Yesterday, a US military commander in Afghanistan, Col John Nicholson, apologized for the deaths of nineteen Afghan civilians in early March 2007. He told reporters in Washington, via a video link:
“”I stand before you today, deeply, deeply ashamed and terribly sorry that Americans have killed and wounded innocent Afghan people. The deaths and wounding of innocent Afghans at the hands of Americans is a stain on our honor and on the memory of the many Americans who have died defending Afghanistan and the Afghan people. We made official apologies on the part of the US government and payments of about $2,000 for each death.”
$2,000 per death? Well, that won’t exactly break the bank, will it?
Today, the US military managed to splatter what’s left of its honor with an even larger stain, outdoing its previous best by a count of two, when it killed at least twenty-one Afghan civilians in the Sangin district to the south of the country.
Not to be outdone by their trigger-happy colleagues in Afghanistan, the US military in Iraq yesterday managed to slaughter six young children, when one of its helicopters opened fire on a primary school in Diyala province north-east of Baghdad.
Of course, being so young, they are probably only worth about $1,000 each.
Does the US military have any honor left? Or has it ebbed away completely, leaving just one very large and ugly stain?
Filed under: Illusions