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Monday, April 13, 2009


The murder of innocents

The news is filled with the rescue of an American ship captain and the murder of three Somali pirates who were allegedly threatening him (but hadn't actually harmed anyone at that point). The murder of 8-year-old Sandra Cantu, allegedly at the hand of the mother of a friend, is also receiving wall-to-wall coverage. Meanwhile, quite a number of perfectly innocent people were killed whose deaths will receive less than one percent of the attention of either story, even though the murderer was our own government, using our tax dollars. In part, I can't fault the media, because, after all, this kind of thing happens practically every day, so it's hardly "news":
An overnight NATO-led airstrike on a remote Afghan village killed six civilians, including two children, Afghan officials said on Monday, but Western forces said they had targeted armed militants.

District police chief Mirza Mohammad said six people had been killed, all civilians, including a 3-year-old girl, a 10 year-old boy and a 40-year-old woman.

Another 16 people, including nine children, were wounded, the youngest a year-old infant. Three houses were destroyed, he said.

Last week five people including a seven-day old baby died during a U.S.-led operation in southeastern Khost province. U.S. forces initially said they had killed four insurgents but later acknowledged the dead were civilians defending their home.
The military always claims to be targeting (and initially always claims to have killed) "militants", but the truth lies elsewhere, as these just-released figures from Pakistan indicate:
Of the 60 cross-border predator strikes carried out by the Afghanistan-based American drones in Pakistan between January 14, 2006 and April 8, 2009, only 10 were able to hit their actual targets, killing 14 wanted al-Qaeda leaders, besides perishing 687 innocent Pakistani civilians. The success percentage of the US predator strikes thus comes to not more than six per cent.
By the way, we shouldn't confuse the fact that 14 of the dead were "wanted al-Qaeda leaders" with the idea that they deserved to die, or that the U.S. government had any right to kill them. Had they been convicted of any criminal acts, or even accused of committing any? Certainly none that compare to the criminal acts being committed by the U.S. government every single day, I'd wager.

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