Brutal US killings of Afghan civilians continue

18

March 14, 2010 by The Mormon Worker

From The Times
March 13, 2010
Nato ‘covered up’ botched night raid in Afghanistan that killed five
Jerome Starkey, Khataba

A night raid carried out by US and Afghan gunmen led to the deaths of two pregnant women, a teenage girl and two local officials in an atrocity which Nato then tried to cover up, survivors have told The Times(UK).

The operation on Friday, February 12, was a botched pre-dawn assault on a policeman’s home a few miles outside Gardez, the capital of Paktia province, eastern Afghanistan. In a statement after the raid titled “Joint force operating in Gardez makes gruesome discovery”, Nato claimed that the force had found the women’s bodies “tied up, gagged and killed” in a room.

A Times investigation suggests that Nato’s claims are either wilfully false or, at best, misleading.
Read the rest of the article here.

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18 thoughts on “Brutal US killings of Afghan civilians continue

  1. Joseph says:

    Maybe we can keep this conversation to the present, huh? This situation is terrible, and nothing from the past bears any relevance to the shame we should feel as Americans for what is currently going on.

    • Stephen says:

      Sure, this is, after all, the easiest way to condemn some murders and ignore others–all so that you can maintain the link between your two pet ideologies, Mormonism and radical politics.

  2. Tariq says:

    What do US/NATO forces think they’re accomplishing by messing around in Afghanistan? If they think they’re stopping terrorism, then they are idiots. By committing atrocities like this, they are proving that rather than stopping terrorism, they ARE terrorists. It makes me wonder how many of these kinds of atrocities US/NATO forces succeed in covering up. This is a rare occurence of military dirty-work becoming known to the public. How often does this kind of murderous brutality remain a secret? In any event, don’t expect anyone to get in trouble or be held responsible for these murders. “Being a soldier means never having to say you’re sorry”. After all, “it’s a stressful job and our boys are doing their best and blah blah blah”. Besides, it’s only a few dead hajjis. Collateral damage. Now let’s all recite the Pledge of Allegiance and thank our troops for defending our freedom.

  3. SUNNofaB.C.Rich says:

    oh I don’t know Tariq, the Taliban kills FAR more civilians than we do. We do it by mistake, they do it on purpose. Pretty simple.

  4. Tariq says:

    If it makes you feel good to believe that, and if you think that justifies anything, then go on believing it. By all means, don’t let anything I say break you out of your self-imposed state of denial.

  5. Tariq says:

    Oh, and when women are found tied up, gagged, and killed; that doesn’t sound like it was done “by mistake”. And really? The Taliban kills “far more” civilians than “we” do? Who is “we”? I don’t kill any civilians. But if you mean that the Taliban kills more civilians than the US military, then you are simply making things up (as you usually do). The US military has killed hundreds of thousands of people in the middle east since 9/11. How many have the Taliban killed? I’m not defending the Taliban. I dislike them immensely. I’m simply pointing out that you are making things up in order to justify the unjustifiable. But let’s just say for arguments sake that you are correct (which you are not) in asserting that the Taliban kills far more people than US forces. Does that justify anything? That’s like a serial killer arguing that he isn’t so bad because some other serial killer murdered more people than he did. It’s amazing how shamelessly you try to defend “the troops” even when they are up to what any reasonable person can see is no good. Your patriotism and pride make you sleazy.

  6. SUNNofaB.C.Rich says:

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/12/29/afghanistan.deaths/index.html

    this year, Taliban kills almost 3 times as many civilians as US/NATO according to the UN.

    so yes according to that, at the present time it looks like the Taliban IS killing more civilians than us. Why is that important? Because it supports my assertion that when we do it, it’s a mistake, when the the Taliban does it it’s usually on purpose.

    also if the women were really tied up and gagged, why didn’t the people in village mention anything about that?

  7. Tariq says:

    Is it really that difficult for you to face basic facts? You sound like FOX News. Keep on making things up if it makes you feel good about yourself.

  8. Tariq says:

    Also, there sure are alot of innocent people that “we” kill “by mistake”. I wonder how you’d feel about it if someone killed one of your loved ones “by mistake”. Your heard-hearted pride causes you to have a lack of empathy.

