Afghan Civilian to US: We Don’t Want Roads and Bridges. We Want You to Leave

Posted: 27 January 2009 by Editors in Af-Pak War, International Affairs, Political Science
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Afghani civilians react to destruction and death after the US attacks last weekend.

al Jazeera – “Dispute Over Deadly US Afghan Raid” – 27 Jan 09 (2:46):

A claim by US forces in Afghanistan that they killed 15 Taliban fighters in the eastern province of Laghman, has been disputed by village elders.

One of the attackers killed in the initial fight was later identified as female, the US military statement said.

But Abdul Rahmzai, head of the provincial council in Laghman, said village elders had told him in the hours after the raid that those killed were civilians.

Rahmzai relayed questions from the Associated Press news agency to the village elders directly, who responded by saying that swear on the Quran that all those killed were innocent.

They said that women and children were among the dead, and told Rahmzai that they have no link to Taliban fighters.

Independent assessment by journalists and human-rights monitors of the competing claims is complicated by the level of danger in the territory to unarmed outsiders….

In the immediate wake of a battle in August in the village of Azizabad, the US military said no civilians were killed.

Eventually a US investigation found that 33 civilians had been killed in that raid.

The Afghan government and the UN said that 90 civilians died in the incident.

Hamid Karzai, the president of Afghanistan, said last week that the US and countries serving in the Nato military alliance are continuing air raids in civilian areas, despite his call for them to stop….

US marines are ready to leave Iraq quickly so that 20,000 soldiers can be sent to Afghanistan, James Conway, Marine Corps commandant, said on Friday.

New York Times – “Fighting The Taliban, Losing The War” – 26 Jan 09 (3:48):

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  3. […] One of the NYT’s editorial’s today calls for reducing the death toll by “more strictly enforced rules of engagement” — not isolated “just to air strikes but to the search and detention operations… with the help of 21,000 additional troops that President Obama ordered sent to Afghanistan.” — because the “lives and livelihoods [of Afghan civilians] must now become the central purpose of American military operations in Afghanistan.” The NYT calls this approach by the president “realistic”. What’s real is that the greater U.S. presence exists in Afghanistan, the more effective the propaganda for Islamic [sic] extremist groups to recruit. The better their propaganda, the better Washington fulfills the prophecies of these Taliban-type factions,  the closer we get to mainstreaming the Af-Pak War as “Obama’s Vietnam” — a war where the number of those “we” fight grow exponentially with the number of those “we” kill as a self-fulfilling prophecy. Afghan civilians who possess these lives the NYT says “must now become the central purpose” don’t want 21,000 more occupying troops, they want “us” to leave. […]

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