The sickness that leads to the latter above is characteristically evident in the way a discussion of the former unfolds and is subsequently shaped. Never never never would the American intentionally target a hospital as a military objective. Unless they had good reason, of course. Ideological returns on what that all means may vary. At worst a mistake with vaguely criminal implications.
Entirely ignored however is the fact that the stated objective as it relates to tactical regional command and the individual action thereunder and, not least which, the governmental legislation or lack thereof that dictates an entire policy is not homogeneous.
Anybody old enough to remember the stories told by returning vets from Viet Nam can testify to the divergence in stated policy and coordinated action. In this case, soldiers often complained that they were kept in a state of stalemate. This is instructive, as the objective from highest above was not to win a conflict, but to maintain it. Why? Weapons and heroin. There were longterm goals, but it takes more than military labor to fund them.
Gee, what could Afghanistan have in common with that? The amount of money generated from weaponry in any conflict zone is significant, but it’s usually only the cost to the taxpayer that’s discussed in the media. And the amount of money generated by the opium trade is likewise significant, but the US would never traffic in that, would they?
The longterm strategy is a pipeline of a different kind. This funds itself as long as other resources flow. Now, you might ask, why would the US under such circumstances deliberately target a hospital? Well, for one thing, when you as a country release your dogs for any military action, you cannot count on the logic of the warrior to maintain the philosophical code of fiction that defines the killing. Add to that the general stress of war over generations (in Afpak, 14 years and counting), then you lose even a semblance of the myth of decorum.
I’d like to say I don’t know why the American can be so blind to repeatedly obvious precedents regarding their intelligence service’s function as project manager of perpetual war profiteering, but I am all-too aware that otherwise intelligent people get buried in the patriotic paradigm after a mere few formative years, let alone a lifetime of conditioning.
You don’t have to be all-out jingoistic to represent the worldview and mindset of the nationalist. Even anti-war folks claim to be “for the troops” with little-to-no real idea what the implications of this attitude are. Homies always get the benefit of the doubt.
The war on terror is a ruse. Not that it doesn’t produce plenty of terror. The most brilliant thing about Cheney’s Iraq was that he in all likelihood knew that by falsely attributing “nine-eleven” to those purveyors of WMD (oh, the irony), that the ongoing action in Afghanistan (and everywhere else that would follow) would nary be questioned. Because we all just know that it was the Taliban’s harboring of OBL & his Al Ciadydids that made the whole thing happen. Nothing at all to do the the perpetrators who came out of the beheading capital of the world, staunch allies on the Arabian peninsula.
Why is it that Americans continue to pick which “intelligence” they believe and which “intelligence” is manufactured? Not one person prattling on about Sunni & Shia in Iran, Iraq, and Syria has a friggin’ clue about the veracity of any “intelligence”. Not by the longest of shots.
I can’t imagine why a nation waging war in hundreds of countries, killing by a conservative estimate two million people over a decade-and-a-half during which both allowable parties have enjoyed majorities and multiple terms would be a land where people occasionally shoot each other.
If one were to take an entirely objective and dispassionately logical view of the world as it is today, they might suggest that the best form of gun control in America would be to let the Americans shoot themselves to make the rest of the world a safer place. But, of course, the idea that Americans could exterminate themselves by running amok is as much hyperbolic pipedream as it is that they might win a war on terror. Either one would be bad for business.