Fire and Forget

Imagine a world where at any time, a giant metal tube filled with explosives could burst through your roof and incinerate you, your family and your neighborhood. This is the reality Afghanis face every day of their lives. This threat does not come from terrorists or evil nations, but from a nation supposedly fighting these things: the United States. It is no wonder that our nation is not held in very high esteem in many parts of the world. The aerial strike technology available to the world’s super-powers allows extreme devastation to be wrought with little to no actual human interaction between combatants. Pilots must only push a button and fly home while their missiles destroy the dens and hideouts of terrorists and also the homes of the families in the area. This total lack of respect for, and violation of, the sanctity of human life should be considered a war crime at the very least. According to the Human Rights Watch, every year of the war in Afghanistan has brought progressively worse casualties due to careless bombings. In 2007, more than 1,633 Afghan civilians were killed in these air strikes alone.Although the United States is not the sole perpetrator of the attacks, it still holds much of the responsibility. What amazes me is the total lack of concern from U.S. citizens and government officials. Many see it as part as a necessary evil to fight for the Afghan people’s freedom. This forces me to ask the question, why are American lives more valuable than the lives of people in other nations?Nearly 3,000 people died in the attacks on 9/11. That number seems staggeringly high and the event affected each and every American citizen.These sorts of mass deaths occur every year and often every month in Afghanistan and nary a foreign eye gives a second glance. Is it alright to kill someone that lives far away from you? Am I allowed to kill people in Alaska in order to take their oil?The answer is: of course not! The United States and the countries participating in these anonymous and heartless bombings clearly do not realize the toll they are taking on the people of Afghanistan. After Vietnam, it became a crime against humanity to lay land mines and indiscriminate air strikes are no different. These strikes do not only hurt those who wish to fight the U.S. but also hurt women, children and every citizen of Afghanistan and they must stop.