Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: War's Hidden Cost

Saturday, April 29, 2006

War's Hidden Cost

I feel that collateral damage during war is unavoidable. Even in modern times when countries like the United States have such precision bombers. Especially soldiers killed by friendly fire. That's what this reading is about the deaths and killings of civilians and soldiers killed by friendly fire. There is another name for soldiers killed by friendly fire and that's fratricide. In a bombing attack on the "steep mountains" of Tora Bora the U.S. soldiers pulled out dead women and children. The Pentagon doesn't really know how many civilians are being killed during the Iraq War, like previous wars before it. The Pentagon doesn't really trust the tallies done by the Taliban. "The Pentagon makes no attempts to estimate how many civilians it's bombs have killed." The only people who seem to care about all the civilians being killed are the human rights groups and the Red Cross. Although before every airstrike that the U.S. does the military does count and looks at the potential risks to civilians. Sometimes if the risks are really high the site of the bombing could be vetoed. But most of the time only if there is a "reported atrocity by U.S. forces would a serious investigation be carried out". Although collateral damage can't really be avoided it comes as quite a shock when you see pictures of women and orphans that are in the hospital with heinious wounds. And these pictures are helping politcial support in Britain switch from supporting the war to being against the war. Even in the Islamic world countries like Pakistan one of the U.S.'s allies the pictures of innocent civilians being killed or wounded are turning their attitudes towards the war from supporting the war to being against the war. Civilians deaths and wounds is just an unfortunatly sad side of war.


Blogger A. Mattson said...

You are right, civilian casualties are a part of war. The problem is that in the modern world of instant communications in which images can sweep around the globe a single tragic image can cause a real problem for the military. No matter how hard they try to avoid collateral damage, accidents will happen and sometimes civilian deaths are a price that the military is willing to pay to win the war. That is hard to explain to an unsympathetic world. So, the less discussion of and especially images of dead Iraqi's and Afghani's the better from the Pentagon's perspective. Their strategy is to minmize press access to any site that may include embarassing photo-ops. Most of thes incidents are the result of the air-war which is very difficult for reporters to cover.

5/03/2006 10:11 PM  

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