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Why They Hate Us: Reason #1003 and Counting...

by Dave Lindorff Friday, May. 26, 2006 at 5:33 AM
dlindorff@yahoo.com

How is nighttime bombing of a village (when all the kids are sure to be home and tucked in bed) supposed to be “bringing democracy” to anybody? And what are these villagers supposed to do when armed Taliban fighters demand refuge in their houses? Turn them out and tell them to go away?

US A-10 attack planes recently bombed an Afghan village in the dead of night for several hours, killing nearly 100 people, at least 16 of them acknowledged to have been innocent men, women and children.

The Pentagon is claiming that 20 of the dead were Taliban fighters, though the accuracy of their information is open to question since the Pentagon is also claiming that as many as 60 others of the dead "may have been" Taliban fighters. Of course, they equally may not have been.

Now, in a version of the notorious brutal cop's claim that the victim of his abuse "kept ramming his head into my baton," Pentagon spokesman Col. Tom Collins says, "The ultimate cause of why civilians were injured and killed is because the Taliban knowingly, willfully chose to occupy homes of these people."

Notice that he's not even saying that the victims invited or allowed the Taliban into their homes. In fact, according to reports, it appears that the Taliban forced their way into civilian homes in order to try to escape U.S. attacks.

What Collins and the Pentagon conveniently forget is that the Geneva Codes require military forces to adhere to the doctrine of proportionality. If an enemy hides among non-combatants--especially where these include women and children--the attacking force must forgo attacking unless there is a compelling military justification. To take an extreme case, it would clearly be a war crime to bomb a school full of children just to kill a single enemy soldier hiding in the building.

Since the U.S. knowingly bombed houses in a village and killed at least 16 and wounded another 15 Afghan civilians in this latest attack, and since the military says it has only confirmed killing 20 Taliban fighters, it's understandable that the Pentagon would be trying to claim another 60 Taliban deaths. A ratio of 16 civilians for 20 enemy fighters is hardly "proportionality." It is more like a massacre.

And people keep asking this stupid question: Why do they hate us?"

For other stories by Lindorff, please go (at no charge) to This Can't Be Happening! .

To find out more about the new book, The Case for Impeachment, click here. For early review quotes, check out the “Impeachment News” box on the top right of the homepage at This Can't Be Happening! .

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