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2009 Toll of Nato Air Strikes: 131 Dead Children

Johnnie Deppert | 28.02.2010 17:04 | Guantánamo | Anti-militarism | Globalisation | Terror War

After an air strike that killed many kids in the beginning of 2010, shouts of ‘Death to America’ and to ‘the Afghan government’ could be heard throughout Afghan villages and perhaps in other Muslim communities around the world. Those local, regional and global anti-American, anti-NATO, and anti-Afghan government sentiments will only be more widespread and vicious now that a UN report found that some 346 children were killed in Afghanistan in 2009. 131 of those kids were killed in NATO air strikes. 22 more were killed in nighttime raids. And in the last few weeks alone, up to 50 civilians have been murdered. In essence, there have been more and more civilian casualties as the US/NATO forces attempt to ‘liberate’ the Afghan people. More are likely to come as well.

Nato Air Strikes, 131 Dead Children
Nato Air Strikes, 131 Dead Children

In a briefing to the UN Security Council, the head of the UN mission to Afghanistan explained that ‘what affects one individual in a village affects all… the military surge will make it more difficult’. As civilians are murdered in cold blood, as family members and friends are lost for no clear reason, more civilians will join the ranks of the Taliban and sympathize more with the extremist movement of al-Qaeda. Yet McChrystal remains convinced that a surge of thousands and thousands of troops can help win ‘the hearts of minds’ of the Afghan people? What planet am I on again? This is Earth, right? When did reciprocating violence with violence do anybody any good?

2009 was the deadliest year to date since the Afghan War began in 2001, with 2,400 civilians murdered. These figures make McChrystal’s goals of ‘protecting civilians’ all the more preposterous. At which point do the Afghan people become fed up with McChrystal’s apologies and turn their backs on ‘American benevolence’? How many times can the US/NATO forces pull the ‘mistake’ card as a ‘legitimate’ reason for the killing of women and kids?

And McChrystal is not the only foreigner in Afghanistan that releases pathetic, apologetic statements that do nothing to ease the pain of losing loved ones. ’I am deeply saddened at the reports of the terrible loss of civilian life on Sunday in southern Afghanistan’, said Robert Watkins, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan. Is Watkins saddened that innocent kids and women who he knew nothing of were lost, or is he upset that civilian deaths make the US/NATO operation more difficult, a reality that will ultimately lead to more NATO deaths and war opposition back home?

It is quite disgusting that the US/NATO forces excuse the murder of kids as the ‘unfortunate circumstances of war’. Other excuses like ’self-defense’ are also used to prove these barbaric acts. Really? Self-defense against kids?

Even more ridiculous is the coverage of the war in the mainstream American newspapers, like the Washington Post, which run articles with titles like ‘Finally, a glimmer of hope for the US in Afghan War’. Mr. Reid, the author of the article, must be on some far away planet or drugged up on ecstasy. Firstly, he argues that capturing Taliban commanders is a victory for US/NATO operations. But it was McChrystal himself who said that ‘almost any leader can be replaced’. This is true. The US/NATO operation continues to attack the symptom and not the problem. Secondly, Mr. Reid must not be following the civilian death toll and the reports coming from the region of how catastrophic they are ‘to winning hearts and minds’. Mr. Reid – STOP DRINKING THE ESTABLISHMENT COOL AID!

Even Defense Secretary Gates provides unbelievable rhetoric when he says ‘the situation is no longer deteriorating’. To assess that statement we need to measure what the ’situation’ is anyways. What is the situation? It is a mind blowing question that nobody has the answer to. What does victory look like? What is the goal of the war? Does anybody really know?

If the plan is to kill hundreds of kids, exploit Afghanistan’s gas resources, prop-up a corrupt ‘democratic’ government, and to extend the American Empire through the multi-national, American dominated corporations plundering Afghanistan, consider the US/NATO well on its way to victory. If these are the goals, Gates and McChrystal should already be given a massive trophy with a small plaque reading ‘Victors of the Afghan War and the ‘Liberators’ of the Afghan people’.

New Civilian Deaths Roil Afghans .....

Picture: Afghanistan - Nato Air Strikes, 131 Dead Children .....

Johnnie Deppert


Hide the following 10 comments

Death to the Taliban and Al qaeda

28.02.2010 17:59

The U.N. reports that 2,021 civilians were killed in the first 10 months of last year, the latest figures available. Of the total, nearly 1,400 were blamed on insurgents and 465 on U.S. and other pro-government forces, the U.N. said.
(The Huffington Post article you linked to)

Goebbels watch

Scores killed at Pakistan volleyball match

28.02.2010 18:04

Police chief Ayub Khan said the bomber drove towards a field where people were watching a match, before detonating a load of high-intensity explosives.

The attack happened near Lakki Marwat, close to North and South Waziristan.

The Pakistani army has been conducting a campaign against the Taliban in the tribal areas since October.

