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Ear to the Ground

Airstrike Rules Broken, Pentagon Finds

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Posted on Jun 3, 2009
USMC / Lance Cpl. Chad J. Pulliam

Bombs from a U.S. Air Force B-1 Lancer aircraft drop outside Forward Operating Base Now Zad, Afghanistan.

U.S. forces in Afghanistan have developed a reputation for bombing first and asking questions later. According to The New York Times, an internal Pentagon investigation confirms that the rules of engagement were not followed properly during airstrikes on May 4, resulting in the deaths of 20 to140 civilians (depending on whether you take the U.S. or Afghan estimate).

New York Times:

A military investigation has concluded that American personnel made significant errors in carrying out some of the airstrikes in western Afghanistan on May 4 that killed dozens of Afghan civilians, according to a senior American military official.

The official said the civilian death toll would probably have been reduced if American air crews and forces on the ground had followed strict rules devised to prevent civilian casualties. Had the rules been followed, at least some of the strikes by American warplanes against half a dozen targets over seven hours would have been aborted.

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By anambrose, June 4, 2009 at 9:08 pm Link to this comment

What you have hear is careerist officers who will not follow rules of engagement. Why? Just look at the track record of Christian Fundamentalists who view Our Military Academies as Pulpits to preach to the faithful, converting the unwilling if they want to graduate. That results in the mission being tainted with Bushian claims of Crusade against the Muslim. This piss poor use of force is not a one shot like the Chinese Embassy bombing as this is far more numerous and spans the services. It is undermining our efforts and puts us in a no win bind. We are then seen as either badly incompetent, willfully negligent, and or actually wanting that result in the acceptance that there will always be civilian killing. The lack of common sense leavening provided by universal military service has left our military with a cadre more akin to Highland Clans. If we had more of our citizens cycling through the services with some staying on as a career then we would have less of the type we have now who feel its God’s will that Christians kill as many Muslims as they can because in that sick environment that’s preferable to sitting on your hands in some peacetime garrison.

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By jr., June 4, 2009 at 11:38 am Link to this comment

Who has proven the correctness of the american system?

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JimBob's avatar

By JimBob, June 4, 2009 at 11:05 am Link to this comment

Obama, quoting the Koran in Cairo today: “When you kill an innocent, it’s as if you killed the whole world…”

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By samosamo, June 4, 2009 at 10:53 am Link to this comment

Gee, I would think this would definitely be in obama’s purview of responsibility and having the authority to immediately take corrective action, or am I wrong and this will just be another bunch of ‘water under the damn’ with nothing being done to stop it?

I see it as being his place where the buck stops and for him to stop it and ‘no action’ just piles on many more layers of verifiable nonactions of his ‘change we must’ falsehoods from his compaign.

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By Folktruther, June 4, 2009 at 7:51 am Link to this comment

Bombing people’s homes, weddings and funerals have caused such outrage in the Afghan and Pakistani populations that the US has fired the general the perpetrated the strategy and put in McCrystal. 

McCrystal is a crazed pschopath, a favorite of Cheney and Rumsfield, who leads a special forces group that murders, tortures, rapes, etc but does so more secretly, causing less public outrage.  that way the media need not report it, or report it less, like the Phenex program in Vietnam, where fifty to a hundred thousand Vietnamsee were tortured and killed.
And this trains a cadre brutal enough to be used against the American population.

This is the Change You Can Believe In.

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By ardee, June 4, 2009 at 3:08 am Link to this comment

” I wish I could love my country and Justice too.”  Albert Camus

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By Ribald, June 4, 2009 at 1:40 am Link to this comment

*Sigh* I wish we could feel the horror and sadness we create in war firsthand. Then, our country could feel shame.

Our wars do not end because our culture considers humility, honesty, and kindness—humanity itself—to be a weakness. Many Americans look up to figures that were traditionally the villains: the coward that proves his bravery by ordering torture, the stone-hearted general that holds no sympathy for civilians caught in the grip of war, or even the psychopathic character that just likes to blow things up for the shear enjoyment of it.

I often hope that our soldiers know better than to entertain such delusions, having the experience of the horrors of war.

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