But the US commander says there is "no reason to punish" any US personnel. This is a self-serving comment since if punishment were dealt out to those who deserve it, it would be the war-mongers in Washington who architected these invasions and their top brass lackeys in the military who executed it.

From the article, "Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said the accidental killing of civilians in Afghanistan has become one of the military's greatest strategic problems in the faltering war." Sound familiar? Vietnam, anyone?

We need to stop this march towards a new American colonialism. We can't afford it and it's wrong to financially exploit and militarily subjugate the peoples of the various nations under de facto American occupation. We have no more business being in Afghanistan than we have being in Iraq. And now the media warmongers are beating the drums ever more loudly to confront Iran. This time, I'm afraid the Israelis are going to strike.

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