Friday, June 22, 2007

A Dubious Secretary-General for NATO

It was all an unfortunate accident. That's the line of bullshit being spewed by NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer to explain away last night's NATO airstrike that slaughtered 25-Afghan civilians including three babies and nine women.

“If these things happen, they are mistakes, it’s never intentional,” he explained.

“From our point of view, a civilian gets killed and it’s an error,” he said. “But just recall that last week the Taliban killed 35 policemen and civilians in Kabul and they continue to do this. They continue to blow bombs off in their cities with indiscriminate actions. They don’t care who gets killed.”

Let's see, what was the accident anyway? Were these houses targeted by accident? No. Is it an accident that people sleep in their houses at night? I don't think so. Did we hit the wrong targets? No, we got the houses we were aiming to take out.

Obviously there was no accident, none whatsoever. We, that being NATO, called in an airstrike on two houses in a village. Past experience, if nothing else, has shown us that when we target villages we usually manage to kill innocent civilians.

The inevitable consequence of bombing village houses in the dark of night is to kill those inside. We are all deemed to intend the logical consequences of our acts. Therefore NATO intended to kill everyone inside those houses knowing there was a good chance they would kill innocents.

I'm not going to get into the laws of war here or the duty to safeguard the lives of civilians but the very legality of targetting residences for precision air strikes is questionable at best.

"From our point of view, a civilian gets killed and its an error." Damn right that's his point of view. They're dead, it's an error, forget about it. Yeah, but his point of view, NATO's point of view on this sort of attack is not good enough, not nearly good enough. It was an error but a very intentional one.

If this is the attitude of NATO's top dog, there's no reason to believe these killings won't just go on.

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