USS Philippine Sea launching a Tomahawk cruise missile against Islamic State targets in Syria.
[Source: ERIC GARST]
Here we go again—the US is undertaking another “Bomb to Protect” humanity adventure, which has killed civilians. This time around, the objective is to free Syrians and the rest of the world from ISIL’s tyranny.

I can’t say the seven civilian deaths resulting from that bombing are isolated since recent news headlines seem to highlight more of these types of incidents.

So, how does the killing scorecard look these days?

Two snapshots given by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights from this past Friday and Saturday show that about 40 ISIL fighters and 54 civilians were killed.

The US can’t be credited with every Syrian death, but let’s say for a moment that the only good ISIL militant is a dead one through America’s eyes. If the estimate of ISIL being 30,000-strong is true, that means the US, its allies, Syria, plus Syria’s friends would have to keep killing every day for more than 4 years to wipe out the current ISIL army. My admittedly linear calculation doesn’t take into account the replacement of ISIL fighters by recruits who feel the current US-led campaign is a war on Islam. Not to mention that living ISIL operatives aren’t going to exactly stand still and wait to be bombed.

Meanwhile, take more detailed look at that Syrian civilian death rate

How do everyday Syrians feel about being bombed to death so that they and the rest of the planet can have a better chance at surviving?

I think Bassam al-Ahmad of the Center for Documentation of Violations in Syria provided a common sense assessment:

Most of them are very scared about the possibility of death. They have no idea when the strikes will hit and no way to prepare for them. There are also very serious fears about the number of civilian casualties increasing over time, especially considering the potential length of the airstrike campaign.

A campaign that we now know will likely last for years.

Allow me to repeat: welcome to Global War on Terror, Part 2

song currently stuck in my head: “pioneers” – dr. quandry


  1. It appears Western powers are trapped in a bad situation. ISIS has grown out of the power vacuum left by the toppling of Hussein’s regime and the violent process of democratisation. As a result of the war fatigue from Iraq and Syria they’re now reluctant to get ‘boots on the ground.’ The only outcome is higher collateral damage, and an increase in support for ISIS by those who feel this intervention is anti-Islamic.

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