Sunday, May 30, 2010

Compare, Contrast, Liquefy

This status was posted by one of my Facebook friends from high school:

A Soldier is missing their family while caring for yours. In the minute it takes you to read this, Soldiers all over the world are saving lives. It's Military appreciation week....Repost if you are a Military, love a Military member, hold memories of a Fallen Hero or appreciate the Military

Or rather, re-posted, since it's evidently another one of those chain texts that people pass along. It took me less than a minute to read it, and only twenty-five muscles to start typing up this post.

I wonder if this person noticed that the word "American" is missing from the text. Would she agree that Taliban soldiers are saving lives? Soldiers are "all over the world", right? I didn't think about it right away myself, because my blood pressure went right up at "saving lives." Yeah, right.

The US military has reprimanded six operators of an unmanned drone, which mistakenly attacked a civilian convoy in Afghanistan killing at least 23.
Warnings that the convoy was not an attacking force were ignored or played down, while the ground-force commander was not sure who was in the vehicles, an investigation found.
The deadly assault took place in Uruzgan Province in February.
Civilian deaths in strikes have caused widespread resentment in Afghanistan. ...

The commander of the international forces in Afghanistan, Gen Stanley McChrystal, said letters had been issued reprimanding four senior and two junior officers in Afghanistan.
He said: "Our most important mission here is to protect the Afghan people; inadvertently killing or injuring civilians is heartbreaking and undermines their trust and confidence in our mission.
"We will do all we can to regain that trust."
The botched strike happened despite Gen McChrystal's introduction of much tougher rules of engagement in a bid to minimise such casualties.

Militaries don't save lives, they take lives. Can Americans be excused for ignoring this basic fact just because it's Memorial Day there? Anyway, General McChrystal said he was heartbroken, and the perpetrators have received letters of reprimand; the President says he takes civilian deaths very seriously. Remember, it's about us, it's all and only about us.