shame on us
almost without exception, public opinion here in the us quickly shifts to the victims in these cases, and we are extremely hard on our armed responders for any perceived excess or irresponsible force. we understand the importance and sanctity of civilian life, ("we the people" is our most fundamental tenet), and we certainly refuse to have it taken lightly.
so it is this morning that i'm sickened to read once again of our armed forces' "accidental" taking of afghani civilian lives. the "official" us government party line is all about the taliban taking "human shields", as if this somehow sufficiently explains what our forces have done. but put american faces on those "human shields", place them at ruby ridge, or in the crowd outside a world series celebration, and tell me if for one nanosecond we would cut any slack whatsoever to the commanders who ran the operations, or any individuals who were careless in their use of lethal force. we would demand accountability. as americans, we MUST demand accountability.
in the case of the undetermined number of afghani innocents (some say 160+, though we of course swear it couldn't possibly be that many) hamid karzai has some extreme and extremely eloquent words: "we cannot justify in any manner, for whatever number of taliban, for whatever number of significantly important terrorists, the accidental or otherwise loss of civilians."
to me, if i were to substitue "weather underground" or "aryan nation" or name your violent american extremist group for "taliban", and "american citizens" for "citizens", and read the sentence again, it would not seem out of place here in this land that i love, or even overseas where our good men and women of our armed forces struggle every day to protect us all. (captain phillips would likely agree they do a pretty damn good job most days and in most places). but why and how our government can advise us to essentially sit by and let these particular atrocities go when the people involved are citizens of any other nation, is beyond me.
if we were truly the nation we aspire to be, we would be the first and most vocal defenders of those innocents, not the last.
shame on us.