The number of people killed in militant attacks in Pakistan is fast approaching 600 in just three months.

Militants have attacked both "hard" targets, including army or intelligence offices, and "soft" ones such as markets or the crowd that was hit in Friday's bombing.

The latest attack killed more people than any other since a bombing at a market in Peshawar left some 120 people dead on 28 October.

'Militant hub'

Dozens of people were reported to be injured in Friday's attack. Several buildings collapsed, trapping people under rubble.

By Aleem Maqbool, BBC News, Islamabad The Pakistani army's operation in South Waziristan, which began in October, was billed as the turning point in the country's fight against the Taliban.
The military says things have gone extremely well, and that it now controls most of that former Taliban stronghold.

But the period since the offensive started has coincided with a massive upsurge in militant attacks that has now claimed the lives of over 600 people right across the country.

The government says the hitting of soft civilian targets, as the one in Lakki Marwat, is proof that the militants are getting desperate, and know the authorities have the upper hand. Most Pakistanis will be unconvinced of that.

"The villagers were watching the match between the two village teams when the bomber rashly drove his double-cabin pick-up vehicle into them and blew it up," district police chief Ayub Khan told AFP news agency.

"Every day there are volleyball matches taking place," said one man who was injured in the explosion.

"Today, all the people had gathered together watching, when suddenly a [Mitsubishi] Pajero came in the middle of the field and blew up."

Mr Khan told reporters the attack may have been retaliation for attempts by locals to expel militants.

"The locality has been a hub of militants," he said.

"Locals set up a militia and expelled the militants from this area. This attack seems to be a reaction to their expulsion."

The BBC's Aleem Maqbool reports from Islamabad that among those killed are believed to be members of a local peace committee who have been campaigning for an end to the violence.

Rescue efforts

Mushtaq Marwat, a member of the group, told Pakistan's Geo TV that the attack occurred as the committee was meeting in a nearby mosque.

“ It is a small village with very few rescue facilities ”
Khalid Israr Regional official

"Suddenly there was a huge blast. We went out and saw bodies and injured people everywhere," he said.

Other people recalled seeing a bright flash before hearing an ear-piercing explosion.

One witness said that later, people were using vehicle headlights to search for victims in the dark.

Khalid Israr, a senior regional official, told Reuters news agency that the military had been deployed to help local authorities.

"It is a small village with very few rescue facilities. Rescue equipment is being sent there from other places."

North and South Waziristan form a lethal militant belt from where insurgents have launched attacks across north-west Pakistan as well as into parts of eastern Afghanistan.

Our correspondent says it had been feared that while the army was congratulating itself on its campaign, militants had simply escaped to neighbouring areas such as the one where Friday's attack happened.

The attack came as a general strike was held in Karachi, Pakistan's commercial capital, in protest against a bombing there on Monday and riots that followed.

The bombing, which killed at least 43 people, targeted a Shia Muslim march and was claimed by the Taliban

Selective outrage watch

Johnnie Deppert

28.02.2010 21:29

I think you are out of touch with reality. Sure, our forces have hit civilian casulties, but thats nothing compared to what the enemy have done. War isn't clean - but we can only do the best that we can do under the circumstances.

I'd have to actually question which side you are actually on.


There are no 'sides', just other people.

01.03.2010 04:49

It's not about 'sides' or 'enemies', it's about justice.

The war in Afghanistan is our generation's Vietnam, and as such is an abhorrent waste of time, resources, money and lives, both civilian and military.

We could reduce the cost by bringing the troops home, because if we don't, we will all pay a much higher price for many years to come.

Plus, the money saved by The Treasury by ending this insane war could be put to far better use here in our own country, instead of throwing it into a bottomless pit of death.

Let's not also forget that while this endless so-called 'War On Terror' drags on, it is being used as an excuse to destroy our own hard won civil liberties here at home.

Now, when politicians talk of 'the democratic process' it sounds like very hollow rhetoric to me, because I'm acutely aware of how much they've already stolen from us over the last few years in the name of 'security'.

If they truly believed in Democracy, they would not be trying impose it upon others by using High Incendiary Cluster Bombs to convince them.

The Bigger Picture...

The mentality of warmongers.

01.03.2010 12:11

"I think you are out of touch with reality. Sure, our forces have hit civilian casulties, but thats nothing compared to what the enemy have done. War isn't clean - but we can only do the best that we can do under the circumstances.

I'd have to actually question which side you are actually on. "

The reality is squalid and you are part of the squalor. There is no difference between the crime committed by one side or the other. If your enemy kills, to hell with him, if you kill, to hell with are both murderers and may your punishment for it be withering and long.

War isn't clean and there is no way to do your best for all is a crime against yourself, god and the victims you leave.

Do not question which sides a person is on, you can never know. In this war, you have as many enemies standing next to and behind you, as you do in front of you. You have as many enemies here, in the place you call home, as you do in that place they call Afghanistan. In the end, it will be those around you who bring you to justice.

