Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Fighting With Your Hands Tied Behind Your Back

The Americans and their minor Nato allies are killing civilians in Afghanistan. There's no doubt about that. How many, what the circumstances are, what precautions are being made, these are not subjects one discusses in polite society, apparently. The custom of calling in aircraft - planes, not helicopters - is a bit puzzling to me, but I don't profess to have enough data, given as it isn't being offered.

Don't get me wrong. As a general statement I'm in favor of military action against the enemies of mankind and especially womankind; I'm no pacifist nor do I harbor any doubts about the utterly evil intentions of the enemies currently being fought. But I am befuddled, a wee bit, by the dimensions of the double standards in force here; and also by the ability to wage war without the public thinking intelligently.

And then there is this, in a Guardian article about the events. I don't suggest you take the Guardian article too seriously; it contains too many of the usual unthinking tropes that serve as a shield from thinking. My point is the quotation from the American general:
Last week Afghanistan's president, Hamid Karzai, called for all air strikes in
villages to be stopped, a view privately backed by many in the UN. Yesterday
Barack Obama's national security adviser, Gen James Jones, ruled out such a
change in policy, saying "we can't fight with one hand tied behind our back".
They can't be expected to fight with their hands tied behind their backs, says Obama's man.


Derick Schilling said...

Yaacov, I think the US/NATO uses jet fighter bombers for airstrikes in Afghanistan because they can arrive on the scene much faster than helicopters, and because they are less vulnerable to ground fire, including shoulder-launched rockets and missiles.

annie said...

Derek, I think Yaakov was being sarcastic. He talks about America protesting that they can't fight with one hand tied behind their backs - which is true - and yet these same Americans demand that Israel does just that. They allow themselves the liberty of bombing from the air yet castigate Israel for doing the exact same thing.

As Yaakov said - double standards.

Anonymous said...

sometime last year there was in Vanity Fair an article how fighting a village works in Kourengar? valley in Afghanistan- everybody daring to criticize combatting people who operate by their own rules should read what it means to fight an enemy who hides in oh so innocent villages
PS: yes I think Dr. Lozowick means satire, but I also think the plight of the soldiers is too hard even for the most bitter laugh