Sunday, August 31, 2008

Rolling Thunder and Precision Strikes

I've been keeping tabs on the latest use of American air power in the rarely mentioned Global War on Terrorism where we bombed an Afghan village that allegedly held many militants. Allegedly we killed as many as 90 innocent civilians as well. What strikes me is our administration's position, consistently held in other incidents, where at first we claim no civilians were killed and then we claim there were far fewer than everybody else says. Granted we sent troops to check the strike zone the next day so the conflicting reports will have to be investigated. Still, in this case we claim only five innocents. (I'm absolutely positive the Christians of our nation who work diligently for the Right to Life are up in arms about the innocents we kill in other countries. Okay, maybe not.) Our reliance on precision guided munitions does nothing to further our administration's cause. Sure we can pinpoint exactly where the bomb is going to hit but we can specify who it's going to kill. And we're talking about bombs large enough to destroy the place it hits as well as neighboring houses because you can't specify how large the explosion will be. This has happened many times in Afghanistan and Iraq and it's a huge sore point for everyone except our administration. Claiming there were fewer innocents killed is hardly a great selling point for us. Can we justify the death of five innocents? If so, why not 20? Twenty thousand? Can we draw the line anywhere except zero? Hence the folly of using military force to win the hearts and minds of people.

When we hear about these incidents how many of us do no more than our best Seinfeld, "Yeah, that's a shame"?

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