In October, the US launched an airstrike in Afghanistan that killed three children – ages 8, 10, and 12 -while they were gathering firewood (or by some accounts, dung to burn as fuel). NATO issued its usual dismissive statement, admitting it may have “accidentally killed three innocent Afghan civilians.”
But now, according to the Military Times, the US military includes children on their list of who they’re allowed to murder with impunity.
…a Marine official here raised questions about whether the children were “innocent.” Before calling for the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System mission in mid-October, Marines observed the children digging a hole in a dirt road in Nawa district, the official said, and the Taliban may have recruited the children to carry out the mission.
So digging holes in Afghanistan is now grounds for getting bombed? The children’s relatives and local tribal elders had confirmed at the time that they were not Taliban recruits and were not planting any roadside bombs.
That’s apparently not enough for the US military to simply admit that killing innocent children is wrong. Instead, they invent Orwellian rationales for why these poor children were worthy enemy combatants.
“It kind of opens our aperture,” said Army Lt. Col. Marion “Ced” Carrington, whose unit, 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, was assisting the Afghan police. “In addition to looking for military-age males, it’s looking for children with potential hostile intent.”
There you have it. The US military is now looking for “military-age males” and “children” to kill in Afghanistan.