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So, Isn’t This Terrorism?

The Guardian describes the result of the CIA’s attempt to kill Ayman al-Zawahiri in Pakistan:

some of the results of the strike were very clear: three ruined houses, mud-brick rubble scattered across the steeply terraced fields, the bodies of livestock lying where thrown by the airblast, a row of newly dug graves in the village cemetery and torn green and red embroidered blankets flapping in the chilly wind. Four children were among the 18 villagers who died in the brutally sudden attack on their homes.

Compare this with initial media reports, including those on CNN, which downplayed the loss of innocent life, and triumphantly trumpeted the news that Al Qaeda’s #2 had been killed.

Even if the CIA had succeeded in its efforts to kill this target, how can an attack on the living area of a house full of innocents–including children–be anything but a terrorist action? The mere posession of more advanced technology cannot excuse inexecusable actions. This idea may offend some, but the idea that the United States should use indiscriminate attacks rather than risk soliders who have the ability to use discretion in an immoral one. Our soldiers have the courage to go on the ground and identify targets, make moral decisions, and protect innocent lives. Machines and intelligence officers hundreds, if not thousands, of miles away do not.

Morality aside, the attack seemed to fulfill another goal of the Bush doctrine–alienate as many allies as possible.The International Herald Tribune describes the impact of this latest, graceless, brutal, illegal American attack:

Thousands of people rallied across Pakistan on Sunday to protest a U.S. airstrike in a tribal region that killed at least 18 people but missed Al Qaeda’s No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahiri, who appears to have been the intended target.

Update: You’ve got to love the right wing loonies at They describe the victims of the attack as “innocent civilians’. That’s right–I’m sure that the children killed in this brutal attack were hardened Al Qaeda operatives.

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Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is an eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.
His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.
In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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