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"We had to destroy the village in order to save it"

Posted By Uncle Jimbo • [February 01, 2011]

A quote from the Vietnam War 'It became necessary to destroy the town to save it" as reported by Peter Arnett (if you believe him). It came to symbolize a war out of control with no logic or common sense. It has been recycled to a more slogan-able "We had to destroy the village in order to save it" and trotted out by the anti-war crowd as a regular trope. It may actually be accurate for perhaps the first time. From Crackerman at Wired.

FlattenedVillage
When the day began for Lt. Col. David Flynn on Oct. 6, Taliban insurgents were using three southern Afghanistan hamlets as bomb factories. By the time the next day ended, Tarok Kolache, Khosrow Sofla and Lower Babur had been eradicated from the valley where they once stood.

Flynn had ordered tens of thousands of pounds of bombs to rain down on the villages. Tarok Kolache was completely flattened, and there wasn’t much left of the other two.

Flynn says that he had little choice but to take the extreme step. The Taliban had rigged bombs all through the compounds in the villages, and placed tons of explosives in the vegetated fields nearby.

Efforts at clearing the villages of homemade bombs during the previous three months had failed. The fighters had evicted the villagers from their land, telling them, “you can’t get to the fields this year,” in preparation for the U.S. troop surge. Few residents still retained hope that they’d ever get to move back home.

So LTC Flynn blowed the whole mess up, BAKOW! He made sure everyone was clear and then....some fairly epic bombing as 25 one ton bombs made sure that the rubble was not gonna make trouble. For anyone who wondered about the ROE, I guess this is one answer. But if you read the article, they escalated all the way up to this when all other methods failed. C'est la Guerre.

Not to be flip, but what was the total property damage here a couple of grand, generously? I smell a reconstruction project and some nicer hooches for all the fine folk inconvenienced, and thankfully not killed, by the marauding Talibs or our liberators. Surely we can pull that off, seems only sporting.


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