Selective Compassion

“Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not; for such is the kingdom of God.”

The Bible, Book of Mark, Chapter X, Verse 14

“President Obama abruptly interrupted his golf outing and sped in his motorcade to his vacation compound yesterday after he learned that a child of a friend was injured while playing on the beach.”

The Boston Globe, December 29, 2009

Quite right, too. The incident showed the President of the United States to be a caring person: a civilized man with conventional compassion. He acted as we would expect and wish any of us to behave in such circumstances. “Suffer the little children to come unto me,” indeed, and we should admire his kindness and concern.

Pity he doesn’t give a damn about dead and crippled kids in Afghanistan and Gaza.

* * *

On December 26 a detachment of US Special Forces, who are licensed to assassinate people without accountability in any country in the world, murdered some ten people in an attack on a village in Afghanistan. The dead included children, and Afghanistan’s President Karzai said he was “seriously saddened and angry,” which is not surprising.

But the unquestioning New York Times relied on its usual anonymous briefers and spouted the line that those who died “were people who had a well established network, they were IED [improvised explosive device] smugglers and also were responsible for direct attacks on Afghan security and coalition forces in those areas . . . When the raid took place they were armed and had material for making IEDs.”

The Times made it known that “Senior American military officials cautioned that such incidents tend to be complex and that because of the sensitivity about civilian casualties, Mr Karzai is under enormous pressure to speak out quickly, sometimes before investigations are complete.”

Which leads us to ask why the Times spoke out quickly about a complex and sensitive incident, before investigations were complete, or even started, in order to convey the official line that those who were killed were all bomb-makers.

The dead were civilians killed by the generously tattooed, amazingly muscled, shaven-headed and sometimes mullah-style-bearded knuckle-draggers of the licensed-to-murder Special Forces. The butchering sprees of these psychotic gladiators are always deemed to be so important that ordinary citizens, in whose name they kill, cannot be told anything about their operations. Such information would, it is claimed, prejudice “national security.”


The real explanation for secrecy is that governments consider it essential to protect their homicidal robots from the legal consequences of their bloodstained blunders. None of us has ever heard of a single investigation having been carried out into SF operations that were god-awful mess-ups – and when we ask questions about their skullduggery we usually get a flat refusal to answer. Or lies, of course.

Ludicrously, these repulsive savages act outside the normal military chain of command. Not even the most senior commanders of foreign occupation forces in Afghanistan can be told about their killing jamborees.

The Boxing Day murder operation was ill-planned but well-executed (if you’ll excuse the word), and, as usual, no Afghan, from the President down, was informed about the foray. The governor of Kunar province, Saeed Fazelayallah, said that neither he nor any other Afghan had been told of it.

The policy of foreign forces in Afghanistan is that there is no need to inform Afghans about their operations. It’s only their country, after all.

But the people directing this disastrous and catastrophic war in Afghanistan don’t seem to realize the amount of resentment, bitterness and hatred that their moronic arrogance causes in the country and elsewhere. And it seems that nobody cares when the bloodthirsty loony mullahs make propaganda whoopee about the barbarism of western troops. Psychological operations expertise seems to be minimal. (I wish they would allow me to contribute some ideas.)

It’s easy for the militants to capitalize on kid-killing by occupation troops, because all they need to do is quote the facts, such as reported by the dispassionate Associated Press to the effect that

“The head of [an Afghan] presidential delegation investigating the deaths of 10 people in a village in eastern Afghanistan said Wednesday the team has concluded that civilians – including schoolchildren – were killed in an attack by foreign troops last weekend, denying NATO reports that insurgents were the victims.”

Asadullah Wafa, a senior adviser to President Hamid Karzai, told AP that “among the victims discovered in a village house in the Narang district of Kunar province were eight schoolchildren between the ages of 12 and 14. A NATO official said initial reports from troops involved in the fighting on Sunday indicated that the victims were insurgents – all young males.” Well, NATO mouthpieces would say that sort of thing, because that’s what they’re paid for. Wafa said he had “talked to the principal of the school in the village and he gave us details about the killed children . . . The schoolchildren cannot be al-Qaida. I confirm they are innocent people killed by mistake.”

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has recorded that 596 civilian deaths were caused by occupation forces last year. But there is no mention of the injured and maimed, who have little chance of survival in remote parts of Afghanistan, which is most of the country.

