Monday, June 18, 2007

More Children Killed by a US Airstrike in Aghanistan

If there's one phrase that should immediately be removed from the military vernacular when it comes to describing dead civilians in a war zone, it is the completely depersonalizing term "collateral damage". Hit an empty building by mistake? Fine. That's "collateral damage". Kill innocent civilians? Sorry. You don't get to diminish their lives by referring to them as "collateral" or "damage". And, to add further insult to fatal injuries, you don't get to pay off the families with a measly few thousand dollars and walk away with a clear conscience - if you even had one to begin with.

For too long now, the use of military bombings by the US forces in Afghanistan have cost so many lives that one wonders if they've ever heard of the cliche "insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results." Insanity seems to be the modus operandi of the US military strategy in Afghanistan. Just how many civilians will they kill before they figure out that their tactics are failing?

The lastest headline reads: 7 Children Killed in Airstrike in Afghanistan, but read the fine print:

More than 130 civilians have been killed in airstrikes and shootings in the past six months, according to Afghan authorities.

That toll may soon inflate dismally. Afghan officials said late Monday that more than 50 civilians may have died during fierce fighting over the past three days between NATO forces and the Taliban in the Chora district of the southern province of Uruzgan.

That's NATO - the coalition our Canadian forces are a part of. While Peter Mackay was busy throwing out the same worn out talking points in parliament on Monday about how schools and hospitals are being built, I don't recall him mentioning one word about civilian deaths. Of course he wouldn't and when and if this government does, it comes in the form of an appropriately quiet and sheepish statement of "regret" which is always followed by a "but" to explain just how our presence in Afghanistan is supposedly doing wonders. It's a completely unbalanced lie.

I'd like to see Mackay sit face to face with this man and try to spout off his happy stories, just to see what would happen:

“I have seen with my own eyes that women and children were badly hit by bombing,” said Mullah Ahmidullah Khan, head of Uruzgan’s provincial council. “The fighting is inside the villages, so that’s why the civilians are suffering casualties. I have met some families who have lost almost everyone.”

The US military meanwhile just blames al Qaeda for the children it killed.

Here's the deal people: if you're not 100% sure that there aren't any children or other civilians in your sights, you don't shoot and you sure as hell don't drop a bomb. According to the US spokesperson, they netted 7 "militants" in that air raid that killed those 7 children. Was the trade off worth it guys? You apparently seem to think so or you'd stop this madness. And if your government didn't send you enough damn troops to fight this war on the ground face to face, instead of from airplanes which you prefer to do now, maybe you should be talking to your bosses about that. Not that they fucking care. That's been obvious since the beginning of this so-called war.

So, you keep doing exactly what you're doing: creating generations of enemies while you're at it -- because that's all the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are accomplishing: dead and maimed people and new enemies. And, in case you haven't figured out what that means yet, let me spell it out for you: you're losing the "war on terror". You are terror.

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