In this World War, as in the Vietnam War, the pressure on our troops from our Leftist Press Corps, and from Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai, to not harm anyone on the sidelines is predictably ratcheting upward. Today’s L.A. Times features a photo (above) of an Afghan man whose father was shot dead during the Battle of Marjah, where U.S. Marines are already under Rules of Engagement (ROE) that are crippling their ability to fight and win. The report immediately indicts U.S., British and Afghan forces with the deaths of twenty-four innocent civilians. And that is the major thrust of the story.
That the world becomes so tearful when twenty-four unfortunate bystanders lose their lives during war-time combat operations is just astonishing when you consider that World War II snuffed out an estimated 55 million lives. In some battles, such as at Normandy, the casualties ran into the thousands within the first day. During the Allied bombing of Dresden, Germany, an estimated thirty thousand perished in one night. Please. Spare me. I get so tired of reading this kind of stuff. It’s a war. People get killed in wars. Wars are terrible. The way to not have people killed is to not get involved in wars. Laura King’s story in the L.A. Times is here:
Reporting from Kabul, Afghanistan — As a major offensive in southern Afghanistan by U.S., British and Afghan troops entered its second week, President Hamid Karzai on Saturday made an emotional appeal for coalition troops to strive to prevent civilian deaths.
The president’s remarks, in a speech to Afghan lawmakers, came as the Western military officials announced that troops in Nad Ali, the district where the town of Marja is located, had shot and killed an Afghan man a day earlier, mistakenly believing he was menacing a patrol with an improvised explosive device…
…Afghan human rights groups put noncombatant deaths at about two dozen…
… Karzai, addressing Parliament as it opened its winter session, held up a picture of an 8-year-old girl he described as being the only surviving member of a family of 12, killed when NATO rockets hit an Afghan home on the second day of the offensive…”
I am terribly sorry for the little girl. These kinds of things are going to happen during the heat of the battle. It is inevitable in War. People die.
…”We need to reach the point where there are no civilian casualties,” the Afghan president said. ..”
And I say that Karzai is trying to cover his incompetence by emotionally pandering to his constituency, he’s not as opposed to the Taliban as he claims he is, or he’s delusional – or any of the above.
During the Allied forces invasion of 2001, the Taliban fell within a matter of weeks. Karzai subsequently came to power. He has remained in power. During Karzai’s reign the Taliban has re-fitted and re-surged in Afghanistan. Karzai has an army and security forces. Yet, we are somehow to blame now for his woes and his inability to get a grip on the “small minority of radical Muslims” that we have been led to believe constitutes the extremist Army of Islam.
Maybe it’s not really such a small minority, after all. Maybe it’s time to pull back and re-think our entire War strategy. Whatever Taliban forces our troops cannot kill or capture in Afghanistan are going to flee to Pakistan and catch their breath. So, then what? We invade Pakistan?