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Why Do Airstrikes in Afghanistan Keep Killing Exactly 30 People?

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posted on Dec, 12 2009 @ 04:20 AM
news link here

I realize alternet is a very left leaning blog, and the original source seems to be air america radio but the question seems valid.

Foust then linked to an LA Times article from last July by Nicholas Goldberg that documented what field commanders were told. In a grisly calculus known as the "collateral damage estimate," U.S. military commanders and lawyers often work together in advance of a military strike, using very specific, Pentagon-imposed protocols to determine whether the good that will come of it outweighs the cost. We don't know much about how it works, but in 2007, Marc Garlasco, the Pentagon's former chief of high-value targeting, offered a glimpse when he told Salon magazine that in 2003, "the magic number was 30." That meant that if an attack was anticipated to kill more than 30 civilians, it needed the explicit approval of then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld or President George W. Bush. If the expected civilian death toll was less than 30, the strike could be OKd by the legal and military commanders on the ground.

It would seem they are playing a game of numbers here and makes me question most of the propaganda put forth by the msm.

air america link

examiner link

Early this week, a little known blogger known as The Security Crank, made an interesting observation. In 2009 alone, there were at least 12 reports in U.S. and international media that cited U.S. and NATO military claims that exactly 30 militants were killed in either air strikes or other military operations in Afghanistan. According to the blog, "hopping onto Google News and typing '30 Taliban' or '30 suspected militants' brings up literally dozens of stories each year, stretching back at least to 2005. Indeed, 30 seems to be the magic number when it comes to arresting or killing off Taliban and other militant fighters in Afghanistan." A quick search reveals that is true.

It's very interesting isn't it?

posted on Dec, 12 2009 @ 05:10 AM
reply to post by Seiko


If the expected civilian death toll was less than 30, the strike
could be OKd by the legal and military commanders on the ground.

That line especially so.

posted on Dec, 12 2009 @ 05:21 AM
30 is a very interesting number.

Excuse my plagerism.

Perhaps no single number more fully embodies the essence of the rhythmic fluctuations which characterize human affairs than that of the number 30. Its significance to the realms of finance, economics, physics, mathematics, astronomy, and religion is integral to a full comprehension of each field, and almost mystical in its import. In order to elevate our understanding of cyclical occurrences in human affairs (particularly in the realm of finance) we will take up a careful examination of this most important number as it relates to the markets.

The number 30 can also be expressed as 10 x 3 (10 being the number of ordinal perfection and 3 the number of divine completeness). This mathematical structure further underlines the special importance of this number. Thirty is also the number of probation and preparation. A man, before he is fit for success, very often must toil at his trade until he reaches the age of 30 before he is ready to advance and apply all his wisdom and experience with great success. Thirty also has a theological significance since we read in Scripture that Christ was 30 when he began his public ministry on earth. In biblical numerology, the number 30 is also representative of blood (the essence of all life) and the price of blood. For example, Christ was sold by Judas Iscariot for 30 pieces of silver.

In economics and socio-political affairs the number 30 also takes on a special importance. Major periods of economic growth and technological progress tend to occur in 30 year cycles. A definite 30-year cycle can be recognized in U.S. economic history going back as far as 1864, the end of a major economic depression in the U.S. (a period which culminated in the War Between the States). The next 30-year cycle bottom occurred in 1894, which marked a period of rapid innovation and the transition between an agrarian economy and an industrial one. The next 30-year cycle bottom occurred in 1924, which led to the explosive economic growth of the "Roaring '20s" and culminating in the Great Crash of 1929. The subsequent bottoms in the 30-year cycle came in 1954 and 1984, with the next 30-year cycle bottom due in 2014.

The Magical Number 30

posted on Dec, 12 2009 @ 05:26 AM
reply to post by fumanchu

Now that addition I did not expect. A reference to the cyclic nature of the markets.

I'll give this link a read, thank you for adding it.

posted on Dec, 12 2009 @ 08:01 AM
reply to post by LordBucket

Bucket nailed it. Current policy is if you can kill ONE bad guy you're allowed to kill up to 30 innocents. Helluva policy. We might as well just call it scorched earth.

posted on Dec, 12 2009 @ 09:23 AM
As ever, it's interesting to note that no-one ever wonders how things would feel if you lived in a country where another power could kill a bunch of people with unmanned drones. Normally when a state takes life, there's some attempt to dress it up in "legality": but here there isn't. Collateral damage, just too bad.

Mmm... imagine if the Chinese killed a bunch of Falun Gong people who happened to live in Arkansas.

If you can make that leap of imagination, you might be able to see how the whole idea of the Predator drone being used in other countries is simply wrong, wrong, wrong.

posted on Dec, 12 2009 @ 10:25 AM
reply to post by Asktheanimals

In all honesty now...
I'd hate to think what todays scorched earth policy would resemble, if it's acceptable on a policy level that killing 30 civilians while killing one "bad guy" is ok.

posted on Dec, 13 2009 @ 10:56 PM
This was not exactly about the fact that thirty is acceptable, though that is I agree abhorrent. The point was that they usually also say thirty.

Almost, about, just about thirty, civilians, suspected terrorists, or terrorists, et c.

I think what the stories are driving at is not only was this number picked, it has an amazing ability to coincide with the death toll.

That is what I find interesting here.

posted on Dec, 15 2009 @ 12:46 AM
30x100 strikes=3000 innocent civilians. shouldn't that satisfy an eye for an eye. great job on escalating the war on al-qaeda, to a war on terror, then to a global war on terror and now a global war on islam.

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