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"Collateral Damage" Isn’t Collateral, It’s Central


"Collateral Damage" Isn’t Collateral, It’s Central

Tom Engelhardt

You would barely know it, living in this country, but the essence of modern warfare is what our military tends to call “collateral damage”: the killing or wounding of civilians, not combatants.


This goes back at least to before WW2 when both the Axis and the Allies formally embraced the concept of “total warfare” and had the technology, will and power to execute it. A short list from memory: the Guernica bombings, the London bombings, the Dresden fire bombings, the leveling of Stalingrad, the genocides against Jews, communists, Roma people, disabled people and other “undesirables.” The Tokyo and Japanese fire bombings, Hiroshima and Nagsaki, the bombings in Korea and Southeast Asia (drain the swamp to kill the fish), etc. All preceded of course by the near-extermination of indigenous peoples everywhere Western empires were created. So put together the mentality of white supremacy, wealth and technology and here’s what you get.


Thank you, Tom, for staying on this. How else would we know?

It sure seems as though our country is willing to kill however many civilians it takes, just to eliminate a relatively few “militants” and “terrorists”. I’m pretty sure that by now, most people in the Middle East, N.Africa, and Afghanistan probably believe that we are the worst terrorists.


Cowboy Movies never show the Aftermath of their Classic Saloon Brawls, just that the Good Guys actions were Always Justified.