Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Kill them all and let god sort them out ...

... appears to be the American and Israeli military strategy:
Truckloads of Dead Civilians After Afghan Battle

Civilian deaths have become a bitter source of friction between Afghan authorities and U.S. forces. Washington says it is working harder this year to limit civilian deaths and investigate reports of such incidents more rapidly after the number of civilians killed by U.S. forces soared last year.

In the worst incident last year, the Afghan government and the United Nations said a U.S. strike killed 90 civilians. Washington initially denied it, but after three months said it had killed 33 civilians as well as 22 people it called militants.
Even if the US assessment is correct, killing 3 civilians for every 2 militants doesn't seem conducive to anything but creating more militants.
UN Blames Israeli Army for Gaza War Attacks

UNITED NATIONS - A United Nations inquiry Tuesday blamed Israel for six serious attacks on UN buildings during its Gaza offensive, drawing fury from Israeli officials who accused the UN body of bias.

The report was drawn up by an independent commission of inquiry set up to investigate nine cases in which UN buildings in the impoverished Gaza Strip were damaged by bombardments or arms fire during the three-week war.

The findings present the latest criticism of Israel over the war it launched against the Hamas-run territory on December 27 in response to ongoing rocket fire from Gaza militants. More than 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis [soldiers] died.
And that's just the UN buildings attacked in the report. Not to mention the illegal arms Israel used on Palestinian civilians:
Israel backs down over white phosphorus

Israeli troops stopped using white phosphorus shells in Gaza this year after The Times published evidence that they were injuring civilians.
On January 7 a military spokeman said that the shells in question had “no explosives and no white phosphorus”.
Wow, a government investigates itself, finds itself innocent and then proof is shown that they lied and then they backtrack to another excuse.

I think I've seen that movie before.

But I digress, my main point is that you cannot use bombs or missiles or 'air strikes' within a area known to contain civilians in order to kill combatants. Even if the bombs are 'smart.' Even if the combatants are hiding behind civilians.

This is not a reason to call in air, this is a hostage situation. Generally it's handled by negotiators and an overwhelming, but individually targeted, threat of force. Both of which the armies involved have.

Having to indiscriminately kill civilians to obtain an objective shows weakness, not strength. Lying about it proves the weakness.

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak