Shame

It is also because Mr. Obama embraced a disputed method for counting civilian casualties that did little to box him in. It in effect counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants, according to several administration officials, unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent.

A few weeks ago there was a thing that made me mad. I spent some time weighing exactly what I wanted to say; I generally think it is important to be measured in some fashion when discussing things far outside my own experience. On the one hand, killing civilian citizens of a foreign nation without due process using state-sponsored force is something we used to call a war crime. Even if you pretend really hard that they aren’t civilians. We have signed treaties which this violates. There are a handful of things that can make me ashamed of being a U.S. Citizen, but war crimes top the list.

The other hand, of course, is that when enemy combatants hide among civilian populations, civilian casualties are inevitable. The U.S. is not necessarily to blame when civilians die because terrorists use human shields. It certainly sounds like they are playing fast and loose, but using bullshit definitions is not, in itself, a war crime.  The only way to know for sure would be for neutral military/legal experts to examine each case. Since I have neither the relevant files, nor military/legal expertise (and am not a citizen of a neutral country), I was not sure how to comment appropriately.

Then I found out about this. It apparently escaped my attention when it first came out. Read the whole thing, but read this part twice:

A three month investigation including eye witness reports has found evidence that at least 50 civilians were killed in follow-up strikes when they had gone to help victims.

Or read it three or four times. Or however many it takes to sink in that the United States under Obama has targeted first responders with military strikes. There is no nuance to this.  There is noting to be measured about.  For the second time in my life I am completely and sincerely ashamed of my country.

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