Blowing civilians to pieces, however, has been an exceedingly constant achievement, the civilians being in these cases within the full and unavoidably larger targets, quite often an exceedingly broad target, the coordinates usually taking in a goodly amount of venue in order to increase thereby, the chances of success in killing the designated enemy combatants who will have been reported to be within the area. Even in the case of a restricted focus, the munitions detonated will be calculated to be lethal over adjacent surroundings, so death will invariably still come to many rather than few.
What mitigates against feeling awful about the dead and maimed civilians, beyond their being different from us, is a conscience consoling hunch or hope that many of those hurt or killed were friends or sympathizers of those whose death we sought. One regularly reads news releases of successful targeting of merely suspected Taliban or insurgents, who were by the way, of the same governments we supported in days prior to our invasions. Ya' know, war is war. Things get blurred.
Such slaughters are given moral cover as justification. We usually announce our determination and right to punish the bad guys for terrorizing us good guys. And no apologies are required from the world's single economic and military superpower. Our inherent right to protect our interests in the half of the world we own is respected. We are the accepted leader and policeman of both our half and most of the other half. Our modest 'sympathy payments' are awarded to collaterally damaged surviving families in nations under occupation like Iraq and Afghanistan. That is, when families are brave enough to file a claim and not worry of being themselves investigated. Our soldiers fighting as invaders of different cultures, are sorely affected by witnessing violent deaths of children and children becoming orphans, but the TV acculturated folks back home are propagandized to worry only about the lives of our own and not the foreigners they might be responsible for bringing death and destruction to.
It all so complicated and twisted back upon itself. Intentions get confused, and now we are increasing hearing that we are losing the war against terror, especially as we are forced to use terror again and again in defense. So! Why not go back to the larger focus in targeting. But this time, go all the way. A planetary target for a planetary war against America's planetary enemies.
The targets in Afghanistan were often programed large enough to require the use of 'daisy cutters' which obliterate an area the size of a few football fields - really still modest.
The mafia jargon that has long entered our war vocabulary like, "Take 'em out!", and tough talk like, "Destroy the village in order to 'save' it." indicates ultimate target resolve.
Huge targets were the German and Japanese cities fire bombed and atom bombed during WWII; even broader areas of targeting were the more homogenized carpet bombings of Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam.
Then there was the countrywide targets imagined when the cry "Nuke them back to the stone age!" was heard from Americans outraged that Koreans and Vietnamese refused to bow and accept American victory over them.
Heroic Dr. Strangelove once had us chuckling over the idea of the ultimate target during years of Russian roulette gambits of who will blink first, with both the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. committed to a policy of mutual destruction if either were attacked. The euphemistic term, meant to comfort us, was 'Balance of Power'. You push your button, I push mine and we both die, therefore we are safe for neither will. I heard three time Presidential Advisor Brzezhinsky answer a complaining student at a Columbia University forum with, " What are you complaining about, you're still alive aren't you?
Amazingly, when the target was the whole planet, no great cry of protest came from people in the nations, who, though not involved in the game, were forced to accept the possibility of nuclear winter and the death of the planet should the balance of terror become unhinged. So we should be on safe and solid ground if we were to go planetary one last time.
Let the American fascination with violence carry the day. Increased affluence following World War II did not bring us more happiness, entertainment film slowly turned to exemplify a kind of death wish in the craze for watching mass death and murder. Silence of the Lambs, Titanic, Skyscraper, the Friday the 13th series, chain massacres, airplanes falling, more gore, ever larger body counts, movies that had people falling out of buildings long before 9/11, all representing and relieving a sense of boredom, an attitude of - "Well, we won the world and cannot figure out what to do with it, so let's imagine trashing it and imagine seeing everyone die" Orgy fantasy time.
Astrophysicist Stephen Hawking wants one ride into space from a planet he believes is in danger of being destroyed. Why wait for the terror enemies to get us. Why wait for global warming or a nuclear Armageddon. Hey, lets have done with it! Everyone on earth alive today is going to die anyway, and not just eventually but soon enough.
We have the wherewithal to be able to play the trump card, the final card and have the same self-satisfaction as the dedicated suicide bomber. Beat them at their own game! Just as they feel that strange satisfaction from the sacrifice of their lives in the name of justice for their own, so can we. Bin Laden says we are not innocent, wants to nail us. But we can take him and every one of his killers out first with an ultimate power to solve every problem permanently. Lets do 'game over'!
Oops, ouch! Wait a minute, wake up, from this nightmare! I want to see who wins Wimbleton, the 2007 World Series, NBA, NFL Championships, and the next World Soccer Cup, and what's for dinner this evening?