News & Analysis
Military Times Explains Why US Targets Afghan Children
Some Afghan kids aren't bystanders ... When Marines in Helmand province sized up shadowy figures that appeared to be emplacing an improvised explosive device, it looked like a straightforward mission. They got clearance for an airstrike, a Marine official said, and took out the targets. It wasn't that simple, however. Three individuals hit were 12, 10 and 8 years old, leading the International Security Assistance Force in Kabul to say it may have "accidentally killed three innocent Afghan civilians." But a Marine official here raised questions about whether the children were "innocent." Before calling for the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System mission in mid-October, Marines observed the children digging a hole in a dirt road in Nawa district, the official said, and the Taliban may have recruited the children to carry out the mission. – Military Times
Dominant Social Theme: If they are our enemies they will be shot.
Free-Market Analysis: War is a cruel and ugly business. The longer it continues, the worse it gets and the more apt atrocities are to become accepted and even justified.
Now US Marines appear to be justifying the killing of "enemy" children. The frustration is palpable and one can, of course, understand and even sympathize with Marines within the context of current combat.
They are stuck in an implacably hostile environment pursuing a war that has no justification to attain a result that is not comprehensible.
And as they pursue this unfulfillable mission, they are being shot at, blown up and otherwise harassed. And what's the difference, really, whether the bullet comes from a 12-year-old or a 24-year-old? An enemy is an enemy.
This is why the US and NATO must select wars carefully and pursue them aggressively and quickly.
A decade's worth of war can warp an entire generation.
Of course, one could argue this is what the powers-that-be are after: the militarization of society. In a series of articles, we've argued that the real reason for the fighting in Afghanistan is to subdue the Pashtuns and Punjabis. These stiff-necked tribes are standing in the way of globalization. The British tried to wipe out the Pashtuns 100 years ago.
It is, it seems, a power elite that wants to create global government that is really behind these wars and their continuance. The wars are not benefitting the US, nor the soldiers that carry them out. The reasons to continue the combat are amorphous. The tactics are counterproductive.
It ought to end. It should have ended ten years ago. It should never have started.
We can see the justifications at work in this article in the Military Times justifying, even defending, the killing of kids. Here's some more:
The incident underscores a continuing problem across Afghanistan. The use of children by the Taliban — through recruitment and as human shields — complicates coalition forces' efforts to eliminate enemy fighters from the battlefield without angering civilians.
The New York Times reported that the dead children's family members said they had been sent to gather dung, which farmers use for fuel. Taliban fighters were laying the bombs near the children, who were mistakenly killed, they said.
Regardless, it's one of many times the children have been involved in the war. In a case this year, Afghan National Police in Kandahar province's Zharay district found two boys, ages 9 and 11, with a male 18-year-old carrying 1-liter soda bottles full of enough potassium chlorate to kill coalition forces on a foot patrol.
"It kind of opens our aperture," said Army Lt. Col. Marion "Ced" Carrington, whose unit, 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, was assisting the Afghan police. "In addition to looking for military-age males, it's looking for children with potential hostile intent."
So now the US military has extended the field of battle to children. The Times article, which the Military Times quotes, presents a figure of "316 documented cases of underage recruitment in the war last year, most of them attributed to the Taliban and other armed groups like the Haqqani network, according to a U.N. report released in April."
On its face, the US response is logical. Children, no matter how small, can convey and trigger deadly weapons. The NY Times reports, "Eleven children, including an 8-year-old girl, were killed in Afghanistan last year carrying out suicide attacks."
But what is logical tactically is merely multiplied insanity when the big picture is viewed.
As we and other alternative media publications have pointed out, there is no reason for the US to be Afghanistan in the first place. Thousands of young men and women have been killed, even greater numbers have committed suicide and tens of thousands have been maimed for life.
And the end is not in sight. The US has been ever more consistently militarized and the effect of the war has been to distort the domestic political situation, as well. The claim that President Barack Obama killed Osama bin Laden last year is simply not believable, in our humble view. We've written about it a lot. Just search the 'Net.
What is perhaps even more terrible, in fact, is that the US continues to use depleted uranium weapons in Afghanistan. The fine, radioactive dust continues to cause birth defects in Iraq as well as Afghanistan.
The toll of this ridiculous war can be measured by the lies it has spawned, by its incipient genocide, by the physical ruin of young men and women on both sides of the war and now by the use of children as combatants and what may become a deliberate policy of targeting children by the US military.
Nobody wins such a war. There is not an iota of justification for it. It is literally poisoning the body politic of the US and its long-term legacy will be civil war in Afghanistan and increased authoritarianism in the US and throughout the West.
Conclusion: These are no doubt the results that the power elite seeks as it attempts to formalize what seems to be an intention to create world rule. It is difficult to avoid the conclusion it is a kind of satanic, sociopathic cult.
Posted by ro on 12/08/12 01:35 PM
The fact is that the Taliban had nothing to do with 9-11. And neither the US government nor the US military can explain or justify what they're doing in Afghanistan. Click to view link
Posted by Lowell L Morse on 12/06/12 10:01 PM
GET OUT Of MY COUNTRY
How simple is that. WHY... -... do MILITARY folks BLOW UP CIVILIANS?
I WOULD THINK, that MILITARY would target MILITARY... -... but they don't. WHY? GOD DAMN IT WHY?
Most know here, the answer.
It's the best I can do right now.
Posted by Summer on 12/06/12 08:19 PM
DB: "Now US Marines appear to be justifying the killing of "enemy" children. The frustration is palpable and one can, of course, understand and even sympathize with Marines within the context of current combat."
I can't. What about freedom of choice? Muhammad Ali exerted his. The root cause is immorality: I'm just doing my job, it's in the national interest, I'm fighting 'for' my country. How about: What is just? But that's impossible without a moral code.
DB: "Thousands of young men and women have been killed, even greater numbers have committed suicide and tens of thousands have been maimed for life."
As you sow, so shall you reap.
Posted by tjdetmers on 12/06/12 04:05 PM
"It is difficult to avoid the conclusion it is a kind of satanic, sociopathic cult"
That is exactly what it is... ..whether we choose to believe it or not is irrelevant. Killing children is what we saw in the media in the latest Israeli Gazan skirmish. We are being tempered to be harder and harder when it comes to feeling compassion for our fellowman. As Christmas becomes more of an economic burden than a clarion for peace... ... the light of peace and goodwill towards mankind fades slowly back to black. The Bible does teach that Jesus Christ was bringing a sword that would divide nations and families. That "sword" was showing love for our fellowman... ... the exact mirror image of what you describe in your article. The "Salvation Army" would be a wiser investment when considering a mercenary force.
Thank you Dailybell for your insight.