We probably learned it from our squad leader as privates. He told us we could find it in the dictionary between sh*t and syphillis. I mention this because the media wants us to feel related emotions about the recent bombing incident near Kunduz, where civilians were killed in an air strike. Perhaps you have heard? In case your local news outlet has forgetten to inform you of certain details of the current war, let me give you a synopsis.
Last week, the Taliban managed to hijack two fuel tankers of coalition diesel. In the process of absconding with the goods, they managed to get at least one of the heavy-laden trucks stuck in the process of fording a river. Being the thugs that they are, their solution to the situation was to go to a local village and dragoon by force the local populace to assist in getting the vehicle(s) free. One of their methods was to lighten the loads by “giving away the fuel”. The media may wish to convey an altruistic motive for the Taliban’s gift of fuel to poor villagers. Don’t fall for it. Their motive for taking the fuel in the first place was primarily for their own use and for resale, and to deny its use to coalition forces secondarily (otherwise they would have just blown it up). Some articles also portray the fuel give away as a frenzy of opportunistic locals taking advantage of “free fuel”. I don’t discount that on some level, but not to the extent most articles say. This occurred in the North, home of our first allies the Northern Alliance. Not necessarily a hotbed of Taliban sympathies; so I lean towards a strong element of threats and coercion on the part of the Taliban in getting the assistance of the locals.
In any case, the activity was observed from on high and the results of the observation was relayed to the German commander in sector, who had authority to call for an air strike against the target. This was not a shoot from the hip reaction, but rather a well-reasoned decision by the man with the responsibility to act on the facts that he had available to him. Two 500 lb bombs took out the target. There is no dispute that civilians were killed, only the numbers. A group calling itself the Afghan Rights Monitor claims that through its interviews of 15 villagers it has determined that only a dozen Taliban were killed versus 60-70 civilians. On the other hand, the Kunduz Provincial Government through a spokesman has said only 5 of the estimated killed were civilians. Somewhere between is the truth, but the truth may be unknowable due to the level of destruction at the site.
Who is at fault? That’s easy. The thugs caused it. Whether they were Taliban or just thieves (either is equally likely), they were the ones who put the villagers in danger. If the villagers were eager to glom onto free fuel, its a lesson on no free lunch or don’t be receiving stolen goods – take your pick. Lest I come off as hard-hearted, let me assure you that I do have sympathy for the poor folks just minding their own business who happen to be oppressed by this type of thug – be it Taliban or organized gang of thieves. The SF guys motto is “De Oppresso Libre”, which means to liberate the oppressed. That’s what we’re supposed to be doing, it goes hand-in-hand with defeating our enemies; you can’t do one without the other.
The next story you will see in the MSM to provoke sympathy and outrage is an “invasion” of an NGO hospital by US forces, who tied up staff and visitors and tried to intimidate staff into exposing insurgents there for treatment. The gallant NGO hospital staff stood up to the mean old GIs and refused to do so. Oh yes, violations of the Geneva Convention and all that. Don’t fall for that, either. We weren’t bombing the hospital, just searching it. Everyone knows damn good and well we are this first ones to treat a wounded adversary right after he’s tried to kill us. This ‘incident’ happened in Warduk Province yesterday – so look for it.
Getting back to finding sympathy. Careful you don’t look in the wrong place or rather try to misplace it. We didn’t start the fight or the fire. Civilians are going to get hurt, no matter how hard we try to avoid it – and we try mighty hard. Not our fault 99 times out of 100, I’d say. You go ahead and form your own opinion. There were a lot of civilians hurt by us while conducting WWII, but everyone is damn glad we won it. We do things a lot different in the 21st century, so be thankful of the improvement and appreciate it, rather than falling for what the liberal media is selling.