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We Are Paying $2,000 a Head For Our Collateral Boo Boos, Get Your Checkbook!

Posted by bosskitty on May 13, 2007

Thank you NY Times correspondents: By CARLOTTA GALL and DAVID E. SANGER
I am selecting excerpts from this article Civilian Deaths Undermine The War …
to comment on.

Afghan, American and other foreign officials say they worry about the political toll the civilian deaths are exacting.

What else should they be worried about? Killing hearts and minds?

What angers Afghans are not just the bombings, but also the raids of homes, the shootings of civilians in the streets and at checkpoints, and the failure to address those issues over the five years of war. Afghan patience is wearing dangerously thin, officials warn.

You say the Afghans still have patience?

The civilian deaths are also exposing tensions between American commanders and commanders from other NATO countries, who have never fully agreed on the strategy to fight the war here, in a country where there are no clear battle lines between civilians and Taliban insurgents.

There are ‘battle lines’, where? How do you determine a good Afghan from a bad Afghan? Oh, and if they happen to be neighbors, why don’t you just bomb the whole village! Isn’t that what succeeds in Iraq?

Recent hits were:

… a farming village …. where American airstrikes left 57 villagers dead, nearly half of them women and children –

… at least 21 civilians killed in an airstrike … though residents reached by phone said the toll could be as high as 80.

… airstrikes damaged about 100 homes and a new school built by Italian troops.

Many of the most serious episodes of civilian deaths have involved United States counterterrorism and Special Operations forces that operate separately from the NATO command. (And, most likely some ‘Overpaid’ mercenaries).

The reliance on air power has led to a string of prominent episodes recently involving the deaths of large numbers of civilians, who often cannot escape, caught between NATO forces and the Taliban and its sympathizers.

“civilians have been caught in the middle more than before, and at a time when Afghans have grown weary of the fighting, said Dr. Sima Samar, director of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission.”

An unnamed “Senior Bush Administration Official” says, “We know that the Taliban hide in villages. The job that we have not done as well is making it clear to European publics that it’s the Taliban who are exploiting the civilians.”

Oh, OK, that explains it all ….. it’s a “Complicated Environment” after all.


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