Could anyone watch Jeremy Bowen’s piece on BBC News last night, which showed a grieving father hugging the wrapped bodies of two tiny children killed in a NATO bombing? The fact the tiny childrens’ grandfather was a Gadaffi minister seemed to Jeremy Bowen a possible justification – he posed a dichotomy that by killing these children, more civilian lives could be saved.
But how could this warping of utilitarian judgement work in practice? Bowen quoted NATO as saying there were command and control structures in the house as well as the Minister’s family. So bombing it saved civilian lives elsewhere. What constitutes a command and control structure in these circumstances? A mobile phone? A computer? And how does destroying that little bit of infrastructure save lives so directly that it could atone for our killing of tiny children? Jeremy Bowen, who interviewed me in Tashkent and I like, should be ashamed of himself. But he did get the tiny dead children on the ten o clock news for two minutes, which has done something to undermine the pro-war propaganda pumped out everywhere.
NATO is not saving civilian lives. It is killing civilians.
Meanwhile, Obama announces the beginning of the end of the utterly pointless occupation of Afghanistan. The Afghan war was was not as illegal as the Iraq war, as it did have a connection to 9/11. But we have achieved nothing after ten years we had not achieved after one year. There is still no non-fraudulent democracy, no rule of law, no women’s rights and no economic development outwith the narcotics sector. Nor will there be, and we will have made as little societal change as the Anglo-Afghan Wars or the Soviet occupation.
We have, however, killed an awful lot of small children. And lost many of our own who were little more than children,