Kirby Insists Toads Don’t Hit Civilians Every Time
Jason Ditz, Oct 12 2016
State Dept spox Adm (retd) Kirby spent a substantial amount of time tripping over his words at the last two daily pressers when asked aboutthe Toads’ weekend attack on a funeral home in Yemen, and the ever-growing civilian death toll in that war. On Tuesday, Kirby was asked pointedly about the difference between the Toads’ war in Yemen and the Russian and Syrian war in Aleppo. Kirby insisted there “are some differences” but then rattled off a series of similarities, even catching himself at times and conceding those similarities, like the Syrian government asking for Russian help being similar to Yemen’s “government-in-exile” asking for the Toads to invade to prop them up. Ultimately, he concluded that the Toads have a “pressing requirement for self-defense” in attacking neighboring Yemen, and that the Syrian government had no such requirement in kicking AQ out of the eastern half of one of their largest cities. He also insisted Toad promises of investigations and Russian promises of investigations as different because he doesn’t think the Russians mean it. On Wednesday, Kirby was again pressed on the question of Toad bombings and Pindo backing for the Toad war, arguing that the Toads’ efforts to not kill civilians would be “diminished” if Pindostan wasn’t arming and heavily supporting the conflict. This confused reporters, who asked him to elaborate, but Kirby would only conclude that “it’s important to remember that not every strike they take hits civilian targets.” Recent studies have suggested that somewhere in the realm of a third of Toad airstrikes, however, have ended up hitting civilian targets, which isn’t a great ratio. Kirby’s difficulty in squaring the putative differences between Yemen and Syria, along with his outright failure to make a serious effort to justify Pindo backing for the Yemen War, likely mirrors the growing disquiet within the State Dept, where a good number of their lawyers have been warning that Pindostan could find itself named a “co-belligerent” in the Toad war and face legal liability for all the civilians the Toads are killing. This makes every public statement potentially part of future legal proceedings, and is forcing officials to be very careful in choosing their words, or in Kirby’s case, in stumbling over them.