Monday, April 16, 2007

US Marines killed Afghans after bombing-report

This should come as no surprise to anyone. Which is not to imply I think our troops are routinely or even often killing civilians in the Mid-East. It simply means it happens.
A preliminary investigation by the military says U.S. Marines killed or wounded more than 40 Afghan civilians after a suicide attack on a convoy last month, the Washington Post reported on Sunday.

The newspaper said work by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service [NCIS] would decide whether to call courts martial for the troops involved.

First off, this is what happens when you keep* sending troops into hostile, urban environments in temperatures they can barely tolerate with insurgents who are impossible to spot. Don't forget, the insurgents have no problem spotting allied forces. Not so vice versa.

As for whether to call courts martial. That's a no brainer when the investigation found the Afghans to be unarmed civilians as was the case here. Courts martial are supposed to decide the facts of the situation. They're not automatic punishment. They're there to meet out justice.

*And by "keep" I'm including multiple rotations. Many troops have been diagnosed as unfit to serve again and the doctors are ignored. I have no idea if that is the case with even one of these Marines, but it wouldn't surprise me.

(read more)

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