So stand up fool, and open your mouth aplenty. Its all good to us.

Dr Spock

Echo chamber.

01.03.2010 12:28

"If they truly believed in Democracy, they would not be trying impose it upon others by using High Incendiary Cluster Bombs to convince them."

So they don't believe in democracy but then we already know that. What democrat would disgrace the idea of democracy by trying to force it on people at gunpoint. What is it they used to say in Northern Ireland.

"Who here really believes we can win the war through the ballot box? But will anyone here object if, with a ballot paper in this hand and an Armalite in the other, we take power in Ireland?"

Exactly the strategy in Afghanistan isn't it. Armed enforcement of democracy. With the ballot paper in one hand and the other a military fist, democracy can come to Afghnaistan, whether they fucking like it or not.

These are the people we are dealing with, they will stop at nothing to enforce their agenda. Children, women, young men dying. It doesn't matter, their deaths are worth it if we get our way in the end. This is the mentality, this is the agenda, this is the disease.

This government is a mask for a hidden lethal authoritarianism. Just because they learned to smile for the TV doesn't make them any less than they are.

Even Hitler was charming in polite company. Even Hitler had his accolytes that were convinced he could do no wrong. Even Hitler knew the value of encouraging his people to be stupid and defenceless, because that is the best way to make ultimately render your critics impotent.

Labour are the soul of this war, while they are in place, innnocent people MUST die.

How else are they to make a reactionary of you?

Knock Knock

3 is more than 7

01.03.2010 12:45

"The U.N. reports that 2,021 civilians were killed in the first 10 months of last year, the latest figures available. Of the total, nearly 1,400 were blamed on insurgents and 465 on U.S. and other pro-government forces, the U.N. said.
(The Huffington Post article you linked to) "

Your absolutley right, its all about numbers. If we can just come out of this having killed fewer people than Al Qaida then everything will be fine. Everybody knows that no-one gives a shit about the indivduals who make up the numbers. Everybody knows that these people are just computer pixels in a big game. It England, the people can only think in decimal, thats the cost of being a nation of shop-keepers.

So its just about numbers, about decimal points, about reports in newspapers and government statements.

If only we can murder fewer people than THEY are murdering then it will all be allright. It will all be will all be sorted.

Don't honestly believe I've ever encountered a dumber argument than this. There is something seriously worng with your thinking to write something like this. I think its called 'mania'. Its related to illicit drug-taking, probably cocaine or speed or possibly skunk.

Next time you write, actually try to THINK first!


Goebbels and Pals

01.03.2010 13:59

Can any of you sorry excuses for a moral high-ground provide us with figures of civilian casualties prior to the Afghan Invasion. The de-stabilization of the region is primarily the fault of the invaders who have reduced the people and the infrastructure of the country to sub-human status whilst pillaging the resources they require which was the reason behind the war in the first place.

Western Apologists never learn from their HIstory. The once 'friendly' Taliban, suddenly become the enemy; As was the case with Saddam.

It's never about Democracy.


It's a complicated world out there...

01.03.2010 20:44

The Taliban were no innocents (far from it, they too were brutal), but what is there now is far worse.

The history of the so-called Middle East (as named by 'Western' colonialists) for the past few centuries has been one of externally induced chaos, one of colonists taking what they think is 'rightfully' theirs and damn the consequences for the locals.

What is happening now is just the latest instalment in this sorry saga.

Many wrongs do not ever add up to being a right, they just add to the indignities of those they are inflicted upon, and it should come as no surprise that those who are subjected to such wrongs see no other option but to take up arms against these external forces.

I am certain that if we too had experienced a similar local history of indignity and occupation, we too would tire of it all and start to fight back.

It's only Human.

It is not being an 'apologist' to say this, it is about understanding Human Nature, and acknowledging that under the skin we all have the same basic desires, regardless of our cultural backgrounds.

To speak of being 'apologist' and of taking sides is to attempt to reduce the world to black and white. The world is not like this, it is far more complex and subtle. This itself is the same kind of reductionist language and thinking that the world's so-called ruling classes use, and is why things are in such a mess in the first place.

And yes, Neo Labour are definitely Wolves masquerading as Sheep, but then the Tories are no better.

The Bigger Picture...


01.03.2010 20:49

Afganistan has always had an appalling mortality rate - in the top 10 of the world's country (Number 8) just behind the likes of Swaziland and Angola. The crude rate death rate is around 19 in 1000 at the moment which is a little bit up from pre-war figures.

On the flipside, it is worth noting that the mortality rate of under 5's have reduced, partially due to a reduction in killing associated with first-born females (a problem that occurs in many countries including rural india and china - although more in the form of abortions).

But it is also worth noting is that the mortality rate in iraq has reduce year on year since before their war with the collalition.

figure man

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