April 18th, 2002


Friendly fire?!

With friends like that, who needs enemies?

How do you adequately compensate a loved one for such a catastrophe? You can't. Still, the answer seems to be good, old fashioned American dollars.

I wonder -- how much money does the U.S. Government dole out every year for all the people that it inadvertently kills? Human rights groups are trying to get the U.S. to pay for some of the errant strikes that they made in Afghanistan, but I haven't heard about the U.S. kicking in the bucks. Instead, they had people from the U.S. military slipping locals who lost their homes and family a few hundred bucks. "Oops. Sorry..."

If I were an Afghani who just lost his home and family members to U.S. bombing and I was given a couple hundred bucks, I'd hire an Afghani lawyer and sue the U.S. government. I'd even ask for penalties to make up for the insult of only getting a few hundred dollars. Anyone want to bet that Canadian lives are worth about ten thousand times more than Afghani lives? (Three million dollars vs. three hundred or so.)

Frankly, I'm surprised the Canadians would want to have troops in Afghanistan. It's a reminder of just how indiscriminate war really is. The U.S. military is just too good at blowing up possible threats, but they still suck at positively identifying them. The reason for this, of course, is you have to strike possible threats as quickly as possible so they don't become actual threats.

Will they ever get any better at positively detecting threats? Probably not. As time goes on, the U.S. will need to actually strike potential threats that much more rapidly.

In other words, if you are going to be a U.S. ally, be sure to stay a thousand miles from the warzone. Unload palettes in Germany or something. Cover for some of the U.S. troops that are still guarding the border in South Korea -- just don't get anywhere near the frontlines, because lots of people die there.

Still, maybe some of the Canadians out there can tell me why it's so important that their soldiers are in Afghanistan as opposed to working the docks in Keflavik. Is Afghanistan of strategic importance to the people of Quebec?

And, yes, it may be disrespectful to the Canadians that died, but I still can't stop thinking about the South Park movie...