When the Military Serves as Police

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Sat, 06 Feb 2010 14:56:30 GMT  <== Politics ==> 

Jacob G. Hornberger at The Future of Freedom Foundation - good outline of the classical difference between police and military and why we should bring the troops home from Afghanistan now. Unfortunately, police are more and more starting to emulate the military: capture the criminals, dead or alive, and damn the consequences for innocent bystanders. [militant]

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the horrific consequences of the Bush administration's decision to employ the military to apprehend bin Laden, unlike the case with Ramzi Yousef several years before.

In Yousef's case, no bombs were dropped on Pakistan. U.S. officials waited patiently for two years before he finally turned up and was taken captive, with no loss of life to innocent bystanders.

Contrast that with the horrific mess in Afghanistan. In the midst of all the anger and hatred that people all over the world now have for the United States, it's easy to forget the outpouring of sympathy and friendship that came from all over the world after 9/11, including from the Muslim community. If U.S. officials had simply waited out the situation, as they had with Yousef, bin Laden would have been isolated. That is, he could never have travelled freely and there were countless people all over the world sympathetic to the United States who would have been willing to turn him, especially for a sizable reward. His recruiting efforts would have been limited to people who were angry with U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East (e.g., unconditional support of Israel, the sanctions against Iraq, etc.)

Instead, the Bush administration sent in the military -- the people with the mindset of "kill the enemy even if it kills innocent bystanders," which produced massive death and destruction in Afghanistan, which in turn converted all that sympathy and friendship for the United States into widespread anger, hatred, and rage, which in turn greatly fueled bin Laden's recruiting efforts. And, oh, by the way, even after 8 long years of death and destruction in Afghanistan, they still haven't apprehended bin Laden.

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