World should hold US to account for civilian deaths

Global Times
Wang Xinjuan
2021-12-20 23:00:38
Illustration: Liu Rui

The New York Times reported on Saturday that according to the US military's own confidential assessments of more than 1,300 reports, since 2014, US airstrikes in the Middle East have been marked by "deeply flawed intelligence" and resulted in thousands of civilian deaths. The true death toll of civilians is much higher than what the Pentagon has claimed. Shockingly, "not a single record provided includes a finding of wrongdoing or disciplinary action," the NYT reported.

So many innocent civilians killed by the US military have become grieving ghosts. The countries in which they used to live a peaceful life were racked and ruined by the US military's modern weapons. Their lives were exposed to the threats of US military's firepower without any protection.

The lives of civilians in the Middle East also matter, but it seems difficult for American soldiers sitting in the control room of drones to realize this. For them, killing people is like playing a game. They show a disregard for the lives of people in the war-torn areas.

The US hegemonic status has also strengthened its rude hegemonic thinking - everything it does is right and even if it is wrong, nobody can hold it to account. The US soldiers obviously have accepted such a logic.

For a long time, Washington has repeatedly advertized its "system superiority" in the international community and it said that the US-style democracy, with the separation of powers, can lead to effective checks and balances as well as supervision among departments. But facts have failed to prove this.

Some analysts believe that even the disclosures the NYT had made on its own initiative are a small part of the entire "American game." It tries to create an impression that public opinion supervision is "effective" by releasing the information's tip of iceberg. But since it's hard for US political elites to gain actual benefits from the revelations about what have happened in the Middle East, no lasting attention will be paid to those disclosures.

Neither the Pentagon nor the White House has responded to the NYT's latest report. Only Captain Bill Urban, spokesperson for the US Central Command, played it down when he said, "Even with the best technology in the world, mistakes do happen… and we try to learn from those mistakes."

Although the Pentagon regularly publishes information about civilian casualty incidents, they are generally characterized as "unfortunate, unavoidable and uncommon."

The US is so contemptuous of the supreme human rights of innocent lives, which is in sharp contrast to its seemingly righteous gesture of criticizing other countries' "human rights." The US has frequently claimed to conduct investigations in other countries and regions, but these investigations are groundless. The US military has definitely committed a crime, and the international community should form a concerted effort to call for an investigation into it.

Former US president Donald Trump arbitrarily rejected the International Criminal Court in Hague to hear cases related to the US military, and even sanctioned relevant personnel of the court. This is because only Washington knew how many ugly crimes there were under the table.

At the beginning of December, the US announced its formal end to its combat mission in Iraq. Two weeks later, China signed a deal with the Iraqi government that China will provide assistance to Iraq's plan to rebuild its education system and will build 1,000 schools across the country. This also constitutes a sharp contrast: Wherever the American people go, they would hang a few Tomahawk missiles around their waists to show off their might, leading to division, conflicts and even wars; wherever the Chinese people go, they build roads and bridges, build ports and engage in trade cooperation, improving the lives of local people.

The US is now finding fault in other countries and regions all the time, and it has done its utmost to slander and smear China. But facts have repeatedly proven that the US has no such moral or legal qualifications to do so.

When the US brags about the so-called democracy and human rights, not many have paid attention to those innocent lives who died under the missiles of the US military, and their family members have nowhere to appeal their grievances. This is one of the greatest injustices in the world today.

Anyone and any organizations with a conscience are qualified to issue a just call for accountability to the US for the innocent civilians who died from US missiles.


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