Archive for the ‘civilian casualties’ Category

June 19, 2007

We’re so sorry… that you don’t understand why we had to kill your kids!
Posted by Mikhaela Reid

A few weeks ago, I did a cartoon about the U.S. trying to spin civilian casualties in Afghanistan.

Once again, the U.S. is upset about civilian casualties in Afghanistan. And once again, they’re not upset that the U.S. military killed seven children in a “targeted” airstrike, but that those unreasonable Afghan civilians just don’t understand it’s not REALLY the U.S.’s fault–there was nothing they could do! From the NY Times this morning (“7 Children Killed in Airstrike in Afghanistan”):

Seven children were killed during an airstrike by the United States-led coalition against a religious compound thought to be a Qaeda sanctuary in remote eastern Afghanistan, the coalition said Monday.

The death of the children on Sunday may well add to the crescendoing anger many Afghans feel about civilian casualties from American and NATO military operations. More than 130 civilians have been killed in airstrikes and shootings in the past six months, according to Afghan authorities.

The article goes on to say that the toll may rise to about 180 once the death toll from another airstrike are confirmed. But as for these murdered children, the U.S. had stock apologies and little sympathy:

The air raid against the religious compound was a targeted strike rather than a pitched battle. “We are truly sorry for the innocent lives lost in this attack,” said Maj. Chris Belcher of the United States Army about Sunday’s raid against several structures, including a school and mosque, in Paktika Province, near the border with Pakistan.

And

The American ambassador, William B. Wood, said the coalition went to extraordinary lengths to avoid civilian casualties. “Unfortunately, when the Taliban are using civilians in this tactical way, instances of civilian casualties, just like instances of casualties from friendly fire, cannot be completely avoided,” he said.

Consider those hearts and minds WON.

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