(George Capaccio and friends in Mosul before the war.)
Some critics are calling the January 30 raid in Yemen a botched affair. Insufficient or incorrect intelligence and poor planning, they argue, are responsible for the chaos that erupted when the Navy Seals launched their raid and ended up causing excessive “collateral damage.” Sean Spicer, Trump’s adversarial press secretary, lashed out at anyone — including Arizona Senator John McCain — who calls the raid a failure. In Spicer’s view, such malcontents and naysayers owe an apology to Ryan Owens, the soldier who was killed in the raid: “It's absolutely a success, and I think anyone that would suggest [the raid is] not a success does a disservice to the life of Chief Ryan Owens."
What about the life of Nawar al-Awlaki and the lives of the other women and children whom the soldiers ended up killing? Don’t they deserve an apology? Better than an apology, don’t their families deserve some form of compensation for the loss of their loved ones? Even more to the point, don’t we all deserve an explanation for why the United States is conducting drone strikes and clandestine military operations against the poorest country in the Middle East while supporting the Saudi-let coalition against Houthi rebels and allied military forces?--GC
George Capaccio is a longtime peace activist, educator and humanitarian worker who went to Iraq nine times between 1997 and the 2003 invasion by Bush and Co.
Round Bend Press will soon publish his memoir, "Iraq: A Human Narrative," about his times and travails among the Iraqis; hopefully by April or May and once the structure and details of the book are worked out.
In fact, I'm sending the author a first edit tomorrow.