Wednesday, April 09, 2008


Or what the wingnuts don't quite get.

This piece from the BBC illustrates perfectly why there can be no end to fighting as long as Western occupation forces remain in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Angry and emotional

By the coalition's count, seven female civilians were killed, including three children. One was the baby.

Two men identified as bombmakers, the target of the operation, were dead inside the house, their bodies later recovered by the Iraqi police.

We sent an Iraqi cameraman to interview local people at the scene. His pictures show one house blackened by fire, the other collapsed from the airstrike.

In that house, a mangled child's cot, and the Iraqi version of the cabbage patch doll can be seen half-buried in the rubble.

There were angry and emotional scenes outside. The unanimous opinion was that an innocent family had been slaughtered.

People spoke of 100 soldiers surrounding the two houses, of tanks firing shells, of rockets from helicopters.

Two weeks later, women and children were still traumatized by what they had seen and heard, local people said.

'No shooting'

The "flash-bangs" thrown by the SAS to warn the family to get out were seen by the people we interviewed as the beginnings of an unprovoked attack.

One of the neighbours said: "The coalition forces put two grenades inside the house.

"They are lying [if they say there was reason to attack] because this family didn't shoot at all. There was nothing - no fire - coming out of the house.

"But the coalition just threw grenades in and raided the place. They did this for nothing. There were 16 dead. There were women, a baby and a little kid.

"There were no terrorists. The coalition calls us Iraqis insurgents, terrorists, but it is the coalition who are the terrorists, not us."

'Islamic soil'

The street's residents said a total of 16 civilians had been killed. The Iraqi police count was eight killed, seven injured. Photos taken by the Iraqi police at the scene show two small children among the bodies.

Another man arrived to make an angry speech. He said he was a neighbour and had also seen the whole thing.

"We could hear the women and children screaming but the coalition just kept shooting," he said.

His face was wrapped in a chequered kefeyah headscarf and he was wearing sunglasses to obscure his identity.

Pointing at the rubble and wagging his finger, he said the coalition's actions were more brutal than those of Israel against the Palestinians.

"This is Islamic soil, the Prophet's ground. I swear to God that we won't rest until we are liberated, until every last dog and pig of the coalition forces leaves this country."


Multiply incidents like this by the hundreds and thousands, dragged out over half a decade or more. Then ask yourself how on Earth the US and its allies can make this right. They just don't get it, evidenced when their response looks like this:

"In hindsight, we could have done things differently, but you always would have. Hindsight is easy. They [the British special forces] did everything right. They did everything that they should have."

No, they didn't do everything right. Had they, there would have been no bombmakers in the first place. And no innocents would have been killed. Oh, and yes I am taking soldiers to task for this. Had this been a blue on blue between a US A-10 or F-16 and a platoon of Royals, there would have been investigations and inqueries and public statements, and US pilot under protective guard. But no, some Iraqi women and children were killed and we get "they did everything right." In this case made worse (if that's possible), because the SAS are meant to be the world's experts at surgically killing selected people in buildings. But that's only partly the soldiers' fault - somebody sent them there and keeps them there [publically] expecting them to unite and utopify the countries through some magical postmodern counterfactual quantum intrepretion of the really simple foreign occupation=resistance equation.

The US, UK, Canada and anyone else who tags along, for whatever noble sounding purpose at home, will be resisted as long as they remain because regardless of intent or justification, they keep killing the people they claim to help. There is no end to this other than withdrawal. For the wingnuts that pontificate about the glory and nobility of these wars, they have yet to explain how amends can be made for slaughtering entire families in pursuit of their objectives. I've lost count of the excuses I've read from these people: "but there were insurgents in the house", " "but they had an election", "we win by killing all the insurgents", "our brave soldiers...", "this is what happens in war, get over it..." Everytime this happens, the same lines come out. Still. All these years later.

What kind of deep state cognitive dissonance does someone have to be in to even think that each time someone is killed it happens in a vacuum and the occupation gets a do-over with no consequences? And yet they wonder why they get resisted, years later, like a goldfish with a 3 second memory swimming around a bowl. Blame Iran for firing up the insurgents. Blame the anti-war types back home for not believing in their Great Crusade. But never, ever think that the Iraqis,or Afghanis don't just let things slide when our bombs kill a few of their family, friends and kin. Never think they'll do anything but recognise that we did our best but goshdarnit, who knew an airstrike on a neighbourhood might kill a few people you didn't intend to.

[The fact the employment of artillery and airstrikes against a handful of people in a civilian neighbourhood and not in a bunker or slit trench has become normalised tells me somebody has lost the plot in a big way. Just ask the Israelis how bombing Palestinian neighbourhoods has helped resolve that conflict.]

Resistance to occupation will end when the occupation ends. There is no other way around this. There are no do-overs. There are no second chances.

Again, just ask the Israelis how long a resistance can last.

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