Friday, October 12, 2007

Just another day in the life and death of Iraq LXXII

By Michael J.W. Stickings

We haven't done one of these in, oh, weeks, and yet, of course, the violence has continued, the life and death of an occupied, war-torn, divided land. One simply can't keep up with it.

But, yesterday, there was this, and it was terrible:

A U.S. attack killed 19 insurgents and 15 civilians, including nine children, northwest of the capital Thursday — one of the heaviest civilian death tolls in an American operation in recent months. The military said it was targeting senior leaders of al-Qaida in Iraq.

Of course, there is often no clear line separating the insurgents (and al Qaeda) from the civilian population, and, well, war is hell. There will inevitably be civilian casualties, no matter the care taken to prevent them.

But in Iraq, where the U.S. should no longer be, such an incident only serves to remind us of the horrible human cost of this disastrous war.

Yes, Iraq was a brutal, bloody place under Saddam. Yes, Iraq will continue to be a brutal, bloody place once the occupation ends. But the reality here is that it was an American air attack that killed civilians, children.

How does that make you feel? And what do you think should be done about it?

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