The Coalition is still pursuing a ‘hearts and minds’ strategy in Iraq. Not one of ‘impressing Iraqi civilians with our decency and respect for their lives’, admittedly, but one of ‘slicing Iraqis’ hearts and minds into small pieces with artillery shells‘.
(short link summary: the Americans sent in helicopter gunships to destroy a crippled and abandoned armoured car. Dozens of civilians including children were standing round the armoured car at the time, because it was an interesting thing to look at. The helicopter gunships opened fire anyway. Journalist Mazen Tomeizi was one of the people killed, while filming around 70 metres from the armoured car).
I’d like to believe that the airmen responsible were acting counter to their orders and will be court-martialled and suitably punished. But we know from countless other unpunished civilian-slaughtering incidents that this is more like official policy… actually, that’s unfair: the strategy is more like unimaginably clueless incompetence than deliberate policy, not that that makes much difference to the dead and wounded.
Whatever. If this is what we’re fighting for, what’s the fucking point?