Thursday, November 01, 2007

Civilian Deaths During War

In my previous posting, I was recalling, from memory, a retired government official I had seen on TV who stated that the military had a policy that it was OK to kill a certain number of civilians to get at a specific enemy person. Reader SO questioned me, was this really the "official policy?"

Since I couldn't recall the name of the official and I haven't been able to pull up specifics on a 'net search, I shouldn't really be making that bold of a statement. The context of the interview I saw had to do with the inevitability of civilian deaths during war, and how many might be "acceptable."

I have done a search on Google, CNN, MPR, and ABC without finding the specific reference I wanted. If you put "civilian casualties" in a search engine, you will see larger numbers than you might imagine. One website, the IBC claims to have crossed checked numbers.

Maybe we could think of this as though we were in the Iraqi or Afghani shoes: How many incidental deaths would we think are acceptable when caused by someone who is supposed to be helping us?

Of course, there are complex happenings and causes in many of the situations. But a dead person's relatives grieve with real tears.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Proclaiming Softly,

    Have you ever thought of trying to find out how many civilian rubber planters were killed by terrortists during the Malayan Emergency of the 1950s? My brother survived his service in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve during World War II, finishing with the rank of Lieutenant when he was only 20 years of age. After his demob. he decided to work in Malaya as assistant manager on a rubber plantation. On 8th May 1950 he was murdered by terrorists whilst driving his car early in the morning to start work. He was buried next day in Cheras Road civilian Cemetery in Kuala Lumpur.
    After all these years, I have recently tried to find out if his death is registered in England but have disovered that it is not. I am now waiting to receive, I hope, a copy of his death certificate from the Malayan Registry. I`ve already waited five weeks for a reply! It is ironic that Alan survived various naval battles only to be killed in this awful manner by insurgents in Malaya.
    The military who served during the Malayan Emergency are now to receive medals, but casualities such as my brother are seldom mentioned.
    If you wish, you can find more about this on my blog: go to Google Blogsearch and you`ll find it under the heading `Malayan Emergency`. I hope you`ve been interested to hear how one family suffered from a civilian death.
    Remembrance Day is always a very sad time for me still, after all these years.


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