25 Tons of Bombs Wipe Afghan Town Off Map in October
Jan 20, 2011 at 11:45 AM
A small town in Afghanistan became so "overrun with Taliban insurgents" that the American military decided its only option was to do this:
The good: The villagers had already evacuated the town, so there weren't civilian casualties, though it is unclear how the unit involved "can be so confident they didn’t accidentally kill civilians after subjecting Tarok Kolache to nearly 25 tons worth of bombs and rockets. The rockets alone have a blast radius of about 50 meters [164 feet], so the potential for hitting bystanders is high with every strike." Indeed, the commander involved did not bother to sweep the village for stragglers before dropping the bombs.
The bad: Even if the villagers had already left the town, they still lost all their houses and possessions. Indeed, "the villagers understood that the United States needed to destroy their homes — except when they don’t. One villager 'in a fit of theatrics had accused [the commander responsible] of ruining his life after the demolition.' An adviser to Hamid Karzai said that the [American unit] 'caused unreasonable damage to homes and orchards and displaced a number of people.'" Worse yet, though the villagers are supposed to be compensated for their losses and their village reconstructed, "so far the reconstruction has barely begun, three months after the destruction."
The ugly: “Sure they are pissed about the loss of their mud huts,” a Petraeus biographer pettily wrote on Facebook, “but that is why the [reconstruction] story is important here.” Oh yeah, the fact that people are understandably upset that thousands of pounds of bombs immolated their entire town is exactly why we should instead honor the US government's lackadaisical and inadequate attempts to make up for the damage. Riiight.
Is our new foreign policy to actively avoid the moral high ground instead of sometimes failing to reach it? As Ron Paul has put it, "It is said we go about the world waging war to promote peace, and yet the price paid is rarely weighed against the failed efforts to make the world a better place."