July 11, 2008

Predictable Consequence of Air Strikes

The phrase "I told you so" doesn't play well among anyone, and certainly isn't accepted by an elite pundit class that continues to blather via corporate media despite consistently getting it wrong. But I and and many others have predicted increased use of areal bombings and resultant civilian deaths. (See also: comparison of Vietnam and Iraq war time lines).

The fact is it doesn't take an expert to figure out that, as the US reduces troop strength it will increase the use of "air power." By its nature, despite false hopes of "smart bombs," bombs, missiles, cannons and heavy machine guns fired from the air are crude. The information on which such attacks are made is often crude. The potential for getting the information right, but actually shooting at the right target is farily high. The result is more civilian killings by the US, and that has been happening for some time now.

Today we hear another in a long series of such incidents.

A U.S. military airstrike this week killed 47 civilians traveling to a wedding, the head of an Afghan government commission investigating the incident said Friday.

The airstrike on Sunday in Deh Bala district of Nuristan province also wounded nine civilians, said Burhanullah Shinwari, the deputy chairman of the Senate, who led the delegation.

Will the commission findings change anything? Maybe, in the short term, the US will be a bit more careful. But any significant change in civilian deaths at US hands will only occur if US forces withdraw completely, which in Afghanistan is highly unlikely. You won't hear the pundit class saying this, because they can't. The rich and powerful won't let it happen. So the people's press will have to keep making this point until the rest of the people catch on.


Associated Press, 47 Afghan civilians killed by US bombs, group says, Amir Shah, July 11, 2008.


No comments: