"Once when I said something about police brutality, my dad said to me, "It takes a crazy motherfucker to catch a crazy motherfucker." Go Marines!"
oydave, i appreciate your internet tough-guy sentiment but i would like to point out that it's been close to a decade and thousands of crazy motherfuckers have been stomping all over the middle east doing everything but catching the one crazy motherfucker we were looking for
in a war to 'stop terror', like that's a feasible goal, we end up causing massive collateral damage and creating more 'terrorists'
this is part of the military-industrial effort to expand the 'terror' market. if we won the war on terrorism tomorrow, what would raytheon sell to the government?
remember, this all kicked off nearly a decade ago because we were looking for bin laden. after over a trillion dollars in public expenditure (where are you, deficit hawks?) and two countries invaded, with hundreds of thousands killed, we still haven't found him. any sensible, intelligent person would be mad as hell.
I'm puzzled by this: "When I saw the WikiLeaks.org video of a U.S. helicopter in Iraq mowing down unarmed civilians, I was left thinking it was a common occurrence. And when I read about U.S. troops in Afghanistan killing two pregnant women and a teenage girl then covering it up – then smearing the journalist who reported it – I could only assume that kind of thing happens a lot."
Now, why would one assume frequency? The author says they saw one example of something horrendous, and immediately assumes that it must happen all the time. That's not what you saw. You saw, without context, an individual event. Maybe it does happen all the time, or maybe it's rare but so terrible they saw fit to share it - but I'm not certain why one would immediately start assuming and jumping to conclusions re: frequency.
I'm also not surprised that they don't keep figures, that's more manpower and gray areas. We aren't fighting nations, clear cut enemies. Who is a civilian in a guerrilla war?
And as for the other commenters, who like to be all tough and war is hell and other such cliches that totally avoiding dealing with any real issues in depth, I'd like to point out that it's worth questioning whether these people even wanted our presence there. We're fighting organizations halfway across the world, that are entwined, to varying levels, with societies also located halfway across the world. They know we want, and plan on, leaving. This is why the village elders frequently come across as double crossing, it's in their best interest to get as much aid as the can from the Americans but not be seen colluding too much, because we'll leave, and leave them living with the angry guys with the guns. Oops, sorry we killed your kin after f*cking up your local politics and economy for years to come, now work with us or we'll shoot you, and leave you with a lasting enemy who lives three doors down.
pp, please share with the class one example of the country being harmed by any of the wikileaks released so far.
In response to Wikileaks just remember we do have existing laws our current No-DOJ could use...
Laws broken by Assange is 18 U.S.C. 793(e), which says:
"Whoever having unauthorized possession of, access to, or control over any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, (etc. etc.) relating to the national defense, ... (which) the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation, willfully communicates (etc. etc) the same to any person not entitled to receive it, or willfully retains the same (etc) ...
"Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both."
As is evident, merely being in unauthorized possession of classified national security documents that could be used to harm this country and publishing those documents constitutes a felony.
Strange that there is no exception for albinos with webpages or "journalists." Because journalists are people too!
I am glad we are inventing better weapons to kill enemies rather than civilians.
Oy I admit this article doesn't paint the whole picture, but it does paint a picture that has a valid point. Your comparison of a Government to the Terrorists in the first post is so different from my thinking, perhaps it explains things.
One could be trite and say two wrongs do not make a right.
But that doesn't even come close to describing it. I mean are you saying that the actions of terrorists somehow justify a Government to kill innocent people? Yes sometimes innocent people being killed are unavoidable but the fact the U.S. refuses to keep a count, the fact that the U.S. covers up these incidents, the fact that there seems to be to many of these incidents indicates we aren't trying hard enough.
The fact is the majority of the people in these countries are innocent human beings. Fighting a war on terror where our wealthy Government from overseas comes in and kills so many innocents seems like an oxymoron. I mean doesn't it become really a Fighting to support or feed terror!
At the very least doesn't it seem to support why many of us fear our current policies are helping the terrorists by fostering more hatred amongst formerly peaceful citizens of these countries?
I realize mistakes are made but really a helicopter straffing innocents? Are there not more controls than that, its a freakin helicopter! We aren't talking about a random soldier with a rifle and a lapse of judgement.
The real answer lies somewhere between "We are saints" and "We have no consideration for human life."
I'm not going to second guess our soldiers on the battlefield, even the ill-bred, bad nasty ones. Civilian deaths, friendly fire, it's all a horrible business.
I know this war is different. At least the Nazis had the decency to wear uniforms and be from the same place and not be suicidal maniacs. This conflict is actually much worse. I hate the games the military plays with information but we have maniacs to hunt down.
