Why is it that we Americans never seem to learn the lesson of history's teaching by repeating the same atrocities over and over again?
I have been against the war in Afghanistan since the day that Osama Bin Laden, the HERO of the Middle East, stole away through a great blockade of American troops and hasn't been seen since.
Still we continue to "pursue" him but not really. We are making a completely illegal war against a country that once harbored the man. Instead of allowing time for agents to slip into the Bin Laden network and kill or capture him, we are doing exactly what the Russians did before us and got their asses handed to them.
And in the process we are turning ordinary Alghanis into a growing network of terrorists. If another nation rained down smart bombs on us for harboring George W. Bush, we would soon hate the perpetrators. And that's what's happening in Afghanistan right now.
Then our top military officials say that civilian casualties in Marjah, Afghanistan are “inevitable” as U.S. and allied forces launch Operation Moshtarak, the largest military action since the U.S-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.
Thanks in part to conflicting messages from ISAF and in part due to some residents’ inability to flee, many civilians remain in Marjah, in the crossfire.
Statements from Brig. Gen. Nicholson, commander of the operation, indicate that he feels he has the right to make air strikes in the civilian area, and that he intends to use fast, furious attacks to try to overwhelm the Taliban. The problem: airstrikes in support of troops in contact are the leading cause of U.S.-caused civilian deaths.
In the L.A. Times article on the upcoming operation in Marja, the U.S. commander says all the right words when it comes to the issue of insulating the non-combatants from the carnage:
…[I]n the weeks leading up to the imminent offensive to take the Helmand River Valley town of Marja in southern Afghanistan, the Marines’ commander, Brig. Gen. Larry Nicholson, sat with dozens of Afghan tribal elders, drinking endless cups of sweet tea and offering reassurances that his top priority will be the safety of Afghan civilians.
“In counterinsurgency, the people are the prize,” Nicholson said…
…except Nicholson is talking out of both sides of his mouth:
US Second Marine Expeditionary Force commander Larry Nicholson said that the evacuation of most civilians would give commanders leeway to use air-to-ground missiles, declaring that he was “not looking for a fair fight.”
ABC News quotes Nicholson explaining some truly worrisome logic:
Nicholson underscored the point saying a heavy handed approach will reduce the chance for civilian casualties.
“Our feeling is if you go big, strong and fast, you lessen the possibility of civilian casualties as opposed to a slow methodical rolling assault. You go in and you dominate. You overwhelm the enemy,” he said.
Okay, let’s put these two things together. Nicholson is telegraphing he’s letting the air strikes off the chain and that he intends to use rapid, furious attacks in Marja, and somehow that is supposed to lead to reduced civilian casualties. Well, that would be great if we didn’t already know that the single greatest cause of U.S.-caused civilian casualties was airstrikes in support of troops involved in intense firefights.
All of this is very, very bad news for civilians in Marjah. And it’s bad news for the troops in the fight as well.
I must say at this point that I am very embarrassed to be an American citizen. Yes we should seek the capture of Bin Laden and the control of Al Queda, but no, we should not go about it in a totally senseless cruel manner, killing off countless old people, women, children.
I am also very deeply saddened that I actually believed in and voted for what Barack Obama said in order to get himself elected.
Obama a peace prize? Hardly an example of a leader who believes in peace and justice.
The last American president who truly believed in peace and justice was murdered on the streets of Dallas, Texas. My fellow citzens, we are truly f_____. So you had best speak the truth as you know it to all who will listen - and you had best cling to those who really love you. All we Americans have is - each other. And as Tom Lehrer put it so succinctly in the 1960"s:"We'll all go together when we go."