Country that doesn’t commit war crimes alarmed by Russian war crimes
From a mountain of moral high ground
By Task Force Football Bat
THE PENTAGON — Standing on an un-eroded mountain of moral high ground, U.S. military leadership this week found no wrongdoing in the deaths of untold numbers of Syrian women, children, and wounded combatants, at the hands of American forces in 2019, while simultaneously expressing dismay at the lack of accountability for Russian atrocities in Ukraine.
“Sure, the initial investigation was total trash, and props to the New York Times for flagging that,” said Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin III. “But look, we think that most of the folks killed in the drone strike in question were probably ISIS fighters, okay? So let’s just drop it.”
Austin added, “can you believe the depravity and impunity with which the Russians are behaving in Ukraine?”
The Pentagon’s secret report comes at a time when the United States looks to unite the world in holding Russia accountable for the widespread, documented horrors it is unleashing in Ukraine. It “in no way undermines our position,” according to defense experts.
Anderson Lowe of the Center for Military Ethics points out that the report “adheres to years of tradition of the military killing civilians without consequences, along with politically powerful figures openly encouraging war crimes and exerting influence on war crimes trials, pardoning those convicted of violating laws of armed conflict, and delegitimizing international bodies aimed at curbing atrocities.”
Lowe added, “so obviously, the United States remains in impeccable standing to try to hold bad actors accountable — in a moment when the world badly needs leadership on that front.”
“I’m not at all worried,” he concluded.
Leaders do not intend to be complacent about the military’s untarnished, transparent record. “We have codified our strike lists, and also began sending thoughts and prayers after every drone strike earlier this year,” Austin noted.
The military’s ability to stand as a beacon of jus in bello — or proper conduct in fighting a war — is clearly as important down the ranks as it is to leaders at the top.
One soldier from the Army’s Fort Benning, Georgia remarked, “stab, twist, withdraw” when asked for comment, while a Marine Gunnery Sergeant at Parris Island was quoted as saying, “kill them all and let God sort them out.”
“Whoever,” he added when asked for clarification.
Task Force Football Bat reports on erosion and slippery slopes for Duffel Blog.