Just over a week ago, we at 'Wizbangblue' talked about a horror story in which the US bombed a "compound" in Paktika province, Afghanistan, where it was claimed "nefarious activity" was ocurring. Seven children died in the bombing raid. Sgt. Dean Welch cautioned: "If we knew that there were children inside the building, there was no way that an air strike would have occurred."
Now the truth has come out..The military has confessed. They knew that there were children in the school, but as they suspected `nefarious activity` in the shape of a Al Qaeda leader could be lurking there, they decided to bomb the compound (not `no way` but) anyway.
Of course, it looks like we never got the suspected Al Qaeda leader, `ranked in the top 5` in Afghanistan, (does that mean he was ranked 5th?) but they rather recklessly killed a group of school children, who will now never get the chance to be ranked in life.`Attack that killed kids likely missed the target. Officials: Military knew children were present but considered risk worth it' but it goes without saying, not for the innocent Afghan children.
NATO spokesman Nick Lunt said on the weekend, "We need to do better than we have been doing so far (they've been saying this for the last 5 years). But unlike the Taleban, (and here is where the bar is always set) we do not set out to cause civilian casualties, and that is a critical difference." It wasn't a critical difference to the children, and it appears that more civilians have been killed this year as a result of foreign military action than have been killed by insurgents, correspondents say
Col. Jack Jacobs, a Medal of Honor winner and NBC News analyst, said, "It still haunts the military from World War II, when 70,000 or 100,000 civilians were killed because people thought it would end the war sooner." But the principal mission of the US in Afghanistan is counter-terrorism, and the type of mentality as demonstrated by the US tactics of aerial bombing is counter-productive -- or as Larkin puts it bluntly, ''We'll never win the war in Afghanistan from 20,000 feet up".
If I were a parent in Afghanistan I WOULD DEFINITELY want the latest Pentagon rankings of the various Al Qaeda leaders. Maybe they could be published, so the civilians and their children in Afghanistan might avoid them. How is that for a risk-adverse tactic at winning the war on terrorism, on the ground, where it will have to be won, if it is to be won at all?
UPDATE: The latest attack, Saturday '30 Afghans killed, wounded in airstrikes' Is this any better?
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