Saturday, November 8, 2008

Terrorists using civilian shields

Here is how terrorists fight:

Taliban fighters held a wedding party captive and fired on U.S. forces in an attack designed to draw U.S. airstrikes on civilians and stoke anti-American sentiment, a U.S. official said Friday citing "firsthand" reports.
The official declined to give further details of the reported events leading to the U.S. bombing Monday in the southern Afghan village Wech Baghtu, where dozens of civilians and insurgents were killed.
But such a tactic by the Taliban could mean significant complications for U.S. forces and allies — forcing them to break off attacks and pursuit of extremists in populated areas for fear that the Taliban would try to maximum civilian casualties.

The question is what is the right thing for Americans to do? On the one side we have to hunt down the terrorists and try to strike at them where they are before they strike at us where we are. In addition if we allow it to be known that the tactic of using civilians as "shields" will deter our actions, then of course they will do much more of it in the future. This would lead to more deaths on all sides.

Obviously, we don't want to be in a position of killing innocent people, especially those pre-disposed to liking us. This is truly a tragedy.

My solution is make a determination of whether we can safely wait until a better time to strike at the terrorists or whether it won't ever get better. If it is determined that there will always be a high chance of civilian fatalities and casualties, then we should act with overwhelming force and achieve the military goal. In doing so, we should make clear who and what are targets are, and that it is the terrorists who are including civlilians in the battle.

We may never convince some that we didn't purposefully attack muslim citizens, but if we are as transparent as possible and share intelligence with fair-minded people, they can at least vouch for the facts even if they disagree with the policy.

Craig Farmer
making the word "liberal" safe again!

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