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Thursday, June 25, 2009 


Here is the complete madness of war, not just the war in Afghanistan, although that is undoubtedly mad, in three paragraphs:

Despite the limited success of the effort to engage the residents, the mood back at the base was buoyant after the expected stiff resistance to their presence in the village failed to materialise. Small arms fire on the compound the British had taken over allowed the men to strip off and swim in the canal behind the building.

Part of the reason was the dropping from a B1 bomber of a 500lb bomb on to a compound from which there had been day-long fire.

"We had no choice," said Major Rupert Whitelegge . "Every time he would fire a shot to initiate an attack, he would drop down behind his enormous 3ft-thick wall. We just couldn't get through and so we dropped the bomb. It's been very quiet today, strangely."

Quite apart from the cost of that 500lb bomb to kill one lonely person doubtless scared out of their wits and without a clue what to do, they don't seem to have noticed the contradiction between dropping 500lb bombs on buildings and that "limited success" of engaging the residents. Destroying buildings with huge explosions and winning hearts and minds; quite clearly these two things aren't incompatible after all.

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