Thursday, August 18, 2005

Minimizing the loss of innocent life

When Rumsfeld et al accuse Venezuela of being “unhelpful” about drug trafficking, perhaps they had in mind its failure to participate in the “Air Bridge Denial Program,” under which Bush just reauthorized helping Colombia shoot down planes suspected of carrying drugs. Bush claimed the Colombians are working to “minimize the loss of innocent life,” although evidently not by refraining from shooting at airplanes. Best way to minimize loss of life, innocent or otherwise: stop with the shooting.

This is just a little reminder that Americans have been sent by our government to help kill people, without trial, for something that is not a capital crime in our country. The AP story mentions the incident in which a plane full of missionaries was shot down over Peru in 2001 by a Peruvian fighter “guided by US intelligence operatives” who nevertheless “couldn’t stop the Peruvians from shooting.” For what AP left out about who those “operatives” were and why they couldn’t stop the missionaries’ deaths (hint: they didn’t speak the fucking language), read my 2002 post here. It would also have been nice if the AP had mentioned how many planes have been shot down under this program; I know dozens have been in Peru but I’ve never seen a number for Colombia.

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