Thursday, October 09, 2008

Afstan news

Four stories:
U.S. Urgently Reviews Policy On Afghanistan

Gates Seeks European Troops for Afghanistan

NATO faces calls for more Afghan troops

Military Justifies Attack
That Killed at Least 33 Afghan Civilians


Blogger Dave in Pa. said...

Some core excerpts from the Washington Post article entitled "Military Justifies Attack That Killed at Least Thirty Five Civilians":

"...A military investigation has concluded that U.S. forces acted in legitimate self-defense in launching an August air assault against Taliban militants in Afghanistan that it said left 33 civilians dead, including at least 12 children. ..."

"...The Afghan government and human rights organizations, as well as the United Nations, have said at least 90 civilians were killed by U.S. and Afghan ground forces and a U.S. AC-130H gunship..."

"...The report said that, 'unfortunately and unknown to the U.S. and Afghan forces, "the militants who were the target of the raid "chose fighting positions in close proximity to civilians'..."

"...Callan's report, which said 22 "anti-coalition militants" were also killed in the attack..."

"...Callan's team took testimony from village elders, U.S. and Afghan soldiers, and Afghan government, human rights and U.N. officials..."

"...Government and independent reports have said that Taliban fighters and other extremists are responsible for the vast majority of civilian deaths -- estimated by Human Rights Watch at more than 1,600 in 2007 -- but repeated incidents of civilians killed in U.S. airstrikes have brought criticism from the government of President Hamid Karzai..."

I have several observations here. First, it's standard Taliban and Al Qaeda propaganda to immediately after every battle or airstrike to allege large numbers of civilians killed by US and/or NATO forces.

This is what gets the immediate press coverage and airtime in the West's MSM.

Inasmuch as bodies are hastily buried and Islam basically forbids exhumations and autopsies, it's difficult if not impossible to disprove the propaganda allegations. Nor does it get much MSM acknowledgment that Taliban and Al Qaeda terrorists deliberately choose to hide among civilians and often have their own families with them in both Af-stan and Pakistan.

This gives the US and Allied Forces the stark options of either not attacking unless they're absolutely certain there are only terrorists at the target, giving the enemy blanket immunity and thereby greatly increasing the dangers to Allied Troops...or...doing as Allied Forces have been doing, attacking with as much care as humanly possible to avoid civilian casualties and only kill terrorists.

It should be reiterated that the vast majority of civilian Afghans who are killed are by Taliban and Al Qaeda terrorists DELIBERATELY. Roadside bombings and mines; deliberate murders of prominent Afghans working with the Allies and/or Afghan Govt; killing of suspected Afghan civilian informants; killing of teachers who have the temerity to try to teach Afghan schoolgirls; killing of local leaders cooperating with the Allied or Afghan Govt authorities; killing of Afghan women "improperly dressed" or chopping off Afghan womens' fingers if they're caught using nail polish; killing of Afghan men caught with Western videos or CDs; beheading homosexuals; etc., etc.

What's incredibly and inexcusably not taken into MSM perspective is the enormity of Taliban and Al Qaeda atrocities against the Afghan people whom the US and Allied Forces are fighting to liberate and to help in building national infrastructure and economy.

It's always tragic when civilians are killed or injured. And I'm sure nobody feels more terrible about it than the Allied Servicemen and Women involved. They are good and decent people trying their best in hellish situations.

What they have achieved in doing their best is something that should make all of us extremely proud of them.

The moral responsibility for those casualties rests squarely on the shoulders of the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

3:28 p.m., October 09, 2008  

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