Nick Turse

By now, Afghans (and Pakistanis in tribal areas across the border) surely know the rules of the road of the American war: there is no sanctity in public or private rites. While funerals have been hit repeatedly and at least one baby-naming ceremony was taken out as well, weddings have been the rites of choice for obliteration for reasons the U.S. Air Force has, as far as we know, never taken a moment to consider, no less explain. This website counted five weddings blown away (one in Iraq and four in Afghanistan) by mid-2008, and another from that year not reported until 2009. The latest incident is at least the seventh that has managed, however modestly, to make the news here, but there is no way of knowing what other damage to wedding parties in rural Afghanistan has gone uncounted.

Imagine the uproar in this country if a jet took out a wedding party. Just consider the attention given every time some mad gunman shoots up a post office, a college campus, or simply an off-campus party, if you want to get an idea. You might think then that, given the U.S. record of wedding carnage in Afghanistan, which undoubtedly represents some kind of modern wedding-crasher record, there might have been a front-page story, or simply a story, somewhere, anywhere, indicating the repetitive nature of such events.

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