Monday, September 04, 2006

The headline reads "U.S. warplanes strafe, kill Canadian soldier." And then "Canadian soldier killed, others wounded in NATO 'friendly fire'."

strafe |strāf|
verb [ trans. ]
attack repeatedly with bombs or machine-gun fire from low-flying aircraft : military aircraft strafed the village.
noun an attack from low-flying aircraft.

ORIGIN early 20th cent.: humorous adaptation of the German World War I catchphrase Gott strafe England ‘may God punish England.’

I think that is the first time I've ever heard the term "strafe" used in the media. Probably even the first time I've ever heard it. I had to look it up. A lot of people skim headlines when "reading" the news, and using a word like "strafe" in place of anything else might be an attempt to smooth over the harsh reality of what actually occured. I'm not implying that anyone is denying what happened— it's a question of presentation.

And then to go and deem it "friendly fire"?

friendly fire
noun Military
weapon fire coming from one's own side, esp. fire that causes accidental injury or death to one's own forces.

There's nothing "friendly" about that, and being "strafed" sounds like a rather violent end. Not just one errant shot.

"KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- U.S. warplanes mistakenly strafed Canadian troops fighting Taliban forces in southern Afghanistan, killing one soldier and seriously wounding five on Monday in an operation that NATO claims has also left 200 insurgents dead."

War is nonsense. We're aware of how big, almost exactly, the world is. We know what is where, who and how many live in any given area. And still we're bombing one another like children at recess playing a fast game of Dodgeball. To what ends will this continue? And is it not the 21st century?

Maybe I just don't understand the rules of the game.

1 comment:

Funambulus said...

In this game, not just the rules, but the bones, are made to be broken.