The innocents killed in Afghanistan and elsewhere often go unmentioned in domestic debate about America's conflicts abroad
Reacting to recent news that "six children were among seven civilians killed in a NATO airstrike in southern Afghanistan," Glenn Greenwald writes, "the U.S. devastated these families forever and ended these children's lives in a region where even U.S. officials say that there is a grand total of two Al Qaeda leaders and the group is 'operationally ineffective.'" It's a tragedy, whatever you think of the war there.
Here's what Greenwald thinks:
We're trained simply to accept these incidents as though they carry no meaning: we're just supposed to chalk them up to regrettable accidents (oops), agree that they don't compel a cessation to the war, and then get back to the glorious fighting. Every time that happens, this just becomes more normalized, less worthy of notice. It's just like background noise: two families of children wiped out by an American missile (yawn: at least we don't target them on purpose like those evil Terrorists: we just keep killing them year after year after year without meaning to).
It's acceptable to make arguments that American wars should end because they're costing too much money or American lives or otherwise harming American strategic interests, but piles of corpses of innocent children are something only the shrill, shallow and unSerious -- pacifists! -- point to as though they have any meaning in terms of what should be done.
Is he right?