“We support your war of terror,” proclaims Borat to a cheering crowd of Americans in a stadium, in the popular Sacha Baron Cohen film. The crowd apparently thinks he got the preposition wrong, but what makes the line darkly humorous is that he didn’t.
Most of the victims of America’s wars that are supposedly “against terror” have been civilians, and torture has also been deployed as a weapon. Civilians in Pakistan are killed on average every week in drone strikes, according to a recent report from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, and also regularly in Afghanistan in “night raids.”
And sometimes they are just shot point blank, as in March 2006 when US soldiers reportedly executed at least 10 civilians, including a 70-year old woman and a 5-month old baby, and then called in an airstrike to bomb the house and cover it up. Arecently discovered US diplomatic cable from Wikileaks provides evidence of this crime. Iraq veteranEthan McCord says that killings of civilians by US forces was “standard operating procedure” while he was deployed there.