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Tuesday, August 26, 2008


War crimes? The U.S. hangs tough in Afghanistan

The story of the latest war crime in Afghanistan gets even more interesting:
The United Nations has accused the US-led forces in Afghanistan of killing civilians after a US airstrike killed some 90 people earlier.

The UN said in a statement on Tuesday that its investigators "found convincing evidence, based on the testimony of eyewitnesses, and others, that some 90 civilians were killed, including 60 children, 15 women and 15 men" in the western province of Herat on Friday.

The UN said that "residents were able to confirm the number of casualties, including names, age and gender of the victims," AP reported.
Convinced? You are, but not that good old U.S. military:
The US military stood by its account, saying that 25 militants and five civilians were killed in the operation.
Who ya' gonna' believe, us or your lyin' eyes? True to form, though, the U.S. managed to couch its lies while actually telling the truth:
US Defense Department spokesman Bryan Whitman said, "I don't have any information that would suggest that our military commanders in Afghanistan don't believe, still, that this was a legitimate strike on a Taliban target."
A double cover. First of all, Whitman "doesn't have any information..." The people actually involved may well have such information, but Whitman made sure they didn't tell him. And second, the assertion that they "believe...this was a legitimate strike." And why not? They believe anyone resisting their presence in the country are legitimate targets, and they also believe, contrary to their repeated assertions, that they have no need whatsoever to ascertain how many people who are just "innocent civilians" are also in their gunsights. And indeed, no doubt they believe there are no "innocent civilians." After all, if there really were Taliban there, and you assume that the U.S. has some sort of right to kill them, then any civilian in the area was clearly "guilty" of either harboring the Taliban or at least tolerating their presence. So, do they "believe" this was a "legitimate strike"? No doubt they do.

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