President Barack Obama is dismantling many of the Bush policies, but the question remains whether he will address the continual US missile strikes in Pakistan which wind up killing “militants” and in the process there is the inevitable “collateral damage” which means innocent civilians. Of course, the United States ordinarily refuses to admit it was their missiles which did the killing. Suspected US missiles killed 18 people according to Pakistan sources and supposedly five “foreign militants” were among those killed. Since August the US has launched at least 30 missile strikes inside Pakistan. As always, an anonymous Pakistan official provides estimates about how many died and how many were “militants.” Of course, rarely, if ever, is the process of identifying who is a “militant” and who is an innocent civilian clearly spelled out.
During the war in Vietnam, US military leaders ran up what was termed a “body count” that in most cases included numerous civilians who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Is it possible we once again are witnessing the results of a body count approach to destroying “militants?”