Friday, August 13, 2010

What They Do in Our Name

by Sheldon Richman, The Future of Freedom Foundation, Aug 10, 2010

Thanks to Wikileaks and heroic leakers inside the military, we now know the U.S. government has killed many more innocent Afghan civilians than we were aware of heretofore. We also know that American military and intelligence personnel roam Afghanistan assassinating suspected bad guys. Sometimes they kill people they later acknowledge weren’t bad guys at all. “Bad guys,” like “Taliban,” is implicitly defined as anyone who resists the U.S. occupation force and the corrupt puppet government it keeps in power.

What other atrocities are our misleaders and misrepresentatives committing in our name?

Let’s get something straight: to be an enemy of American occupation, bombing, and “nation building” is not the same thing as being an enemy of America or its people. It’s time Americans understood that. When you invade another country and people there object, even forcibly, they are not aggressors. You are. To understand this, imagine our being invaded by a foreign military force. Would resistance be aggression?

The U.S. government goes to appalling lengths to deny this truth. It is about to try before a military commission a young Canadian, Omar Ahmed Khadr, who was taken into custody in Afghanistan eight years ago when he was 15 years old. The charge? War crimes, among them “murder in violation of the rules of war,” which lawyer Chase Madar calls “a newly minted war crime novel to the history of armed conflict.”

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