Warfare continues to become more professional and dehumanized every day.

The purpose of Extraordinary Edition is being revisited for winter, headed into 2013. U.S. foreign policy, Central Asia and the Middle East remain key focal points. Economics and culture on your front doorstep are coming into focus here.

Monday, February 22, 2010

At Least 27 More Afghan Civilians Dead in Special Ops Airstrike

The Wall Street Journal reported Monday, Feb. 22 that a U.S. Special Operations airstrike destroyed a group of minibuses, claiming the lives of at least 27 civilians near the Pakistani border between Uruzgan and Daykundi provinces.

Matthew Rosenberg's article appears here:

Business Week's Eltaf Najafizada and Mark Williams reported up to 33 were killed in the strike.

The language used to describe dead civilians continues to be twisted into depictions of a situation in which ordinary people, not unlike the intended readers of the articles, parents and children unarmed and fending for their lives in their own land now being occupied, are being described as an inconvenience for the U.S. Military public relations effort in Afghanistan and other parts of the Middle East.

In the WSJ article, Rosenberg writes, "The area is hundreds of miles from Marjah, where the largest allied offensive since 2001 is now in its second week. But the airstrike nonetheless illustrated one of the major problems for coalition forces as they try to win over civilians in Marjah and across Afghanistan: figuring out who is a civilian and who is an insurgent—and not killing the civilians."

Is the WSJ not defending U.S. Special Operations, implying that they are doing their best whoever and wherever they are regardless of how they are conducting top secret, classified actions that result in murder of noncombatants?

Rosenberg reports, "'Nobody has an idea what were they doing there because they don't share anything with the Afghans,' said an official at the presidential palace. He added that U.S. Special Operations Forces 'arrest people and they raid houses without keeping the Afghans in the loop.'"

And a gem from General Stanley McChrystal sheds light on just how modern modern warfare can be in the United States' broader conquest in the Middle East: "'I have made it clear to our forces that we are here to protect the Afghan people, and inadvertently killing or injuring civilians undermines their trust and confidence in our mission. We will re-double our efforts to regain that trust,' Gen. McChrystal was quoted as saying by the NATO statement."

Would it be any different to have said, "I have made it clear to our forces that killing the Afghan people is not the same as protecting them?" McChrystal's statements do nothing to raise the issue that U.S. Special Forces are accountable in the light of day to no one and that their clandestine actions do not produce results that in any way attempt to complete the logic of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, namely apprehension of the members of Al Qaeda in response to the 9/11 attacks.

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