Let’s be honest. The August 28, 2021 U.S. military drone strike in Kabul was a war crime conducted on innocent civilians. We were told the Predator drone attack was against a terrorist operative who was on his way to conduct a suicide bombing against our military at the Kabul airport. Instead, the missile destroyed a vehicle driven by an Afghan aid worker and ten people were killed including seven children. Seven children!
In an article dated Sunday, September 19, 20211, Fox News reported that Marine Corps Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, commander of U.S. Central Command stated, “As the combatant commander, I am fully responsible for this strike and its tragic outcome. I offer my profound condolences to the family and friends of those who were killed.”
So, three weeks later, the truth emerges. This, after Jen Psaki and other members of the Biden administration stated on numerous occasions that the drone strike was a success, effectively stopping a terrorist attack on our military and/or American citizens and innocent Afghans.
Think about this for a moment. Put the pieces of information together. Come to a sound conclusion. We were told that a terrorist attack at the Kabul airport was imminent and that it would take place in a matter of hours. This was easy to believe because we had already lost thirteen members of our military in a suicide attack that killed more than 200 people at the Abbey Gate just days earlier.
We were told that our intelligence was working to identify the next attackers so that we could end it before it happened. When the drone attack did take place, many were able to breathe a sigh of relief. But it was all a lie. We later discovered the truth, a truth that Joe Biden, Antony Blinken, Lloyd Austin, and many others would have preferred to keep quiet. The truth is that this drone attack was ill-conceived and poorly planned. Even worse, the need for such an attack may have been a complete fabrication.
Questions: if the drone strike took out the wrong vehicle and ten innocent people, then what happened to the real terrorists who were about to conduct a second attack? Are we really expected to believe that following the drone strike, that the actual terrorist attackers decided to abort their mission of mayhem, death, and destruction? How is it that our military, with its high-level intelligence was able to fail to this extent? I suspect the answers are obvious, even if the reason or motivation remains cloudy.
It is possible, even likely, there were no terrorists en route to attack the Kabul airport a second time. The story appears to be a fabrication designed to provide cover for other concerns. If this is correct, then Joe Biden, his administration, and high-level military leadership lied to the American people about imminent danger to our troops, leading to the tragic episode that cost ten innocent Afghans, including seven children, their lives.
General Kenneth McKenzie has accepted full responsibility for this debacle. He is correct to take responsibility, but he might also be falling on his sword to protect others higher up the line. Should we take McKenzie at his word, or should we point fingers of blame at others? During a time of such high military risk, when the entire world was watching, and with the lives of thousands on the line, are we to believe that a little-known general, high-ranking and ‘responsible’ as he may be, is the only one responsible for such a monstrous miscalculation? Clearly, others share in the blame and the blame continues up the military line of command, all the way to the office of president of the United States.
What a colossal failure for our military leadership, but a failure that is lost in the larger story of our disastrous withdrawal and shameful retreat from Afghanistan. The truth is that the drone strike of August 29 is a war crime and there must be consequences. Courts Martial for those responsible including resignations, demotions, and more. This would be messy, discouraging, and unpleasant, but it is the right thing to do.
Innocent people have been murdered, but “profound condolences” are insufficient. The American public and the world have been misled, even deceived, but woeful excuses will not atone for the crime.
We as Americans should expect more from our military leadership. It’s too easy to launch a Predator drone and use a Hellfire missile to destroy enemy assets and kill those who mean us harm. We have a responsibility, a duty, to ensure that we are targeting the correct person(s) and that our aim is true. We must be triple-checked sure before we push the red button and we must be ever vigilant to protect the innocent, no matter the cost.
The evil, ill-conceived drone strike of three weeks ago is a total disgrace and accountability should be required. It starts with General Kenneth McKenzie, but it should not end with him. Falling on one’s sword might be seen as just and honorable, but it is not. Yes, others up the line must also be held to account for this horrific event, for it is more than a mistake. It is nothing less than a war crime.
1 Biden vacations at Delaware beach house after week from hell. Fox News online (foxnews.com) September 19, 2021.
© Jeffery J. Michaels / Plain English Publications 2021
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