Jim Austin's Vermonter at Large
Jim Austin
Jim Austin
is a freelance writer from Putney, Vermont.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 04.24.02


Investigation #2002

Jean Chretien, Prime Minister of Canada, expressed his concern to the families of the Canadian soldiers killed by a laser-guided bomb from an American F-16 in Afghanistan. He went on to say that these were the first combat deaths of Canadians since the Korean War. I disagree with him on his last point.

These were not combat deaths. These deaths were the result of an unfortunate geographical position. In other words, they were within 500 square miles of an American military aircraft with a hotshot trigger-happy under-trained punk with one hand on the joystick and the other on the missile launcher.

The American military for all its high tech, laser-guided computer chip gizmos are a murderous mob of incompetents. Have they had a single skirmish since Vietnam where the enemy has killed more Americans or allies than our military?

When is our military going to realize that they are playing with explosives? These thoughtless imbeciles will let loose with firepower whenever the mood strikes them. Their oversight is a joke, their training is criminally inadequate, and the repercussions of their failures unknown. At least to the public.

Afghanistanis have suffered 3500 civilian casualties from our top-gun cowboys with their supposed smart bombs -- 500 more innocents died in Afghanistan than died in the twin towers. What a disgrace.

Maniacs, religious sociopaths without a trace of morality, killed our people. Well, what is our excuse?

Why do we fly into a country and send aerial death squads into the sky to rain death willy-nilly on any poor soul who happens to be below them?

Now they've blown Canadians into oblivion. And guess what? There's going to be an investigation. That's like saying "Tomorrow morning I'm going to read the paper and then have coffee."

Whenever the American military has a high-profile screw-up there's an investigation. They are lucky to finish with their investigation before the next homicidal incident occurs. We Americans seem to have an endless toleration for carnage followed by investigations.

I wonder how that investigation turned out after one of our aircraft cut the ski-lift cable in Italy a few years ago?

Remember? Cable car filled with people plunged to their deaths.

How about the Iranian airliner that was shot down during the gulf war?

Or the sub that rammed the Japanese shrimp boat to the tune of nine dead?

The last ten years is littered with military incompetence. Gun turrets explode on destroyers and they try to pin it on a 'gay' sailor, who wasn't in fact gay.

Bombs are dropped on our ships by our own aircraft. Helicopters crash, routinely killing our boys. There would be less mayhem if these ships, subs, and fighter aircraft were controlled by drunken frat boys.

In case you may have forgotten, our own military killed far more Americans than the enemy did in the Gulf War. I don't know about you but I'm getting really sick of this. Friendly-fire deaths are currently the biggest danger to American troops in combat zones.

I was ranting about the latest act of American military manslaughter at the dinner table last night and my son asked the following question:

"Dad, if we're powerful how come we're so stupid?"

It was a really good question and he stumped me for a minute. The answer I gave him was this:

"Son, we have the strongest military machine and the biggest economy in the world. Our leaders, especially those in the military don't have to answer to anyone. We could blow up Oslo and the Norwegians couldn't do a damn thing about it.

"The bastards, the Pentagon, know this and therefore they really don't think it is worthwhile considering the fate of the little people on the ground, be they civilians or allies or even our own grunts in the field. They are drunk with the power of technological superiority.

"People on the ground are collateral damage. They are not considered part of the military equation. And if perhaps some of our boys or the Canadians get blown to bloody shreds, wel, they can always have an investigation."