Afghan Wedding Parties and Hiroshima and Nagasaki
by Jacob G. Hornberger
One of the things that has fascinated me about the U.S. government’s war on Afghanistan has been the multiple attacks on wedding parties — eight wedding parties to be exact, at least as of 2013. What’s with Afghan wedding parties that they seem to attract U.S. bombs?
Of course, the official position of the Pentagon is that all these bombings were accidents. Those smart bombs and surgical strikes just aren’t always so smart or so surgical, they tell us. It was just a coincidence that they happened to have hit all those wedding parties.
But it seems to be that one thing is certain: dropping those bombs on Afghan wedding parties might just be as effective in demoralizing the enemy as dropping those atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And given that U.S. officials still consider it legitimate to have targeted all those women and children and other innocent people at Hiroshima and Nagasaki as a way to shorten the war and thereby save the lives of U.S. soldiers, why wouldn’t they believe the same rationale applied to the targeting of Afghan wedding parties?
Needless to say, there has never been any congressional investigations into whether the attacks on those wedding parties were intentional. Most congressmen would never think of second-guessing the military and, anyway, they know that the Pentagon would never permit such an investigation. How the national-security branch of the government wages its wars is considered no business of the legislative branch.
Consider the Deh Bala wedding party strike that took place on July 6, 2008. According to Wikipedia, “47 Afghan civilians, mostly women and children, were killed. The group was escorting a bride to a wedding ceremony. When the group stopped for a rest, it was hit in succession by three bombs from United States military aircraft. The first bomb hit a group of children, who were ahead in the main procession, killing them instantly. A few minutes later, the aircraft returned and dropped a second bomb in the center of the group, killing a large number of women.”
Or consider the Wech Bagtu wedding party airstrike on November 3, 2008. According to Wikipedia, it killed “63 people including 37 Afghan civilians, mostly women and children, and 26 insurgents. The group was celebrating a wedding at a housing complex.”
There was the Mukardeeb wedding party massacre on May 19, 2004, where, according to Wikipedia, “42 men, women and children were killed. 13 children were among the dead. 27 members of the extended Rakat family were killed.”
Sure, a few dozen dead women and children in a wedding party is not the same thing as tens of thousands of dead people at Hiroshima and Nagasaki but isn’t the principle the same? If it’s morally and legally okay to kill Japanese women and children to shorten a war to save the lives of U.S. soldiers, as U.S. officials still maintain, why wouldn’t it be moral and legal to do the same to women and children in Afghan wedding parties?
With the exception of nuclear bombs killing tens of thousands of women and children and others in Afghanistan or with the exception of a fire bombing of a major Afghan city, as Allied forces and the U.S. government did to the residents of Dresden and Tokyo in World War II, I can’t think of anything that would demoralize the Taliban more than by dropping bombs on their wedding parties.
A wedding is ordinarily a day of great happiness and joy. A man and a woman are coming together as husband and wife to start a new life together. Everyone dresses up. Delicious food is prepared. Music. Dancing. Flower girls. A wedding is a celebration of life.
And then suddenly the entire event is turned into blood, body parts, and mangled bodies. Dead children everywhere. A bride or a bridegroom dead. Happiness evaporates. Tears of joy are immediately converted into tears of sadness and possibly even rage.
Think about the demoralization among the survivors. Sure, some of them would undoubtedly be so filled with anger and rage that they’d join the ranks of American-hating terrorists. But for others, I’ll bet that the last thing they feel like doing is continuing to oppose the U.S. occupation of their country.
After the 9/11 attacks, here at FFF we were strongly opposing the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan as a response to what had happened in New York and Washington. One of our principal reasons was that most of the people killed in such an invasion and occupation would have had absolutely nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks.
That has certainly turned out to be true, especially with respect to the women and children attending those eight wedding parties.
In fact, even the “Afghan insurgents” who U.S. forces were killing and who served as the justification for dropping bombs near those wedding parties, were, in most cases, actually nothing more than people who were simply resisting the unlawful invasion and occupation of their country, something that many Americans would do if the United States were invaded and occupied by a Iran, North Korea, China, Russia, or other foreign power.
Maybe, just maybe, the deaths of all those innocent people in those Afghan wedding parties will cause Americans to make a critical examination of the causes and consequences of the U.S. interventions in both Afghanistan and Iraq. In fact, maybe, just maybe, the deaths of all those innocent people in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Dresden, and Tokyo will cause Americans to do the same with respect to the World War II.