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Friday, March 16, 2012


Massacres by the U.S.? Ho-hum.

Two reactions to the recent massacre of 16 Afghans by an American soldier remind us of the nature of the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan (and elsewhere). In the New York Times, we are told regarding the relatively mild reaction to the slaughter in Afghanistan itself:
Americans have had a lot of practice at apologizing for carnage, accidental and otherwise, and have gotten better at doing it quickly and convincingly.
As Glenn Greenwald puts it so perfectly:
I don’t mind admitting that I beamed with nationalistic pride when I learned of our country’s impressive evolution: our nation’s government is so practiced in “apologizing for carnage” that it’s becoming a perfected art.
And two days ago, Secretary of Defense [sic] Leon Panetta let slip this comforting thought (emphasis added):
War is hell. These kinds of events and incidents are going to take place. They've taken place in any war. They’re terrible events. And this is not the first of those events, and it probably won't be the last.
And despite the almost certain knowledge that "it probably won't be the last," Panetta assures us that he has no intention of avoiding that inevitability:
"I do not believe that there is any reason at this point to make any changes with regards to our strategy and for the process of drawing down."
Of course he doesn't. It won't be his wife and children who are slaughtered, and it won't be his son who comes home and murders his family and then kills himself.

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