Monday, January 16, 2006

Another Fine Mess

Nice going, Bush. Your Rumsfeld strikes again. This time it’s the village of Damadola in Pakistan, where we send in a Predator armed with missiles to devastate the community, kill at least 18 civilians, including six children, and miss (it seems) the intended target, Al Qaeda number 2 man, Ayman al-Zawahiri.

What a way to win hearts and minds, Bush! Even had we nailed him—and I carry no torch for the man, believe me—had we succeeded in blowing him to kingdom come, would the effort have been worth it? What would we have achieved? We’d have created another high-profile martyr, alienated a whole bunch more citizens in the Muslim world, recruited another few hundred fighters for the cause of the terrorists, and exposed ourselves as high-tech bullies to the rest of the world. All for what? Revenge? To show the Al Qaeda gang what a dreadful fate awaits them—a fate they make no bones about welcoming in their way to Paradise?

And even if we agree that assassination is a worthy strategy against those who plot against us—I myself, in my own naïve way, happen to think not--do we seriously think that disposing of one leader in this manner won’t make way for another? I ask myself, even if this had been the beady-eyed arch-demon Osama bin Laden, even had we succeeded in rubbing out this architect of 9/11 in this way, what would have gained, aside from the satisfaction of retribution for his hateful attack? Would it have been worth the lives of innocent civilians and a mountain of ill-will?

Dead or alive, you once said shortly after the attack on the World Trade Center towers. It may make a nice poster for a Western flick. And maybe, had you been able to pull it off back in Afghanistan, while the memory was still hot and the man was holed up with his scruffy warriors, not a bunch of villagers—maybe then you could have gotten away with it. I believe now, though, from a strictly PR point of view, the only reasonable option you have left is either to off him in the company of armed fighters in a more demonstrably fair fight, or to capture him alive. I’m all for that. But just don’t go killing more civilians from unmanned Predators, Bush. No matter how you justify the rights and wrongs of it, no matter how scurrilous the intended target, that will be viewed throughout the world as an act of cowardice.


Fred Thompson said...

Couldn't agree with you more re: the negative aspects of this screw-up. The incident will serve as an incentive for recruitment to the Al-Qaeda couse. Sad too are the comments of Senators McClain & Bayh on the talk shows Sunday, saying the collateral damage is tragic, but that we have to continue rolling the dice. Shame!

PK said...

I have followed McCain, and I have known to be wrong, but McCain is riding the fence. Whenever McCain gets some ethics, Bush calls him in to remind him he's wearing a Republican jacket. If McCain wants to keep any political ground he can't open his mouth too much or Bush will do the same to him as he does to others. Verbally, politically, assassinate him. It's too late in the game for McCain to go down. It appears that all the "intelligence" we have gotten, since the git, hasn't been too intelligent. The only people, save Saddam's sons, that have been killed are mostly Iraqi civilians. What, 5 people out of 10,000? Or was there more? It's more than shame, it's criminal.

PeterAtLarge said...

Thanks, both. Good to hear from you, Fred. The same point made, on this morning's television news, about how tragic the collateral damage is, bu how it's "worth it" for a high value target like Zawahiri. Not in my book!