We’re blowing up your home. It’s for your own good.

Afghanistan. Still a war there. And every time you look away for a while, the news gets a bit worse.

Here is a horrifying story of bombing an Afghan village into oblivion. Except the writer isn’t horrified; in her eyes, this is a perfectly sensible military tactic. She’s incomprehending when one of the villagers “in a fit of theatrics” accuses the commander of “ruining his life”. Because blowing his home, and his neighbours’ homes, and their farmland, is a trivial thing to get annoyed about.

There are outraged posts and further information popping up online.
One of the best responses is from Joshua Foust, writing at Central Asia blog Registan. As he points out, this isn’t an individual outrage. It’s a standard tactic, something that the soldiers involved now barely see as controversial:

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?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *