Monday, December 08, 2003

Today was a bewildering day. I was unable to post anything to this blog for hours (the kind folks @ Blogspot must have been conducting some server maintenance!) and I only gained access to my soapbox just now.

This morning, I wanted to comment on the bombing that killed 9 Afghani civilians (all children). The strike was aimed at a "suspected Taliban terrorist" and was apparently supported by "very clear, actionable intelligence". I know that this Blog spends a little too much time focusing on the "usual suspects" (American soldiers & the Pentagon's war machine) but I couldn't let this slip past without mention. The "friendly fire" wasn't what shocked me the most--sadly, this sort of thing has been happening for years in all parts of the globe--what really caught my ire was the way the U.S. Military spokesman, Lt. Col. Bryan Hilferty, responded to the event.

"They're pretty understanding...They've been through years of war. They're not happy, but I think it meant a great deal to them that my commander, Gen. Austin, came out and personally expressed his condolences."
He also went on to say that although the U.S. forces were trying "to make sure (they) didn't hurt anybody besides (the suspect)...unfortunately, it's an imperfect art."

Calling firing on human beings from a distance an "art" makes a mockery of human life and of art itself!

Removing the Taliban government from power was necessary but this constant search for Al Q'aida isn't being carried out properly. They should be using the international legal & criminal organizations like Interpol to apprehend terrorists (George Soros is a proponent of this theory).

Then again, Afghanistan is a large mountainous country ruled locally by warlords. Much of the territory is beyond anyone's reach, not even local police, so that is why I suppose the military would be best suited for the job of tracking down the terrorists guilty of countless heinous acts. I'm not a tactical expert. I know that Canada is currently serving as the peacekeeping force in Kabul and apparently keeping order and trying to make a difference. I hope that we are welcome in their country.

Above all, if we just fire first and ask questions later, we are bound to strike some innocent people and create the template for future terrorism down the line. This applies to Afghanistan just as much as Iraq or any other country that we consider a terrorist state. People don't forget when they lose a father, or a child, and every life in the world is equal. If we want to truly combat terrorism, we must remove the reasons for supporting these groups--just like the cliché which remains from the Vietnam war, we must "win their hearts and minds" if we are to regain the security and peace we cherish. If we have the support of the majority of the people, they won't allow terrorists to blend into their population and they will be apprehended and dealt with accordingly.