2014 Air strikes and ISIS, now it begins – civilian casualties.

Posted: October 7, 2014 in Uncategorized
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7 Oct 2014 Defence News and The LA Times reported today “Iraq news reports say 18 civilians killed in strike aimed at militantsExtract:  Iraqi news outlets reported Monday that at least 18 civilians, mostly women and children, were killed in an airstrike on a town under siege by fighters from the extremist group Islamic State.  The reports said that the U.S.-led coalition conducted the attack that hit at least one building in Hit, a strategic Euphrates River Valley town in Iraq’s Anbar province.  … Hit’s general hospital received 18 bodies, including three women and eight children, all killed in an airstrike, according to Iraqi news accounts.

“It’s possible that the coalition’s air force struck the houses by mistake,” an unidentified source told Erem News, a local network. “Coalition aircraft attempted to target houses containing ISIS elements, but the [projectiles] fell on the houses of citizens,” the report said, using a common acronym for Islamic State. … In addition to the U.S.-led coalition, the Iraqi air force has also bombarded insurgent positions in Iraq, resulting in numerous civilian deaths and drawing severe criticism from human rights groups and residents in the targeted areas. Responding to the outcry, Prime Minister Haider Abadi announced last month that the country’s armed forces had suspended aerial bombardments in areas where civilians are present.”

Our response: I can hear it now: Under investigation. May be true or not. Uncertain. But possible. Regrettable if true. Collateral damage.

In order to save the people of Iraq, it looks like we will have to kill some of you. Sorry.

It may be a crime for ISIS to hide in civilian populations, but a far worse crime to kill civilians to get at these military targets. We will plead collateral damage, unintended consequences, but unintended or not, they are totally foreseeable with the weapons we are using and airstrikes.  This is not acceptable.

Then we express regret for the collateral damage and causalities, but not enough regret to stop. The innocent lives lost over there are not our children.

Taking every precaution to protect civilians means not using bombs, missiles and artillery in residential areas or where civilians could possibly be present. This would never be done in our country. We would never in any circumstances put our civilians at such risks.  This means soldiers taking extreme risks, or the real cost is our humanity.

ISIS is now disbursed and embedded in civilian populations and if we respond with heavy weapons we will kill civilians. We kill people and destroy their country to save them.  This is insane.  THIS DOES NOT WORK. This makes things worse. Look at Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Gaza today.

We will blame ISIS for being there.   The person responsible for killing of women and children is the person pulling the trigger, no one else.  One does not kill civilians to get at combatants NO MATTER HOW IMPORTANT.  This is morally wrong and a war crime.  The argument that it is someone else’s fault when we kill civilians is beyond reason.  It is a false argument to blame us killing innocents on others.  You kill and you are responsible.

Someone once said the definition of insanity is to do things over and over again and expect a different result. That about says it all here.

I realize that we claim a right to self defence here in Canada against such a threat, but that right is limited by the rights of others. You cannot choose to sacrifice the lives of innocent others in the exercise of your rights, or even to save oneself.   In this case, it is either  time to take extreme risks with soldiers, or to find another way.  Soldiers are trained and equipped to defend themselves, civilians are not.  There is always a choice.  In the name of a just cause, we ask soldiers to sacrifice their lives if need be, and the government is claiming just cause and last resort.  History is full of examples of people doing the right thing in such circumstances.

What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy? Mahatma Gandhi

Where are our values and humanity in all this?


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