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Bush Has Perverted Our Just Cause Into a Dishonorable, Immoral and Cowardly Slow-Motion Slaughter of Innocents

November 3, 2001

Our use of military force to overthrow the Taliban would be just.

But instead, the Bush administration is crucifying a civilian population in order to keep our professional soldiers out of harm's way.  That's dishonorable, immoral and cowardly.

Only High Altitude Bombing

We won't let our airmen get close enough to the enemy to adequately identify what they are bombing. 

Instead, we keep them at 30,000 feet, beyond the range of any Taliban weapon, even though we know that many civilians will be killed by such a method of bombing because of known and consistent imperfections in the technology.

No Ground Troops

Afghanistan is on the verge of mass starvation.  Our bombing has prompted an ever-growing exodus of refugees, also at risk from lack of food and medical care.  Continued warfare will prevent aid from reaching those who desperately need it.  Only a quick end to the war will allow these people to be saved.

Yet we are unwilling to use our ground troops, who would win the war quickly and decisively. 

Kabul is defended by just six to eight thousand Taliban fighters with 20 year old weapons and absolutely no air cover.  They are located on a wide open plain north of the city.  We could easily amass enough U.S. soldiers and close-in air support to quickly destroy them and take the capital.

Soldiers engaged in direct combat on the ground could get hurt, however, so our leaders won't let them fight.

Even now, hunger and disease have begun to kill off the civilian population.  Because we fail to prosecute the war with the means readily available to us, the likelihood of a famine which will kill millions this winter grows ever more certain. 

Plausible Deniability

Richard Nixon utilized a tactic he called "plausible deniability."  He would take actions that most observers assumed were his doing, but Nixon would create just enough of a "cover" so he could deny responsibility with a straight face.

The Bush administration has a policy of plausible deniability with respect to its war against the Afghan population.

We're not directly "targeting" civilians, it claims.  Seemingly true as narrowly construed, but in reality we've chosen a bombing method that we know to a certainty will kill many civilians, and terrorize the rest.  So in effect, civilians are being targeted because they are within the known error range of the weapons we have chosen to use, instead of the more accurate low altitude bombing available to us.

It isn't out to starve them, the Bush administration claims, because it's dropping the Afghans food.  Of course, the food represents less than 1% of the need, and we refuse to even temporarily halt the bombing to allow truck convoys in, which is the only way, according to all aid groups, to prevent millions of famine deaths this winter.  Not to mention the fact that we're waging the war in slow-motion fashion -- e.g., it was three weeks before we even started bombing Taliban front-line troops -- thus prolonging the agony of the civilian population and guaranteeing the conflict extends into the harsh Afghan winter.

A War Against the Afghan People

We are waging war against the Afghan people.  We're doing it subtly, with plausible deniability, but we're doing it nevertheless.

We accuse the Taliban of using civilians as shields.  We should look in the mirror.  We're willing to kill civilians by bombs and starvation in order to keep our soldiers 100% out of harm's way.

In moral terms, the life of an Afghan child, old man or woman is worth no less than the life of a 19 year old American soldier.

For those of a religious persuasion: does God care more about the American soldier than the Afghan child?

How could it be a just war when scores if not hundreds of civilians die from our bombs, and not one of our soldiers?  When we're willing to cause mass starvation to avoid putting our ground troops in harm's way?

Our troops are undeniably brave and willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for their country.  It is their leaders who are at fault.  I am certain that if you asked our troops, they would rather go in and directly fight and win the battle quickly and decisively.

I don't want any American casualties.  But basic decency demands that such a goal not be achieved by sacrificing innocent civilians. 

The Army Field Manual provides that commandos behind enemy lines can not execute prisoners, even if necessary to save their own lives. 

We shouldn't be "pulling the trigger" either against a defenseless Afghan civilian population which is effectively a prisoner to our high-tech warfare capability.

We shouldn't be willing to blow up women and children, and starve millions of innocent people, in order to keep our soldiers out of harm's way. 

Such a course of action is dishonorable, immoral and cowardly.

Let Our Soldiers Be Soldiers!

This was a selection from The Daily Diatribe

More on U.S. War Strategy


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