If You Are Targeting Children, You're Fighting the Wrong War (Will Grigg)
Monday December 10th, 2012
U.S. Marines in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province saw what they thought was a group of insurgents planting improvised explosive devices. They called in an airstrike that killed all of the suspected guerillas – only to find out later that three of them were children, aged 8, 10, and 12. The families of the dead children said that they had been gathering dried animal leavings, which are used as fuel.
The International Security Assistance Force in Kabul issued a statement acknowledging that the airstrike “accidentally killed three innocent Afghan children.” That statement prompted Army Lt. Col. Marion Carrington to tell the Military Times that the children may not have been innocent.
According to Carrington, whose unit is training Afghan police, “In addition to looking for military-age males, [we are] looking for children with potential hostile intent.”
Killing children in the name of military necessity is a fairly common tactic in Washington’s war on terror. Indeed, President Obama ordered a drone strike that killed 16-year-old U.S. citizen Abdulrahman al-Awlaki at a backyard barbecue. The teenager’s capital offense was to be the son of a man who had been killed in another drone strike a few days earlier.
Any war that involves targeting children is an affront to the laws of God and man – and any government that does so is unworthy of the support of decent people.