Friday, September 4, 2009

#153 Collateral Damage Abounding

And it spreads beyond the battlefield. Barely had the cybernetic ink on my last post dried, than sure enough the ugly Americans had once again uglied the landscape with civilian blood--and this time all across the news-scape of the world. Unlike the sad case of the Taliban wife, this event got some major headlines, but, like the former, it too is an event that is hot-wired with the same kind of moral ambiguity that threatens to detonate the brain. Here's a conflated version from various news services today:

SCORES DIE IN AIR-STRIKE ON HIJACKED AFGHAN OIL-TANKERS; Dozens of Civilians Among Dead as NATO Hits Taliban-seized Trucks.

Remember that shameful statistic: we kill twice as many civilians as they do. If our ground troops don't get 'em, we'll blow 'em up real good from the sky. As a result of the air-strike, local officials estimated a total of nearly 100 dead, half of them non-combatants who were receiving fuel distributed by the militant hijackers at a river-crossing near the village of Omar Khei in Kunduz province ... if you'd like to consult your maps. We thus murdered innocent petroleum-products too. Ironically, that's all we're really there for in the first place. Double indemnity.

But, as in the assassination of Baitullah Mehsud, that specious "body-count" mentality--shades of Vietnam-- again takes over. The Governor of the province was pleased that a "large number" of insurgents were killed, including another Mehsud-type commander who controlled several districts in the area, along with several other senior Taliban and four Chechen fighters. He continues with these all-too familiar words:

Abudur Rahman was a very dangerous man. I hope the death of Abudur Rahman will have a positive effect on Kunduz city.

Sure it will, after we just killed and martyred dozens of their fellow-citizens along with him. Fellow-citizens, I might add, who were peaceably assembled, they thought, in order to fill up their tanks with fuel that's rightfully theirs anyway. And, as to knocking-off those "dangerous" people--Yep, our job is done. Might as well pack up and go home. Surely there's nobody to take their place. Just ask your friendly neighborhood dope-dealer.

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