Afghanistan. Still a war there, y’know.
And every time you look away for a while, the news gets steadily worse.

Here is a horrifying story of bombing a village into oblivion. But the writer is in total sympathy with the military, and doesn’t understand how anybody could dislike their home being destroyed::

Mohammad [one of the villagers]…in a fit of theatrics had accused Flynn of ruining his life after the demolition

clearing operations are a necessary evil to weed out the Taliban, and they often leave devastating destruction in the wake. But [critics overlook] the tremendous effort some units, like 1-320th, have made to rebuild his country

There’s been entirely justified outrage at wired and at Central Asia blog Registan

what is happening right now in Southern Afghanistan is inexcusable. There were rumors of this policy of collective punishment in the Arghandab before (see this overwrought Daily Mail story that stops right before the village actually was destroyed for an idea of what is going on), and I’m really struggling to see how such behavior does not violate Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention—that is, how this behavior is not a war crime, especially given the explicit admission that such behavior is merely for the convenience of the soldier and not any grander strategy or purpose.

I cannot comprehend why the deliberate destruction of villages seems to be an official, sanctioned ISAF policy in the South. Is is abhorrent, an atrocity, and there is no excuse for it (nor are there words for the anger it’s stirred in me, reading about it from afar; I suspect Broadwell would sniff at me to stop whining as well, were we to discuss it in person). This should outrage and infuriate everyone who reads about it. But, and this is where I move from rage to despair: how could we ever possibly hope to stop it?

Extra horror: read the comments on any of the posts above. They’re all full of people defending the policy of blowing up villages for the good of the inhabitants.

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