Once when I said something about police brutality, my dad said to me, "It takes a crazy motherfucker to catch a crazy motherfucker." Go Marines!
Oydave, how can you make an argument that America goes to great lengths to avoid killing civilians when this article states, But the surprising truth is that the Pentagon doesn't actually measure those casualties. "We don't do body counts" is how Iraq invasion leader Gen. Tommy Franks put it in 2003. Then also compares the civilian deaths to breaking eggs for an omelet. DO YOU REALLY THINK WITH THAT MENTALITY THAT AMERICA HAS ANY CONSIDERATION FOR HUMAN LIFE? I THINK NOT!
Oydave, you're right that war is hell and that the American military goes to great lengths to avoid killing civilians. You're wrong that this is somehow silly or ineffectual on the part of the military. The difference between modern warfare and World War II is that we aren't fighting a government that can simply surrender and end the war. We need civilian support, and no matter how hard we try, we cannot bomb an entire people into submission. There will always be people who resist, and the more civilians die, the more the resisters will be able to recruit people to their side.
Still, you have to understand that it's cold comfort to some Afghan family that we tried not to kill their daughter, but that she was the inevitable side-casualty of our war. We all know that war is hell and when our military takes action, we know a certain number of civilians will die. We don't mean for it to happen, but we know it will happen. And their blood is on our hands.
As would be the blood of American civilians if we simply withdraw back and let the terrorists have another safe haven. There are no easy answers and there never have been.
I will explain the difference to you since you have something in your eye which keeps you from seeing properly.
We ACCIDENTLY kill civilians in a war zone. We go out of our way and invent absurd Rules Of Engagement to protect civilians. We observe silly local customs to show respect.
The people we are fighting DELIBERATELY target civilians. The hide behind their women and dress in their burkhas to conceal bombs. They saw off the heads of non-combatant hostages with rusty knives. Their only Rule of Engagement is to kill everybody who isn't in the club. They respect nothing.
All this hand wringing over civilians we have killed in the course of war is unjustified. Should we have let up on the German or Japanese cililians as we closed in on the Axis powers? War is Hell. I'm sorry.
not something america should be proud of, no.
The United States is upset when there are 2000 or so people killed in an attack, and gives the name "terrorist" to the group responsible. However, the United States has constantly bombed several places, and are responsible for over a hundred thousand innocent lives in the past 9 years. I can understand why most of the world has no respect for the United States, and certainly I am just as mad as they are. In my opinion the USA are the terrorist of this world because of their negligence for human life. It is absolutely sickening to discover in this article that the Pentagon refuses to record the number of civilian casualties, and furthermore compares those innocent lives to omelets and eggs.
It’s sickening to think that genocide is still in full force around the world. Thankfully the powerful in Hollywood are trying to help out as much as they can. Uwe Boll’s new film Attack on Darfur is trying to get people to pay attention. It shoves you into the horror that surrounds Sudan and isn’t afraid to show the unbearable. This film hits you hard and doesn’t let up for the sake of brutal honesty. I'm pretty sure the DVD comes out Oct. 26th.
Obama wants the military to equip itself for the type of wars facing it??? I DON'T THINK SO!!!! I contacted the Center for Asymmetric Warfare of the US Navy's Post Graduate School on Montery CA. I encouraged an Eastern European NATO member State that had officers assigned to the European Union Naval Force tasked with tracking the Somali pirates to interface with them via the ASW contacts e-mail listed on the site. A contractor working for the center rebuffed the whole concept...If anything, Obama has told the military to just stand down!
Gonna miss your print column. It was the main reason I picked up the print edition of CL.
I've been relieved by the lack of Bush style machismo from our leaders. It's almost as though some people realize that the most important things to base your foreign policy on might not be blind vengeance and pride. Interesting take from inside DPRK and wow that's an amazing website using the most advance html technology available in the 90s. It really sets a mood.
Interesting comparison of how the US treats Israel vs Iran for similar acts:
If Obama is so pro Israel why does he make Jews tear down their houses and support creaing a Hamas run Islamic state,"moongod worshipers with a child molester for a profit with a rock idol in mecca". The so called Palestinians ane Jordanian and Syrian muslim immigrants that invaded the Holy Land. The real Palestinians are the Jews.
Yes, it's amazing how everybody is willing to accept an indeterminate number of people killed in order to...what?
All those persons killed and their friends and family would surely have accepted living under Saddam's or the Taliban's tyranny instead of being sacrificed for the safety of the world or whatever. For them, things can never get better. But still politicians and generals talk about making progress and victory. There's no progress or victory if you are death. End the damn war now.
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