Saturday, January 02, 2010

The 7 CIA KIAs in Afghanistan: When revenge really means reprisal

Occupied Afghanistan--Remember all those WWII movies where the Nazis are being attacked by partisans and members of the resistance? This is what's happening in Afghanistan.
This doesn't mean the Afghans are "good guys," they're just reacting naturally, and they have their own issues. We're worse in our behavior at this historical moment.

The CIA are calling for "revenge" in an illegal war and remembering that this is an illegal occupation is the key (wars of aggression are illegal under international law): they're already kidnapping, torturing, and even slaughtering Afghan nationals, and now, someone they thought was going to be their "snitch" (informant) got into a military facility knowing seven of them were going to be there and blew himself and them up with a bomb strapped to his torso. That's desperation under a bloody occupation, not some arbitrary act for the hell of it, and it's not even necessarily extreme. It's what happens under bloody occupations.

What the CIA should have used was the term "reprisal," the one that the Nazis and their victims frequently used when they retaliated for deaths within their own ranks. The problem in their logic at Langley--and our own if we accept such arguments--is obvious. We're the wrong side, and we're the aggressors, not the Afghans. This kind of wrong-headed thinking is only going to keep us digging our own hole, and eventually, we're probably going to get our own Stalingrad in some form or another. This "revenge" is really reprisal, don't kid yourself. We're the bad guys. We're the wrong side. The Afghan that did this killed people who might have been there to torture in his mind, and certainly came as bringers of death.

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