Monday, January 26, 2009

When Civilians Are Soldiers

"Army vs Army" is a game long gone. We fight - and since Korea we have fought - the people of a foreign land for their home. Their civilians are their soldiers, those and whatever foreign Lafayettes they can enlist in defending their soil against the invading followers of an earlier religion.

We have just now managed to kill, in Afghanistan, 16 people. We - and the world - are told by local Afghanis that the score is 11 civilians, 5 militants. We disbelieve this. We think they were all militants and that's why they are dead. Our army says so. They SAW one of the women we killed carrying an rpg in her defense against us.

(Two days later:) We have now paid $2500 to the families for each of the 15 CIVILIANS we killed. There was only one militant. $2500 is all you get for your kid when we kill her these days. Or your mom. Sorry.

We bullied these people into a defensive posture and then we attacked them for defending themselves. Except for the one militant, they were only civilians defending themselves. One militant - to us - was worth fifteen civilian deaths.

It cost us only $40,000 to "take care" of the civilian deaths - quite cheap, when you look at it. So long as the Taliban numbers less than 1/16 of the total population, we can remove them.

If their numbers grow until the Taliban are more than 1/16 of the population, however, then we are in trouble. We cannot kill more than the whole population. So there would be some Taliban left if their numbers grew.

Our first shot killed their neighborhood policeman when he opened his door.

This is not change.

If the Afghans led their own war and we supported them, it would be different. But we are the invader. We make them defensive and then we kill them.

Soon they will ask us to leave.

We will leave


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