Call it a Massacre

by Yifat Susskind

 On May 6, as many as 150 people were killed by US warplanes while they were huddled in their
houses in Farah, Afghanistan.
A day later, as Afghan President Hamid Karzai meets with President Obama, US officials in Afghanistan headed to the site of the latest US massacre.
That's not a word we often use to describe the mass killing of civilians by US forces. Instead, reports of Afghan civilian casualties are followed by a now-routine pattern of official denials, self-investigations and apologies.
The killings of May 6 are now in the self-investigation phase, in case you're wondering. The denial phase was short because villagers who survived the attack trucked about 30 mangled corpses of children, women and other non-combatants to their local governor's office in order to prove that civilians had been killed.
Soon enough we'll be hearing the official "regrets." I don't want to hear them. I'm sick of the twisted logic that allows the US military to drop bombs on people and then claim it was a mistake when the bombs land on people. You don't deliberately do something with a known outcome and then get to call the result a mistake.
A massacre is a large-scale, indiscriminate killing; which is precisely the known outcome of the US air strikes in Afghanistan. So let's call this a massacre. And let's work to end the air strikes before another Afghan family has to hear how sorry the US military is.

Yifat Susskind is MADRE's Policy and Communications Director


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World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.