They say all is fair in love and war, personally I don’t believe that to be the truth in either circumstance, and at least in the way war is conducted I doubt many would.
The slash and burn policy directed at the nations along with Sherman’s campaign in the South to Operation Rolling Thunder and the additional attempt to defoliate Viet Nam using chemical agents like Agent Orange could be referred to as variety of things, but fair doesn’t seem to be one them.
The reality is there isn’t much fair about war whether conducted defensively or offensively – there’s nothing fair about the “acceptable collateral damage” of drone strikes that inevitably is characterized by non combatants – men, women, and children.
“Strategically, it’s more of a mixed bag because it does alienate large numbers of people when there are civilian casualties.”
Alienating a civilian population while describing such as nation building and bringing democracy to a people? A strategy doomed to failure – just as the continued detention of “cleared” detainees at Gitmo, who are basically kept now for fear that their imprisonment has made terrorists of them.
This current administration has assumed the role of a gunslinger, it has ramped up the use of drones to such a degree that the number of strikes under the former administration pales in comparison, miniscule in fact, while much is being made about troop draw downs and exit dates.
There isn’t much left for the U.S. to do but get out of Afghanistan proclaiming mission accomplished much the same as the departure from Viet Nam was labeled and with the same results.
A vacuum will be created, internal conflict will arise, perhaps even civil war, and the Taliban will regain control leaving a single question – what exactly was accomplished?
With the revelations about domestic and foreign spying does the U.S. have allies or partners in crime? Does it even care as long as agendas are facilitated?
And a very real question is what is the agenda in this country when the rights of a civilian population are routinely trampled with this same spying? Are we all viewed as potential enemies of the State?
Strikes me that is about as “fair” as making the whole class stay after school because someone did something wrong.
It’s about as fair in this “war” on terrorism as the government owning eighty to ninety percent of all the land within the boundaries of this country and still not satisfied with that.
As fair as eminent domain laws that push people out of their homes or FISA secret courts and warrant less searches.
Few would argue that it isn’t strategically better to fight an enemy in a location other than your own front yard, fewer still would argue that it isn’t advantageous to make enemies, a reality politicians seem to be unable to grasp or willing to ignore.
Fair isn’t a part of the deal, if it were corporations like Monsanto and Dow would have been reigned in long ago, Wall Street and the banking industry would have been held to account, the vast majority of wealth wouldn’t be in the hands of one percent of the population, the nations would truly be dealt with on a nation to nation basis, and the hundreds of billions, even trillions of dollars spent on foreign adventurism would be directed towards infrastructure, job creation, education, healthcare, the environment, and the well being of every inhabitant within the boundaries of this country.
Anything less than that isn’t fair by any interpretation, merely business as usual.
The civilian population in this country hasn’t made enemies, the government has, and once having done so the drumbeat begins to convince people, and seems intent on doing likewise with the citizenry, or least finds alienating them acceptable collateral damage.
South Africa following a long history of aparthied had the wisdom to create a reconciliation council, the intent was to build a nation, to acknowledge past wrongs and hopefully move forward – this country would do well to follow that example in an effort to bind wounds and create a new climate, but then we don’t have a Mandela leading it.