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"It's Good You Didn't Bomb The Funeral! It's Real Good!"

U.S. declines Taliban funeral target

The U.S. military acknowledged Wednesday that it considered bombing a group of more than 100 Taliban insurgents in southern Afghanistan but decided not to after determining they were on the grounds of a cemetery.
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In a statement released Wednesday, the U.S. military in Afghanistan said the picture — a grainy black-and-white photo taken in July — was given to a journalist to show that Taliban insurgents were congregating in large groups. The statement said U.S. forces considered attacking.

"During the observation of the group over a significant period of time, it was determined that the group was located on the grounds of (the) cemetery and were likely conducting a funeral for Taliban insurgents killed in a coalition operation nearby earlier in the day," the statement said. "A decision was made not to strike this group of insurgents at that specific location and time."

While not giving a reason for the decision, the military concluded the statement saying that while Taliban forces have killed innocent civilians during a funeral, coalition forces "hold themselves to a higher moral and ethical standard than their enemies."
"Tonight's story on The Twilight Zone is somewhat unique and calls for a different kind of introduction. This, as you may recognize, is a map of the United States, and there's a little town there called Peaksville. On a given morning not too long ago, the rest of the world disappeared and Peaksville was left all alone. Its inhabitants were never sure whether the world was destroyed and only Peaksville left untouched or whether the village had somehow been taken away. They were, on the other hand, sure of one thing: the cause. A monster had arrived in the village. Just by using his mind, he took away the automobiles, the electricity, the machines - because they displeased him - and he moved an entire community back into the dark ages - just by using his mind. Now I'd like to introduce you to some of the people in Peaksville, Ohio. This is Mr. Fremont. It's in his farmhouse that the monster resides. This is Mrs. Fremont. And this is Aunt Amy, who probably had more control over the monster in the beginning than almost anyone. But one day she forgot; she began to sing aloud. Now, the monster doesn't like singing, so his mind snapped at her, turned her into the smiling, vacant thing you're looking at now. She sings no more. And you'll note that the people in Peaksville, Ohio, have to smile; they have to think happy thoughts and say happy things because, once displeased, the monster can wish them into a cornfield or change them into a grotesque, walking horror. This particular monster can read minds, you see. He knows every thought, he can feel every emotion. Oh yes, I did forget something, didn't I? I forgot to introduce you to the monster. This is the monster. His name is Anthony Fremont. He's six years old, with a cute little-boy face and blue, guileless eyes. But when those eyes look at you, you'd better start thinking happy thoughts, because the mind behind them is absolutely in charge. This is the Twilight Zone."

The universal satire that passes for news and politics nowadays seems to have no limits. It's almost beyond irony to seriously address the military's claim to having a "higher moral and ethical standard" for showing restraint in not blasting away mourners at a funeral.

Yes, there will undoubtedly be those who decry the lost opportunity to whack a bunch of dangerous flies with one swat; but personally I applaud their "higher moral and ethical" restraint. I just wish they practiced it in other venues, like, say, hospitals, or mosques, or against children and families, or in deploying banned weapons like napalm and phosphorous.

But you know, in the litany of atrocities committed in our name I couldn't easily find any stories about Murkan forces wiping out any funeral parties. So I guess we are supposed to congratulate a serial killer for restraining himself from killing again. "Good war criminal! It's a good thing you did, not killing indiscrimately! Good war criminal!"

I think that's why I'm reminded of Jerome Bixby's story The Good Life that was made into a really effective Twilight Zone episode, the one where the townsfolk are scared to death of a little kid with omnipotent powers: though the townsfolk live in awesome fear of the little monster, they must continually appease him and applaud him and dissemble happiness, no matter what horrendous act he commits, lest they incur his displeasure and risk something worse.

And so I say to history's most powerful military "It's good that you didn't bomb the funeral! It's real good!"