Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Just Once?

The international human rights lobby is upset that in the course of fighting jihadi enemies in Afghanistan who hide and fight amongst civilians in order to protect themselves or cause civilians to be killed, NATO has accidentally killed some civilians:

Goodwill toward foreign forces is eroding across Afghanistan because airstrikes and botched raids by U.S. and NATO troops have killed at least 230 civilians this year, an umbrella group for aid agencies said Tuesday. ...

A group representing 94 foreign and Afghan aid agencies, including Oxfam, Save the Children and CARE International, laid much of the blame for civilian deaths on U.S. actions, contending indiscriminate use of force is causing the death of innocents.

"Such operations have frequently been by carried out by forces or agencies outside NATO command, often American forces in Operation Enduring Freedom, and sometimes in conjunction with Afghan forces," the Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief said in a statement.

The aid groups seem ignorant of the fact that jihadis killed civilians before 2001 and still do since our campaign. The only difference is that now we are trying to defeat the jihadis. Keen observers will notice the common element.

Look, legally we are not responsible for civilian deaths when the enemy hides among them. International law does not require us to hold fire. That we usually do is our choice.

Now, if such deaths truly are turning people against us, this is a matter of concern separate from the legal question.

But what I wouldn't give to see these international aid groups lecture the jihadis that their beheadings and car bombings are eroding our good will toward their religion.

Of course, that would also require a good part of our population to actually display outrage over enemy atrocities rather than reflexively grasp for reasons they hate us.

Talk about drawing to an inside straight.