The long range artillery on those tanks are good for two things, destroying other tanks, which the Taliban don't have, and mass murder. Long range artillery, even in 2010, is not a precision weapon. The targets of those 120-mm main guns will be homes, not fortifications.
And how easily we kill today. Tuesday's headline from the region read:
20 Suspected Militants Killed
20 alleged militants were killed in a drone strike in North Waziristan, which would seem to make the question of whether they actually were militants, mute. Apparently not. One news report goes on:
At least four missiles were fired, two at the mud-brick house and two at the vehicle. Four of the slain were in the vehicle while at least 16 died in the flattened home. The identity of the dead was not known, and agents were trying to get more details, said the officials.The phrase "Shoot first, ask questions later" comes to mind.
Notice this was a "home" that was flattened, not a barracks. Soldiers live in barracks, families live in homes. So, now I feel compelled to ask, as I always do after hearing another one of these reports: "How many of those 'suspected militants' were under the age of five?" And then another question, just because I am curious, "How do you sleep at night?" I live with myself by working for peace everyday.
These are two of the 17 children killed on Dec. 20, 2009 in a drone strike in Yemen, five days before the underwear bomber tried his stunt. Let them stand in for the thousands of children we have murdered in Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan in our bloody War on Terrorism between last Christmas and this one. Do you get the picture? If not click here to see children from that same raid that were burned to a crisp. Click here, to see the bodies of high school students murdered in a mid-night Special Forces raid in Afghanistan. Click here, to see the truly grotesque pictures of the victims of our white phosphorous in Iraq. There may not have been chemical weapons in Iraq when we invaded, but there sure as hell are now!
Do you think that there is any amount of expensive technology or TSA abuse that can protect us from just retribution?
Frankly, the terminology they are using really troubles me because for more than 40 years now, I have considered myself a militant. Words are my weapons, although I did participate in my share of sit-ins and building takeover in protest of the Vietnam War, and I wish I was with the twenty thousand people protesting the School of Americas (i.e. "Schools of Assassins") in front of Ft. Benning, GA this weekend. Now, with nothing like due process, we are killing people who are suspected of being what I have been for most of my life. Killing them and their families. [BTW This annual SOAW mass protest is something else Keith won't cover, nor will anyone else in MSM outside of the Atlanta area.]
We killed between 3 and 5 million people in Vietnam, our Agent Orange and unfound ordinances are killing them still. We have yet to come to terms with that little bit of mass murder, nor the minimum 8 million people we have killed in total, including Korea, Cambodia, Laos, Iran, El Salvador, Panama, and so on since WWII. As I have pointed out earlier in my diary, the U.S. economy has required massive military spending just to stay afloat ever since the first great depression. These are the people that have paid the price.
This week the NY Times reports that we are systematically destroying thousand of homes in Afghanistan. The UN or somebody should stop this criminal activity.
In Arghandab District, for instance, every one of the 40 homes in the village of Khosrow was flattened by a salvo of 25 missiles, according to the district governor, Shah Muhammed Ahmadi, who estimated that 120 to 130 houses had been demolished in his district.
American troops are using an impressive array of tools not only to demolish homes, but also to eliminate tree lines where insurgents could hide, blow up outbuildings, flatten agricultural walls, and carve new military roads, because existing ones are so heavily mined, according to journalists embedded in the area recently.
One of the most fearsome tools is the Miclic, the M58 Mine-Clearing Line Charge, a chain of explosives tied to a rocket, which upon impact destroys everything in a swath 30 feet wide and 325 feet long. The Himars missile system, a pod of 13-foot rockets carrying 200-pound warheads, has also been used frequently for demolition work.
Often, new military roads go right through farms and compounds, cutting a route that will keep soldiers safe from roadside bombs.
It is claimed that these houses are abandoned and the demolitions are very orderly with the owners being compensated and all but I don't believe it. Not with these tools and not with the U.S. military track record for honest reporting. From the Gulf of Tonkin to the WikiLeaks revelations, they have shown that they will lie at the drop of a bomb.
Which is also why I don't believe the only people opposing our occupation in that fiercely independent tribal country are 'Taliban". I believe that anyone who dares to exercise their right of self defense against us is called "Taliban." A quick review of the Vietnam experience will tell you how the U.S. military sees things. From my film, Vietnam: American Holocaust:
Dennis Caldwell, 1st Aviation Brigade
I was a helicopter Cobra gunship pilot. I worked with another aircraft at all times in what is called a hunter-killer team. I was told by the other pilots in the unit how to tell a VC from a civilian--if they were running, they were VC. If they were standing there, they were well-disciplined VC, shoot 'em anyhow.Scott Camil, 1st Marines
Another time I had a friend of mind killed and I was very upset and I asked this Vietnamese for his ID card and he says "cum beck" which means 'I don't understand' in Vietnamese and he just pissed me off so I pulled out my knife and I killed him and it didn't bother me at all. I just called it in and I said "One VC killed." and they said "How do you know he's a VC" and I said "because he's dead" and they laughed and said "okay"BTW Scott Camil received two Purple Hearts, Combat Action Ribbon, two Presidential Unit Citations, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with three stars, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm Leaf, and Vietnam Campaign Medal during two tours in Vietnam. He will be the first tell you what a farce those metal were. He returned most of them at a Senate garden party in 1971, and is now the chapter president for Veterans for Peace in Gainsville, FL.
I only found out myself a few years ago that the term "Viet Cong" was itself a creation of a U.S. Army PsyOps officer in Siagon in 1958. It was designed to denigrate our enemy. In point of fact, the National Liberation Front fighters never did call themselves the Viet Cong or VC. Given that history, I don't know who they mean when they say they are only destroying "Taliban " houses.
And not only houses, but whole villages have been destroyed. In justifying this wholesale destruction, Shah Muhammed Ahmadi, Kandahar district governor, told the NY Times We had to destroy them to make them safe. Was he channeling Major Booris? He made one of the most famous quotes of the Vietnam War when he told AP reporter Peter Arnett on Feburary 7, 1968 "It became necessary to destroy the town to save it."
I wish we had Peter Arnett or someone like him to tell us the truth about our wars today. He is badly missed. When it comes to our present wars, Keith Olbermann and the whole damn crowd are good at keeping secrets.