"Collateral" Women And Children: Airstrike Kills 76 Civilians In Afghanistan

Military spokesmen call it "collateral damage", which is sufficiently vague to cover all manner of atrocities. And I use the word "cover" advisedly.

Since the dead people were not legitimate military targets, it would have been a war crime to obliterate them on purpose. So the word "collateral" -- literally: "off to the side" -- in this instance is probably supposed to mean "unintended". And the implication is meant to be, "Oops!" In other words, that's how they keep the killers out of prison.

you can read more here or comment below.



I'm just off some discussion board about that massacre. Comments are mostly anti-war, if a little feeble at times. I don't think many of us are really hot about this war (but I'm no polling institute of course). There's always the mythic warriors of course, and Sarkozy is one of them:
“My determination is intact,” he said. “France is committed to pursuing the struggle against terrorism, for democracy and for freedom. This is a just cause; it is an honor for France and for its army to defend it.”

This came just at the time I was translating this essay from Arthur Silber. And here's a quote, within that essay, from Chris Hedges' War Is a Force that Gives Us Meaning, that really fits perfectly well with Sarkozy's declaration:
But in mythic war we imbue events with meanings they do not have. We see defeats as signposts on the road to ultimate victory. We demonize the enemy so that our opponent is no longer human. We view ourselves, our people, as the embodiment of absolute goodness. Our enemies invert our view of the world to justify their own cruelty. In most mythic wars this is the case. Each side reduces the other to objects--eventually in the form of corpses.


When we allow mythic reality to rule, as it almost always does in war, then there is only one solution--force. In mythic war we fight absolutes. We must vanquish darkness. It is imperative and inevitable for civilization, for the free world, that good triumph, just as Islamic militants see us as infidels whose existence corrupts the pure Islamic society they hope to build.

I think you'll be happy to learn that Sarkozy pulled a Wilson on this one. His position, prior to the elections, was that a French presence 'was not essential.' Certainly, that's not like promising peace but still, that was very far from today's 'defenders of civilization'.

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