The UN doesn’t say how many of the 596 civilians killed were kids, but that doesn’t seem to matter to anyone responsible for the war, on either side. Who cares?

It’s one thing if you’re a privileged child in Hawaii whose daddy happens to be a friend of the President of the United States – because there’s lots of compassion when you’re hurt while you’re playing on the beach. But if you’re a poor Afghan kid who has been riddled with bullets or had your leg blown off there’s not much concern, care or sympathy from anyone.

The Afghan children who have been killed or mutilated by the gleaming-eyed foreign barbarians are beyond recovery. The survivors will probably die in lingering agony and their passing will never be noticed by other than their grieving and furious families and tribes.

When throbbing gobbets of children’s flesh are splattered round their parents’ house, gouged out by bullets that ripped apart their bodies, the victims are not even a statistic. But they are a powerful recruiting instrument for those savage and demented mullahs who seek to enlist surviving siblings and others as suicide bombers.

* * *

So much for White House compassion and understanding about Afghan kids.

And there’s little chance of either compassion or understanding regarding Arab kids in Gaza, either, for so long as the Obama Administration policy continues to be that of spineless appeasement of fascist Israel.

A complete generation of Palestinian children has been trashed by Israel’s blitzkrieg and its vicious and illegal blockade of their lands.

Most of the Arabs’ ancestral lands are occupied illegally by triumphant Israeli settlers whose government contemptuously ignores UN Security Council resolutions that they stop building their condos on Arab soil. But Washington has never condemned Israel’s blatant and contemptuous violation of these resolutions. And one of the main effects of Israel’s policy of racist supremacy has been to condemn hundreds of thousands of Arab children to exist as sub-humans – Untermenschen, as the Nazis used to refer to the Jews and others.

Last month a group of independent charity organizations produced a paper about Gaza. It didn’t get much traction in the mainstream media because it criticizes Israel. They wrote that

“We condemn all indiscriminate rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza. Israel has the right and obligation to protect its citizens. The policy of blockade, punishing the entire civilian population of Gaza for the acts of a few, is a collective punishment, which is unacceptable and violates international law. The blockade is also in breach of UN Security Council Resolution 1860, and of the Agreement on Movement and Access signed by Israel and the Palestinian Authority in 2005.”


Much of the world is engaged in mega-yawning about Gaza, following Washington’s example of unquestioning tolerance of barbarity. Israeli kid-killing in Gaza was a non-event, international news-wise, during its blitzkrieg a year ago. And the ensuing evil actions of Tel Aviv’s viciously apartheid government have produced little but rampant apathy in the West.

What the racial fanatics of Israel fail to realise is that this generation of Arab children who have been deliberately and vilely denied food, education, health care and common decency in their tiny enclave of Gaza, could contribute to their eventual doom.

These children, and countless other young people who are aghast at Israel’s lunatic despoliation and persecution, aided, as they see it, by the West and especially America, are vulnerable to the loony mullah-led persuasion that they should die for Islam. And they are driven to think that there is no better way to support their misguided Cause than to embrace martyrdom – that is, commit suicide in a fanatical fashion – while destroying as many of their oppressors as they can.

* * *

It’s all very well for the US President to rush to condole with friends who are parents of a child injured on a Hawaii beach. But if he wants to be all things to Little Children it would be practical and far-sighted to think about those children who are being killed by his special fanatics around the world, and what effect their deaths have on the peoples he imagines – however ingenuously – he is trying to liberate.

And it would be well for President Obama if he and his recently-discredited Intelligence organizations (of staggering expense and modest competence) gave a thought or two about those who are being radicalized by the tyrannical brutality of America’s closest ally, Israel.

Little children are important – very important indeed – and if America’s President could construct a policy to cultivate and influence them around the world then the United States might, eventually, cease to be hated and threatened as gravely as it is now.

President Obama’s compassion about suffering children seems to be sublimely selective. And so long as his Administration persists in denial concerning children killed and crippled by armed forces in regions controlled by America and Israel there will continue to be vile and unforgivable terrorist reaction against what is seen as deliberate and equally barbaric slaughter.

Selective compassion versus selective persecution.

Your call, Mr President.

BRIAN CLOUGHLEY’s book about the Pakistan army, War, Coups and Terror, is to be published in the US by Skyhorse next month. His website is

Brian Cloughley writes about foreign policy and military affairs. He lives in Voutenay sur Cure, France.