Friday, December 23, 2005

The balance

Rumsfeld announced troop reductions in Iraq. It was bogus of course. The Pentagon had ramped the count up for the election and now they are bringing the force back to pre-election status. But that doesn’t deny that a change in strategy is happening. As Iraqi forces stand up US forces will stand down. King George has said so himself. And how will that be possible? Air power. More sortees will replace American troops. They will be called in by Iraqi forces of by at best indeterminate allegiance. Meaning payback bigtime. But before they get into gear we get this: U.S. Airstrikes Take Toll on Civilians . Regardless of who will call them in, the air strikes in residential and urban areas will more and more kill and injure civilians.

Many commentators have drawn the analogy between Iraq and Viet Nam. But there is this difference: where Viet Nam was largely fought in the hamlets, Iraq will be (and is being) fought in urban areas. Calling air strikes in urban populated areas in past times (when the US was not involved) has been called a war crime. We won’t see that here because of course, the US is involved. But that won’t leave any fewer dead and maimed. That won’t leave any fewer suffering after the infrastructure which is already destroyed gets further pulverized in an environment where it cannot even begin to be reconstructed.

May God have mercy on our souls.

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