The titular president of Afganistan is mighty miffed. It seems that a couple of dozen people, riding in 3 vehicles, were targeted as insurgents, and a NATO air strike took them out. There were four women and an child killed, along with around 22 men.
The Afghan cabinet condemned the deaths as "unjustifiable" after an aircraft fired on civilians, mistaking them for insurgents, in the south near the border of Uruzgan and Dai Kondi provinces.
The only sanity in sight...
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates defended work by the U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan to avoid killing civilians. He added that incidents like the air strike were inherent in conflict and part of "what makes war so ugly."
But I have another bone to pick with these leaders that are unable to control their own citizens, provide security within their own countries, and demand US backing and support with both troops and huge amounts of money and materials. Our troops. Troops that die, daily. And, money. Money out of my pocket, and yours.
What fantasy allows anyone to posture that civilian deaths during a shooting war are "unjustifiable"? Civilians get caught in the cross fire. Civilians are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Civilians die. Yes, women and children, too. And pets, and farm animals, and rare and endangered species. Anything on a battle ground is in immediate danger of a bloody death.
If you are squeamish, Sir, about this simple fact, stop the damned war.
Human history is replete with clever quotes about war, and its meaning. History sides with winners and raises them to pivotal roles in the development of civilizations. Humanitarians decry war as futile and evil, wringing their hands while justifying the need for "intervention".
And the damned wars go on, and people continue to die, while ineffective leaders try to groom their image by posturing over the predictable deaths, raising a hue and cry against those they need and want to protect them.
We were all shocked at the fury of the bombing of Baghdad, presented as a video game for our amusement. Watching the bunker busters we gave scant thought to the people under those fortified positions. Early on, when intelligence reported that Saddam was in a housing complex in the city, it was leveled. He wasn't there and a lot of people died. That was war.
Now, we seem to be in a fight against a force of vicious murderers, using civilians as human shields, and misleading us at every turn, while taking a high toll on NATO troops. But the military is not supposed to kill anyone?!!!
War is crazy. Let's come home. Let them deal with their own failures without killing NATO troops.
And let's make it very clear to President Karzai that if he wants US and NATO assistance he had better face up to reality. It's time for him to educate his own people that they have a choice. They can deal with the random violence in schools, and markets, and mosques handed out by the Taliban, or they can suck it up and realize that in war PEOPLE ARE GOING TO DIE.