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July 13, 2008

New Tomdispatch


The Wedding Crashers
A Short Till-Death-Do-Us-Part History of Bush's Wars

By Tom Engelhardt

It was a tribal affair. Against a picture-perfect sunset, before a beige-colored cross and an altar made of the very Texas limestone that was also used to build her family's "ranch," veil-less in an Oscar de la Renta gown, the 26 year-old bride said her vows. More than 200 members of her extended family and friends were on hand, as well as the 14 women in her "house party," who were dressed "in seven different styles of knee-length dresses in seven different colors that match[ed] the palette of… wildflowers -- blues, greens, lavenders and pinky reds." Afterwards, in a white tent set in a grove of trees and illuminated by strings of lights, the father of the bride, George W. Bush, danced with his daughter to the strains of "You Are So Beautiful." The media was kept at arm's length and the vows were private, but undoubtedly they included the phrase "till death do us part."

That was early May of this year. Less than two months later, halfway across the world, another tribal affair was underway. The age of the bride involved is unknown to us, as is her name. No reporters were clamoring to get to her section of the mountainous backcountry of Afghanistan near the Pakistani border. We know almost nothing about her circumstances, except that she was on her way to a nearby village, evidently early in the morning, among a party 70-90 strong, mostly women, "escorting the bride to meet her groom as local tradition dictates."

It was then that the American plane (or planes) arrived, ensuring that she would never say her vows. "They stopped in a narrow location for rest," said one witness about her house party, according to the BBC. "The plane came and bombed the area." The district governor, Haji Amishah Gul, told the British Times, "So far there are 27 people, including women and children, who have been buried. Another 10 have been wounded. The attack happened at 6.30AM. Just two of the dead are men, the rest are women and children. The bride is among the dead."

The rest.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at July 13, 2008 05:59 PM

This gruesome violence against civilians is obscene. The errors of picking wrong targets for air strikes is beyond belief. And where is the common DECENCY? Why the reluctance to admit a mistake? STOP THIS BLOODY WAR.

Posted by: Rupa Shah at July 13, 2008 08:40 PM

Where there's a whip there's a way. Its NOT an accident, its a bombing run. Just like the guy with a bomb vest on only its done with an aircraft and the pilot gets to live afterward. Killing soldiers creates WRATH in their cadre and brings more death. Killing civilians creates SORROW among the people and brings them into willing subjugation. When will YOU understand, WE are there to CONQUER, not for humanitarian reasons? Humanitarian reasons are just a lie so YOU won't have the President IMPEACHED for killing innocent people. (and keep YOU PAYING, as always)

Posted by: Mike Meyer at July 13, 2008 10:28 PM

No mistake made Rupa. The goal is to turn Iraq into a hellhole that cannot assert a claim to its own oil. Mission accomplished.

Posted by: No One of Consequence at July 13, 2008 10:28 PM

Killing civilians creates SORROW among the people and brings them into willing subjugation.

We'd have to kill a lot more people -- in Afghanistan and Pakistan -- for them to submit. If the Soviets couldn't do it, we won't.

What amazes me are the liberals -- like Yglesias -- who know that 'aerial counterinsurgency' is a contradiction in terms, and yet still think bombing Pakistan is a good idea.

Posted by: Carl at July 14, 2008 09:30 AM

Good point Carl.

How many civilians should we kill to make them submit?

Posted by: Jimbo at July 14, 2008 11:10 AM

Jimbo: All of them.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at July 14, 2008 12:37 PM


All of them.

Dude, that's a lot of work. Our heart's not in it. Even the Germans had a hard time of keeping the machine going.

Posted by: Labiche at July 14, 2008 02:05 PM

That's why the germans lost. Personally I would just as soon leave those poor folks alone, which is why I DON'T PAY to invade them. But Jimbo asked. Even with the Indians it ain't safe for a whiteman alone on the Rez. If YOU want ALL the land, ya gotta kill them all. Same with the OIL, if ya REALLY WANT IT, then----!!! (NO wedding party=NO wedding=NO families=NO babies=NO PROBLEM)

Posted by: Mike Meyer at July 14, 2008 03:48 PM

The U.S. government doesn't need submission, they just need disruption. The goal is to hold the territory for as long as it is useful.

Posted by: No One of Consequence at July 14, 2008 10:52 PM

"This ain't rock-n-roll--This is genocide"---David Bowie

Posted by: Mike Meyer at July 15, 2008 12:20 AM