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Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Those darn civilians

As in Iraq, the corporate press (and many others) give more significance to incidents in which civilians are killed by allied action. But you have to love this story, and what it says about the American reaction to such deaths:
Airstrikes by NATO helicopters hunting Taliban fighters ripped through three dried-mud homes in southern Afghanistan as villagers slept early Wednesday, killing 13 people and wounding 15 others, residents said.

Shellshocked, angry residents condemned the attack, which set back NATO's hopes of winning local support for their tough counterinsurgency campaign.
13 dead, and what are "we" worried about? Losing local support. The actual deaths? Really, they could hardly be of less consequence. Will this story, or the thousands of others like it (reported and unreported), ever make the news two days in a row? After the occupiers promise an "investigation" (they don't even seem to have bothered in this case, resorting only to the usual "U.S.-led coalition and NATO forces say they go to extreme lengths to avoid inflicting civilian casualties"), will any reporter ever bother to return a week later, or a month later, or a year later, and ask for the results of that investigation? No, they really don't care.

And when researchers from Johns Hopkins or somewhere else produce a study indicating just how many Afghans have actually died thanks to the U.S. invasion, that study will no doubt be met with skepticism on the first day, and silence thereafter.

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