It has been known for several days that the CIA claimed they may have killed Al Quaeda’s number two leader in a bombing raid in a remote northern region of Pakistan. I am listening to “Hardball” with Chris Mathews questioning a Bush Administration official about the 17 civilians, including women and children, killed in the action.
The Administration official quickly launched into a spin that they did "get" one of Al Quaeda’s top leaders, a man who was their expert on poisons and chemicals. Since the U.S. depends on DNA analysis to really confirm who died—and since DNA tests, at best, take a week or two—it occurred to me--- how did the official have proof of this? It is a question that didn’t occur to Chris Mathews.
The official added in a quick perfunctory fashion that "of course there was some collateral damage." The unspoken implication was that the "collateral damage" was worth the "getting" of the Al Quaeda "leader".
Collateral damage is a euphemism for non-combatants killed. Please scroll down and take a look at the first two photographs you see. Those two children are "collateral damage". The next time you hear someone speak of "collateral damage"----picture those two children. When you imagine Bush, Cheney, or Rumsfeld referring to "collateral damage"in their strategy discussions----picture those two children.
Funny—we don’t hear over the national media, "A mine collapsed in Virginia, today, and of course there was some collateral damage."
Euphemisms are novocaine for the conscience—administered by the Bush Administration and the mainstream media–-when it comes to the Iraq War.