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Does the U.S. Military Have a Bombing Jones?

December 31, 2001

It seems that we just can't help it.  It's impossible for us to stop.  Like the worst alcoholic, the craving heroin addict, the crack head with an insatiable lust for the pipe...

We must keep bombing.

Ten days ago we got word that a caravan of Taliban and Al Qaeda officials was on the road.  We couldn't know for sure, but what the heck.  We bombed the hell out of that procession of vehicles, killing them all, as well as scores of nearby villagers in their homes.  Local officials said the caravan itself contained only innocent civilians, village elders traveling to the inauguration of the new Afghan president in Kabul.  And how did we wind up killing all those villagers not in the convoy?

Then yesterday, acting on information equally unreliable for making irrevocable life-and-death decisions, U.S. warplanes destroyed a compound in a small Afghan village where we believed Al Qaeda and Taliban leaders were staying.  The villagers say no such leaders were there.  And regardless, at least twelve homes outside the compound were destroyed, killing over one hundred villagers, including women and children.

What's wrong with us?  Can't we fight our addiction, and use our brains?

After seeing what our laser- and satellite-guided bombs did to their troops, are we really to believe that Taliban and Al Qaeda leaders would assemble a large caravan in broad daylight and blithely start traveling down the road?

And if there were Taliban and Al Qaeda leaders in that caravan, why didn't we send troops and capture those leaders?  Isn't that what we said we wanted to do, get our hands on those running the terrorist show in order to get intelligence information on the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden, as well as on future terrorist acts being planned?  It's a slowly moving convoy along a rural road, for goodness sakes.  We could have picked our spot along the route, and ambushed and captured them all.

As for the compound, which was in the village of Qalaye Niazi in eastern Paktia province, haven't we all heard  enough about Taliban/Al Qaeda "command-and-control" centers?  If a Taliban soldier uses an outhouse to defecate, and calls out for more toilet paper, that would probably qualify that outhouse as a "command-and-control" center in the eyes of the maniacs doing our air strike targeting.

Again, why didn't we go in and capture those leaders, if such were there?  And if we meant to destroy just that compound, why were 12 houses throughout the village also pulverized, killing scores of civilian men, women and children?

Many analysts believe it was our reluctance to use U.S. ground troops during the main fighting in the war that allowed Osama bin Laden, Mullah Omar and other terrorist leaders to escape out of our hands.  Ditto for the continuing mop-up operations in Tora Bora, where plans to use Marines to search the caves for remaining Al Qaeda soldiers and intelligence information were scrapped

Now we're still at it, killing hundreds of additional civilians in addition to the thousands we've already killed, because we won't send in U.S. troops to capture terrorists leaders who could provide us with critical information we need to protect ourselves.

Our behavior seems truly irrational, the hallmark of the seriously addicted.  If there isn't such a word as bomb-aholism, there should be.

This was a selection from The Daily Diatribe

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