Nope, Not Us
My selection this week was based on this queasy feeling I get whenever I hear or read the following: "A NATO strike has hit civilians in Afghanistan, killing 11."
NATO? Come on. We all know that the drones and fighters belong to and are controlled by the US. It's our screw-up. An American writing in Pakistan's The News uses a comparable circumlocution, but at least he notes the actions for what they are: terrorism. Patrick Kennelly, associate director of the Marquette University Centre for Peacemaking and currently working with peace groups in Afghanistan, reminds us just what our act of retribution for 9/11 has led to.
In 2001, the American led ISAF (International Security Assistance Force), a coalition of the richest nations in the world, began military operations in Afghanistan in response to the 9/11 killing of civilians in New York and Washington. The purpose of the operations was to fight terrorism and seek reprisal for the Taliban’s harbouring of Al Qaeda. The operation has turned into a near decade-long war on one of the poorest nations in the world. ...
Most westerners are familiar with the thousands of American civilians killed 9/11, some people know about the atrocities committed by the armed opposition groups in Afghanistan, and even fewer people are familiar with the stories of Afghan civilians killed by ISAF forces.
Some of the recent civilian killings by ISAF, primarily composed of American forces include: two children in Kunar province on March 14, nine children collecting firewood in Kunar province on March 1, five civilians including two children who were searching for food in Kapisa province on February 24; 22 women, 26 boys, and three old men in a raid on insurgents in Kunar province on February 17; two civilians killed and one injured while travelling in a van in Helmand province on February 3.
This is what war is. For all the chest thumping puffery regarding the precision weapons we use, we still are cheerfully hitting the wrong targets, thereby making our putative enemy more palatable to the people of Afghanistan. And we've been doing this for nearly ten years with nothing but a rising death toll to show for it.
It's time to end this madness.
Labels: Afghanistan War