Thursday, February 18, 2010
Add five child casualties to President Obama’s troop surge in Marjah, Afghanistan. The New York Times reported, a U.S. rocket strike “hit a compound crowded with Afghan civilians, killing at least 10 people, including 5 children.” So, when U.S. officials said prior to launching this weekend strike that “Civilian casualties are inevitable,” they were telling us the truth.
No doubt the government of the United States will now say they did not decide to kill these five children specifically, which would be correct. The U.S. government decided to kill some Afghan civilians, chosen randomly from Marjah’s civilian population when it launched its military assault. These five children simply had the misfortune of holding losing tickets in a Afghanistan war lottery in which they did not choose to participate.
The U.S. government even issued a pre-strike warning to the residents of Marjah:
Afghan villagers should stay inside and “keep their heads down” when thousands of U.S. Marines launch a massive assault on a densely-populated district in coming days, NATO’s civilian representative to Afghanistan said Tuesday.
Rockets, it seems, have a nasty inability to determine an adult from a child. After it was reported that five children had died in the raid, President Obama’s Afghanistan military commander, General Stan McChrystal even had audacity to say, “Avoiding such civilian deaths has been a cornerstone of the war strategy.”
So, Stan, how’s that strategy working out for you now?