Wednesday, August 5, 2009

America Doesn't Acknowledge

Somebody shot a missile at a house where a top Pakistan-Taliban leader may have been, and killed one of his wives. If they did all the due diligence and were convinced he was in there, and felt their chances of killing him elsewhere were limited, this was probably a legitimate act of war, and we should regret they didn't get their man, not only that they did kill his wife. Recent history supplies quite a number of demonstrations that killing top terrorists saves lots of innocent lives.

The part of the story where I grimaced cynically hwever, was this:
The U.S. Embassy had no comment Wednesday. Washington generally does not
acknowledge the missile strikes, which are fired from unmanned drones. In the
past, however, American officials have said the missiles have killed several
important al-Qaida operatives.

America, being big and powerful, doesn't see any need even to confirm when it carries out such attacks. Of course, there aren't any other forces in the area with the technical ability to fire missiles from drones, but that's not an argument for transparency.

Israel is packed with self-appointed so called "human rights organizations", and they routinely blame their country even for things it doesn't do. Their American counterparts, however, all the Andrew Sullivan's, Glenn Greenwalds, Juan Coles, Mondoweisses etc, can't be bothered. That is, they can't be bothered when it's their own country. They'll gladly pile on when it's Israel.


Michael W. said...

So true. But don't forget, they blame the Afghanistan and Iraq wars on Israel - it is all for Israel they say. It is not their countries' wars they believe.

Andrew said...

I don't think it's quite right to say that Greenwald can't be bothered to criticize American military tactics. It's not his pet topic, certainly, but he has castigated Obama for both doubling down in Afghanistan and continuing the drone attacks along the border. I seldom agree with him when he does so, but Greenwald has no compunctions about criticizing the US military.

I don't read Sullivan or Cole as much as you do, so I can't speak to them.

4infidels said...

When it's most Western countries, it's an understandable, if unfortunate, act of the type that happens during war.

When it's Israel, it is an example of Israel's brutality, indifference to non-Jewish life and loss of traditional Jewish values.

And, of course, added to the hostile reading of Israel's intentions are descriptions intended to demonize that rarely arise in war-related articles concerning other countries: "one-ton bomb," "crowded Gaza neighborhood," "Israel unleashed its overwhelming military superiority," "defenseless civilians minding their own business," "using American-made weapons," "striking a blow to the peace process," "overreacted," etc.

When I recall stories regarding American air strikes against the Taliban, I can't conjure images of the nature of the weapon, the type of neighborhood, America's values, how dominant America's military capability is in comparison to the Taliban nor how such strikes are "torpedoing" any chance for peace.

Yaacov said...

Andrew -

It's not for me to say what other bloggers should or shouldn't blog about. Bloggers, unlke newspapers, don't have to pretend to tell it as it is, or be balanced, or what have you. My point is that bloggers who comment an the legality or illegality of Israeli military actions, need to do the same about the military actions of their own country. If they don't, they open themselves to the charge of hypocrisy. The fact that they may criticise their country on other issues is not relevant.

Greenwald can castigate American policies on torture or prisoners to his heart's content. The moment he talks about the legality of Israeli military actions, he needs to look at the same actions when the Americans do so. I don't think he does.