Monday, May 22, 2006

U.S. Military Achieves Objective despite “Collateral Damage”

Dear President Bush,

The War on Terror just added a few more notches to its belt bagging up to 80 Taliban fighters in Southern Afghanistan. Regrettably 30-50 civilians were killed or wounded in the assault. Taliban fighters sought refuge in a religious compound but fled to people’s homes after the madrassa came under assault. The mud brick homes provided no match for the aircraft dropped bombs.

A villager, Zurmina Bibi, cradled her wounded 8-month-old. She said about 10 people were killed in her home, including three or four children. "There were dead people everywhere," she said, crying.

In classic Bush tradition, officials blamed the victims and minimized the “pessimistic view”. A local government official said “don’t provide shelter for the Taliban” while the U.S. military spokesman minimized the negative aspects of the event:

U.S. military spokesman Col. Tom Collins said, "It's common that the enemy fights in close to civilians as a means to protect its own forces. "We targeted a Taliban compound and we're certain we hit the right target," he told The Associated Press.

Is there a big hurrah in the White House over this? Are you and military leaders celebrating the bright side of the attack? As General Franks said soldier deaths are the price of American security. Are the deaths of Afghan civilians part of that price as well? If so, how might the survivors of the U.S. air strike feel? Might they hold hatred in their heart for their attackers?

As General Michael Hayden noted the total number of terrorists has grown since you started your War on Terror. How will this bombing express itself over time? Up to 80 Taliban killed but how many more Taliban will grow from this one event? I am sure you have your crackerjack administration working on this as you like data.

Ooops, I forgot the military does not track civilian deaths or woundings! Oh well.....

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