I have blogged several times in the past about the impatience, arrogance, callousness, and result-hunting (of some kind, any kind) of the US military and its noticeable lack of observance of universal basic military rules of engagement, altogether a very potent evil brew.
Whenever Vietnamese, Afghans or Iraqis were killed by US military actions, the victims had been always insurgents, terrorist suspects or the enemies, and never innocent civilians or bystanders. The US military, insofar as it own self is concerned, is always accurate in its bombing, strafing and napalming.
Besides, every killed 'terrorist suspect' adds to a beautiful set of numbers for the US military that the Americans called reported 'performance'. This is the 'result' it desperately hunts for to prove it is winning the war.
Remember the 'body count' of Vietnam?. Because of its meaningless stupidity and associated fabrications, the American press made mincemeat out of such idiotic statistics. The US military tried to avoid the same bullsh*t mistake in Iraq but again couldn't resist falling back on the American cherished love of statistics to indicate it is somehow on top of the opposition in Iraq.
Yeah, John had 7 aces (smack right on that rag-head target), two unforced errors (the camel jock wasn't even shooting - just nerves) and won 47 times at the baseline (F-18s were pounding the village with bombs and whatnot).
Hey, so what if those killed were a few Afghan or Iraqi kids picking up the deadly cluster bombs, mistakening them for harmless items. So what if a wedding party in an Afghan or Iraqi village had been accidentally obliterated in a USAF strike. Remember that old Vietnam War US military assertion "If it's dead and it's Vietnamese, it's VC" meaning every killed Vietnamese (or Iraqi) is a Vietcong (or al Qaeda militant).
Thus I read news of American killing of x or y number of terrorist suspects with grave misgivings – I wouldn't be at all surprised if those, or most of them, would be innocents callously slaughtered, with no one to ever speak for their cruel deaths.
Last week I blogged on how the Americans sprayed every taxi in an Iraqi town, Samawa, with gunfire because they believed insurgents were travelling by cab. See US Military on Iraqi Taxis: "Kill Them All"
Again, it's reminiscent of that stupid and utterly callous Americanism stated in Vietnam, "We have to destroy the village to save it!"
Now, we have another example of such callousness.
The US military claimed that it killed eight armed guerrillas on Saturday, mind you, not just any guerrillas but al Qaeda militants, near the Syrian border. The ongoing operations have 1,000 US troops with the usual armada of offensive air support dropping bombs, missiles and cannonfire.
However, the Qaim region hospital director, Hamdi al-Alusi, said at least 11 people were killed in US strikes, which included an ambulance driver. Al-Alusi named the ambulance driver as Mahmoud Chad.
He added that 10 had been killed and eight injured when the US military opened fire on cars, because the Americans suspected the occupants to be insurgents and hey-ho, shot at those vehicles. Now, hasn’t this been the same tactic as the Americans opening fire on those cabs that they suspected (yes, only 'suspected') of transporting insurgents?
The American rules of engagement? When in doubt, FIRE away! WTF, they were only Iraqis.
The US military of course denied al-Alusi’s report, calling him a liar. Now, who would you believe?
But Reuters television interviewed an Iraqi living in one of a number of tents bearing the logo of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees in the desert outside the nearby town of Ana. He had been there for months after his house in neighbouring Karabila was destroyed in a US assault.
Sorry Malek, nothing more than collateral damage (or terrorist suspects!). Afterall, Condoleezza Rice, US Secretary of State, justified the use of force, American military force of course, to advance the cause of democracy and liberty!
(1) Bagram Villagers: "Die America!"
(2) Why the World Hates America