Those of you of a certain age will remember those grade school Armageddon drills where we we were instructed to get under our desks and put our heads between our knees in case of a nuclear attack, a tactic that served no purpose and certainly wouldn’t have saved us if the Commies attacked.
Now the U.S. military has a new version of this callously useless advice that they are using in Marjah, Afghanistan:
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.
The results are predictable, here is Robert Naiman‘s well-worded summary of the results:
“Civilian casualties are inevitable,” said U.S. officials before launching their weekend military assault on Marja in southern Afghanistan, and in this case, they were telling the truth. Yesterday, the New York Times reports, a U.S. rocket strike “hit a compound crowded with Afghan civilians… killing at least 10 people, including 5 children.”
What justification has been provided by the government of the United States for its decision to kill these five children?
It will be argued that the government of the United States did not decide to kill these five children specifically, and that’s absolutely true. The U.S. government did not decide to kill these particular children; it only decided to kill some Afghan civilians, chosen randomly from Marja’s civilian population, when it decided to launch its military assault. These five children simply had the misfortune of holding losing tickets in a lottery in which they did not choose to participate…
…NATO forces have decided to advise civilians in Marjah not to leave their homes, although they say they do not know whether the assault will lead to heavy fighting.
These five kids were staying inside, as instructed. It didn’t save them from U.S. rockets. Perhaps they weren’t keeping their heads down.
You can read the rest of Naiman’s commentary here. Suffice it to say, “Duck” is not an acceptable strategy for protecting civilians and should be seen as a gross violation of international law.
Billions of dollars spent killing children. How dare we talk about winning or honor.