Image via the The Carthaginian Solution blog
Did some dodgy shit go down during the end of Sri Lanka’s war? Yes. What many people miss, however, is that horrible shit had been going down for 30 years. Mahinda didn’t start the bloody war, he just ended it, bloodily. Does that make it better, not really. But it does make sense.
I’d missed this post but the author left a comment and I checked out his blog. The author is quite right:
A ceremonial force once barely capable of defending itself, Sri Lanka’s Armed Forces have fought in cities and villages, in jungles and hills and at sea and in the air. They have mastered the complexities of combined operations and completely annihilated the one of the most effective insurgencies of the last fifty years, the hitherto invincible Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. But one indispensable military skill (which has been successfully mastered by all major Western powers), still eludes them. This is how to say sorry when you kill the wrong people for right reasons and kill the right people for the wrong reasons.
He then illustrates with examples how the west does much more horrible shit in the course of waging much dumber wars and gets away with it A) because they fund all the watchdogs and B) because they simply fess up an apologize when things go wrong. Unlike Mahinda who’s like ‘not a single drop of civilian blood was shed’.
Yeah. Worth a read.
Note: I’m not accusing the Sri Lankan military of war crimes, not because that accusation would be false, but because it would be counterproductive. War is a crime. If you’re murdering people and burning stuff it’s very hard to set rules. In my opinion, the only major crime in war is not ending it