This indiscriminate attack on the villagers in Pakistan is just one more example of collective punishment and it is another event that is, by any standards, a significant and major war crime.
On Friday, January 13, an American air strike killed at least 18 people in Pakistan. Eight of them were women and six of them were children. Children that had to be protected from scary things like ghosts and goblins by their mothers were suddenly snuffed out by American bombs. Those that survive will live in fear for the rest of their lives after such a brutal and inhumane event. After such a slaughter, it will be imposible for mothers or anybody else make those children feel secure. The psychological impact of war on the survivors is far more severe than most people imagine.
Collective Punishment: This is not an aberration and that is what is most alarming. We have come to look at such events as if its just another American mistake. How many times have innocent villagers been massacred by Americans? The Americans will say that they have received bad intelligence and deem it an unfortunate event. But what is really going on here is collective punishment. This feature of American foriegn policy is not new. The sanctions that were imposed on Iraq killed many thousands of Iraqi children and some estimate that over one million Iraqis have died as a result of them. It was collective punishment on a grand scale. The mass slaughter that is still happening all over Iraq is an extension of this. What happened in Falluja was another example of collective punishment when Falluja was singled out after American bodies were abused in public. There are many more.
What will happen regarding the attack in Bajaur on the 13th, predicatably, is that the Americans will say that they acted on false information. What is important to notice here is that they won't deny they did it. They want the world to know they did it.