Recent revelations that “Thousands of US airstrikes have been unaccounted for in Syria, Iraq & Afghanistan“— revelations based on the public documents of the US military itself— show the ugly face of a much deeper, much more egregious, even criminal problem.
Here was part of the report, based on The Military Times:
US Central Command has been misleading the public in its assessment of the overall progress in the war on terror by failing to account for thousands of airstrikes in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, a Military Times investigation reveals. … The publication says that in 2016 alone, American aircraft conducted at least 456 airstrikes in Afghanistan that were not recorded in the database maintained by the US Air Force.
The fact that the U.S. military is not reporting all of the air strikes that it conducts overlooks or de-emphasizes the fact that such airstrikes always, always (okay, just 98% of the time) also bring about innocent civilian deaths, including the unnecessary deaths of women and children. For example, Dan Glazebrook, a British journalist specializing in studying the effects of contemporary war, reported,
In just one month, in the bombing of Mosul, an estimated 600 civilians were killed. This was the exact same time as we were hearing nonstop demonization of the Russian and Syrian war effort in Aleppo, where the casualty rate was very similar. The difference is that the battle of Aleppo resulted in a strategic victory for the government, which has brought the war in Syria one major step closer to an end, and brought peace much closer to Syria, and actually brought peace finally to the people of Aleppo. Whereas, what has the US bombing campaign and the 600 civilians dead in Mosul achieved? Nothing!
Recent events raise serious questions as to whether the bombing of Aleppo was any more “justified” than the bombing of Mosul. It’s the common sense principle—truth– that military mindsets just refuse to acknowledge: KILLING DOES NOT STOP—CAN NOT STOP—MORE KILLING!
The International Criminal Court offers as examples of war crimes: “intentionally killing civilians or prisoners, torture, destroying civilian property, taking hostages, . . .declaring that no quarter will be given, and using weapons that cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering.”
From this, it should be clear to all of us that EVERY AIR STRIKE IS A WAR CRIME!
It may take a hundred years, or two hundred years for this lesson to be learned and accepted by our national leaders, and for the International Courts to codify it into law. But we need to plant the seeds for this to happen, and remind them, and each other of the truth now, and time and time again: EVERY AIR STRIKE IS A WAR CRIME!
From this day forward, we will not accept any justification for such crimes.