Monday, September 08, 2008

Bombs are not a precision instrument

Check out this story.

In summary, the US bombed a village in a foreign country, with which we are, at least technically, an ally. In doing so, we could not know how many people we would kill, or whether we would kill "insurgents" or civilians. We claimed we only killed a few civilians while killing scores of insurgents. The UN and Afghan government investigated, and concluded that we killed dozens of women and children. We only changed our story when video evidence surfaced which rebutted our lies.

This type of action doesn't help defeat terrorism. It merely serves to give terrorists a rallying point to show that the US is killing women and children in their countries, and lying about it until they're caught. Sadly, I can't argue with them on that.

If the survivors in that village didn't hate the US before, you can bet they do now. By becoming involved in nation building and foreign wars, we undermine our own security, rather than enhance it. We killed millions of civilians in Vietnam, the first Gulf War, the decade of bombing and sanctions that followed, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

Before anyone says that my approach would allow the terrorists to "win", consider how we should define our own success. Do the terrorists hate us less? No. Are there fewer terrorists? No. Are there more people who hate America? Yes. None of those sound like victories to me, yet our policy is leading us directly to those results.

The terrorists don't hate us because we're free and prosperous. They hate us because we're meddling in their countries, killing their people, and propping up unpopular totalitarian regimes which use our weapons to kill their people.

We've been doing so long before 9/11 ever occurred. I'm not saying that 9/11 was warranted. Clearly it wasn't. But we likely could have avoided it with a different foreign policy. Our current policy makes it more, rather than less likely, that something like it will happen again.


HR-You know who I am said...

This makes my heart sick. The scary thing is that there are sickos out there who will say something totally stupid like...."well, that's the price of war." Ignorant idiots. I actually know people who would say this--it scares me. They hate anyone wearing a cloth or religious garb over their heads. They are too ignorant to differentiate between Muslim and terrorist. Totally clueless.

What an educated, well thought out statement, Brad. Thank you for posting this.

Jason B said...

You're quite right about the people who make such comments about this being the cost of war. For example, here are two posts in response to this article:

These children were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time...casualties of war. NO big loss...its not like they were going to grow up and do something with their lives...besides farming dirt or becoming human bombs.

- - -

Osama bin Laden flatly said "We make no distintion between civilian and military people in our attacks". I'm not for the war but if we are going after the guy that killed our people than lets get him and if anyone harbors terroists they get the same. Its not like these people dont know whose in their village. As far as I'm concerned this isnt even a story.

- - -

It's really disheartening to read such vulgar stupidity. Granted I know few people would say such things in public, but plenty think this way nonetheless. I'm afraid the sad fact may be that collectively, we aren't a particularly intelligent nation.

I frequently hear people complain about our system and our leaders. However, its often said that at the end of the day, we all have to look in the mirror. We get the leaders we deserve and apparently, we don't deserve very good leaders.

It's a shame.

Brad Raple said...

It's all a matter of perspective.

Replace a few words in those quotes and it could be terrorists justifying their murder of US civilians. People really don't see the irony in it.

It's a shame, indeed.