Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Still Making Terrorists

(Posting will be a little light, as I'm on the road for a month.)

KABUL, Afghanistan — American troops raked a large passenger bus with gunfire near Kandahar on Monday morning, killing and wounding civilians, and igniting angry anti-American demonstrations in a city where winning over Afghan support is pivotal to the war effort.
This really shouldn't be too surprising, I suppose. Innocent people get killed all the time during war. There's no using in wondering why these troops wouldn't bother to try something else before just opening fire. You can't arm a bunch of 20 year olds with automatic weapons, give them a license to kill, and then profess surprise when they do it. And it's not the first time it's happened, either.

General McChrystal has sought to emphasize to troops how such cases undermine Afghan support. But he has also stressed his sympathy for troops who have to make critical decisions in an instant.
“We really ask a lot of our young service people out on checkpoints because there’s danger, they’re asked to make very rapid decisions in often very unclear situations,” he told troops in a video conference last month.
“However, to my knowledge, in the nine-plus months I’ve been here, not a single case where we have engaged in an escalation of force incident and hurt someone has it turned out that the vehicle had a suicide bomb or weapons in it and, in many cases, had families in it.”

Please remind me once again what our goal in Afghanistan actually is. If we're there to wipe out Al Qaeda, well they aren't there anymore. They moved over to Yemen, and if we invade Yemen they'll just go somewhere else. 

So what are we doing? Saving the Afghan people from the Taliban? They are the Taliban, and the more we terrorize the population by doing unavoidable things like opening fire on buses, the better the Taliban looks. 

Here's what we are actually accomplishing in Afghanistan (and Iraq, and Yemen, and Somalia.) We are creating thousands of angry people, who become suicidal with grief and rage. After that, it's just a matter of Al Qaeda operatives strapping the bombs onto them and pointing them in the direction of Americans, or anyone else who looks like an easy target. Listen to the father of two men who, along with their pregnant wives, were murdered in cold blood by US Special forces, who woke them in the middle of the night and shot them on the basis of some rumor from someone who didn't like them:
The father of the two brothers who were killed in the raid adds, "My heart is burning. I will take revenge, no matter what happens to me."
"I have lost patience. I am obliged to revenge my martyrs," he told an ABC News cameraman on March 18. "I will destroy everything I have and will launch my own suicide attack. My heart is burning."
When the Special Forces entered that home, there was one big family and no terrorists. When they left, the family was murdered, and there was a terrorist left behind.

This may not be our mission, but we are accomplishing it nonetheless.

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