Wednesday, March 09, 2011

The War is Killing Afghanistan’s Children. Enough!

Afghan Civilians Intentionally Targeted by NATO/ISAF Forces
Afghans For Peace: CommonDreams.org, March 8, 2011
Careful examination of numerous reports, and images/video footage, along with eye-witness and victim testimonies, clarify that Afghan civilians are the main targets of deadly attacks by North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Although the Coalition forces claim that previous civilian massacres were accidental, Afghan-led peace movements believe that the killings are at best negligent to at worst intentional in nature.

Foreign military presence and intervention in the past ten years has worsened the Afghanistan situation while civilian casualties have increasingly created tension between the Coaliton forces, the Afghan government, and the people of Afghanistan. These events have further brought into perspective the sheer human and material damages of the war. No one should become accustomed to or believe in this illogical method of bombing the country to peace. This mentality is not justifiable and should not be the norm. Acts of violence must always be questioned. The people of Afghanistan want justice and accountability. Not surprisingly, they get the usual response from NATO – an initial denial of civilian casualties, a shift of blame on insurgency, occasional investigations with an admittance to a tweaked number of civilian deaths, and rarely a contrived apology. This has become a wanton pattern. Explaining away repeated deadly civilian attacks as “mistakes” is unacceptable. Furthermore, this proves that the military solution to Afghanistan is not a viable option.

NATO-led forces are equipped with the most advanced technology with the capability of zooming in on even the smallest of objects with precise vision. This begs the question as to why so many civilians are dying. To put it into perspective, below is a compiled short summary of recent NATO attacks:

It was reported that a total of three civilian atrocities were committed by the Coalition forces within the last two weeks. The correct estimate is actually four.
  • Alahsay district of Kapisa province (5 civilians) Feb 17, 2011
  • Khoygani District of Nangarhar province (6 civilians) Feb 20, 2011
  • Ghazi Abad District of Kunar province (60+ civilians) Four Day Operation February 17/18/19 (different reports)
  • Mountains of Nanglam in Kunar province (9 children/boys)  March 1st, 2011
In Kapisa province on Thursday February 17th, Alahsay district Governor Mohammed Omari confirmed that five civilians were killed by a air strke from the NATO-led ISAF. The five civilians- three of them adult males and two children ages 12 and 13 – were reportedly without meat for the last few months and were desperate to hunt, hence why they were carrying bird hunting equipment.

In Nangarhar province on February 20th, an entire family of six was killed by a NATO air strike into their home in the Khoygani district. A photo captured by Reuters shows that the missile directly hit the roof of the family’s home. The parents and their four children were all inside when the reportedly stray missile landed in their residential community. The father was a soldier for the Afghan National Army who died of excessive bleeding after troops delayed his arrival to a hospital.

Family of six killed in Nangarhar
After a four day operation by ISAF and NATO in Kunar province over 65 civilians. More than half of the casualties were women and children, and this was confirmed by the governor of the province. Contrary to the abundant evidence, NATO claimed no civilians were killed and later insisted that insurgents were among the deceased, although villagers rejected this assertion.

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