14 February 2010

keeping us safe...

This appalling story today, on good old Valentine's Day: "Twelve Afghans died Sunday when two rockets fired at insurgents missed their target and struck a house."

Great work with the precision rocketry and whatnot.

General McChrystal said: "It's regrettable that in the course of our joint efforts, innocent lives were lost."

Regrettable. Gosh. Maybe General McChrystal could find a thesaurus and choose a slightly more...empathic word. "Regrettable."

Regrettable is when the snow plow buries your car, or knocks off your sideview mirrors. Regrettable is a billing error on your gas bill.

People only get one life - you only get one, just this one - and those twelve people had their lives taken from them by this stupidity in Afghanistan. Does anyone even know why we're there? Other than that we're trying - in some crappy, ineffective way - to clean up the mess we made?

And spare me the REMEMBER 9/11 NEVER AGAIN jingoistic propaganda.
Those attacks were terrible, horrible, criminal, tragic and terrifying - but it didn't then, and doesn't now, justify launching a war at this sad, scrubby barren country and its sad, poor inhabitants.  Most online sources, some more reputable than others (reputable ones including the UN and Human Rights Watch) indicate that several thousand Afghan civilians have been killed as direct result of military action.

How is this okay?
Why do we allow this to happen?
It's running in the background, all the time, like some kind of white noise you don't hear any longer.

the financial cost is obscene - costofwar.com keeps a running counter, searchable by state, city/county, and individual - the numbers are astronomical.

and what are we getting for our billions and billions of dollars? the satisfying feeling of a job well done, when we kill entire families, little kids, old people, in a "regrettable" accident?

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