Sunday, February 14, 2010

NATO Kills Civilians Accidentally; President's Advisor on Terrorism Attacks U.S. Self-Defense on Purpose

The Associated Press reports: "Twelve Afghans died Sunday when two rockets fired at insurgents missed their targets and struck house during the second day of NATO's most ambitious effort yet to break the militants' grip on the country's dangerous south."

Those twelve Afghans are, of course, civilians, a word the report omits in the lead, though it is mentioned further down in the story. Those militants are Taliban who could be called terrorists, though in some ways even that designation would be too generous. They brought a regime to Afghanistan which murdered thousands of people, treated women like cattle, and helped make possible the September 11, 2001, attacks that slaughtered 3,000 Americans.

Later in the article it is mentioned in passing that the "militants" are firing on the U.S. Marines from civilian houses in the town, which is the kind of thing that leads to civilian deaths.

This incident will quickly be forgotten, as have previous similar ones. Indeed, after taking the town NATO commanders reported there was little resistance in Marjah. Two NATO soldiers, twelve civilians, and a reported twenty "militants" were killed in the operation. That's sixteen Afghans per one NATO death.

If the above-mentioned incident happened due to Israeli rockets it would bring massive demonstrations, a UN report claiming that this proved Israel was a war criminal state, calls by many governments for sanctions against Israel, proposals by others for an international investigation, and a rationale for Western intellectuals to say that this country has no right to exist.

Yet the errancy of these NATO rockets was no doubt an accident, just as happens sometimes (probably with far lower frequency in proportional terms) when Israel is defending itself from Hamas and Hizballah, two groups that seek genocide against its people. Such events are in the nature of warfare, and especially in the type of warfare pursued by Hamas, Hizballah, and the Taliban. Is it really so hard to understand these things?

Why, then, does Israel get such different treatment than this event in Marjah, Afghanistan? There are lots of reasons but the outstanding one is this: the United States is a big powerful country which lots of people don't want to alienate or attack. Israel is a small country without energetic, powerful defenders. Despite appearances, Israel is still "David," while Hamas and Hizballah--backed in some manner by Iran, Muslim-majority countries, Arab states, and the Western left--is the "Goliath."

Meanwhile, John Brennan, President Obama's advisor on terrorism and the worst single foreign policy official in the administration, continues his reign of error by telling a group of Muslim law students in New York that not only did the Iraq war damage the U.S. image in the Muslim world but also "excessive" surveillance, overly extensive no-fly lists, profiling, and prosecutions of Muslim charitiies for their connections with terrorist groups did so. Of course, this only happened, according to him, during the Bush Administration.

This is not the kind of person one wants in charge of protecting Americans from terrorists. Perhaps a better job for him would be running a UN war crimes and hate crimes investigation of the United States.

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