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Friday, July 04, 2008


Meanwhile in Afghanistan...

Twenty-two civilians, including women and children, were killed in an air strike by U.S.-led forces on Friday in Afghanistan's eastern province of Nuristan, an official said.

"The civilians were evacuating the district as they were told by the U.S.-led troops to do so because they wanted to launch an operation against the Taliban," he said.(Source)
As usual, the U.S. military sees (or claims to see) the situation differently:
The U.S. military confirmed the mission, but said there was no report of civilian injuries.
For starters, that statement is obviously false. Clearly there is a "report" of civilian "injuries" [sic]. That there wasn't a report filed by members of the U.S. military I wouldn't doubt, since for starters they were in the air, and undoubtedly never landed on the ground to find out who they killed, and even if they had, no doubt they would have found weapons or something enabling them to classify the dead, even the women and children, as "militants" (or perhaps "civilians the militants were hiding behind").

As always, the article carries an amusing part:

The issue of civilians killed by foreign troops is a sensitive one in Afghanistan as it undermines public support for the presence of around 71,000 international troops in the country and the government of President Hamid Karzai.
Really? Ya' think?

The article also provides us with some numbers which we rarely see:

In the first six months of this year, 698 civilians were killed, 255 of them by Afghan government and foreign forces. In the same period last year, a total of 430 civilians were killed, the United Nations said last week.
No figure for an entire year, but if we add up the first six months of this year with the first six months of last year, that's 1128 Afghan civilians documented dead as a result of the U.S./NATO invasion and occupation in just one year, with a substantial number of them killed by the U.S. and its allies (that's what they own up to; for all we know, all of those dead were killed by Afghan government and "foreign forces").

All together now...Out Now!

Update: On the question of numbers, this article claims (no source given) that "last year insurgency-related violence claimed 8,000 people's lives." If only a thousand or so of those were "civilians," that would make 7,000 of them "militants." Somehow I doubt it.

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