  9. SUNNofaB.C.Rich says:

    I understand that there is a difference between premeditated killing of civilians and mistaken killing of civilians. I understand that there are a lot of different players in the fight in Afghanistan and that responsibility for actions doesn’t always reside at the individual level and it doesn’t always go all the way to the top. That’s what happens in war. Tell me where i’m wrong.

  10. Tariq says:

    Yeah, they “accidentally” tied women up, gagged them, and killed them. Woops, our mistake!
    For you, responsibility doesn’t seem to reside anywhere. It doesn’t matter what soldiers do, no matter how bad it is, you always have some weak, FOX newsish excuse for it. You live in a fantasyland in which the troops can do no wrong and all middle-easterners (hajjis, as you prefer to call them) are terrorists.

  11. SUNNofaB.C.Rich says:

    so if I understand you correctly, you believe that the women were tied up gagged and killed….

    read the article. If you accept the eye witness account for what happened then there apparently was no tying up and gagging, unless it was done by the victims family/friends after they were dead, which is pretty inconceivable… also I believe there was a quote in there about both sides thinking the other side was Taliban. From the victims account it was obviously not a premeditated murder of civilians. As for who did it, the victims account says they were speaking Pashto with a Kandahari accent. As for the cover up, can’t be that bad afterall one of your prophets did the exact same thing for an incident far worse than this one. P.R. is part of winning the fight especially in that type of war.

    That’s not FOX newsish, that’s called reading the article and using my best judgment and experiences to draw my own assumptions about what could have happened. I know, for you that’s probably not as exciting as frothing at the mouth and calling U.S. soldiers redneck serial killers without checking the story first.

    In any case I only bring up events relating to the LDS church for the purpose of perspective.

  12. Tariq says:

    Keep on making excuses.

  13. SUNNofaB.C.Rich says:

    by all means, tell me where my understanding of the facts as presented by the article is wrong… I don’t think facts are terribly important to you though.

  14. In a February, 2009 report, the UN stated that “[Taliban and affiliated] Militants were responsible for 55 percent of the deaths, but an additional 39 percent of the victims were killed by coalition and Afghan forces, said the report by the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan.”
    See:
    http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/02/17/afghanistan.civilian.casualties/index.html

    Now that was just for the year 2008, not sure if the numbers have changed since then, but that’s not a 3 to 1 difference. SunnofaBrich, let me know if you have a source for the taliban killing three civilians for every one killed by US/NATO/Afghan forces.

    Now, there are likely some problems with the 55 to 39 percent ratio cited by the UN, because the UN never counted adult males killed by US/NATO/Afghan forces as civilians, only women and children. Also, the Afghans working for the UN doing the surveys could not really go to all the taliban controlled areas to gather data because it is too dangerous. It seems probable then that many people killed in those areas would never have been counted.

    Anyway, assuming that 55 to 39 number is correct, that’s not too many more that the taliban have killed. If we think the US military and our collaborators are a bunch of saints because they only kill slightly fewer innocent people than the taliban, while at the same time considering the taliban ruthless killers who must be exterminated, i think that’s a case of nationalism blinding our objectivity. Its like when I watch Utah Jazz games. Because they are my team, it seems to me that they never foul anyone, but always get fouled every time they have the ball and the refs never call it. My friends are constantly accusing me of this.

    In short, both US forces and the Taliban should be considered terrorists.

    Also, Sunnofabrich, you claim that the taliban are intentionally killing innocent people, while the US is not. That’s incorrect. The US has been in Afghanistan for years now, and know that when they do airstrikes they will kill innocent civilians. They continue to do airstrikes DELIBERATELY knowing they will kill innocent people but think that the price is worth it to also kill a few taliban militants at the same time (ie. a couple taliban militants are in a house with their wives and children and the US bombs it). Also, this doesn’t mean the Taliban are using their women and children as human shields, because the taliban fighters live in these homes and villages and are fighting a foreign invading army. The “human shields” claim is a poor attempt by US forces to absolve themselves of responsibility of killing innocent people.

    In addition, just because someone is “collateral damage” doesn’t mean they weren’t deliberately killed. It just means that wasn’t the primary purpose of the bombing, rather it was an expected secondary effect. Again, just a price worth paying (because we’re not paying it, poor Afghans who don’t count are).

    Now, do the taliban deliberately kill innocent people? I’m sure they do. However, most of the time they are doing the equivalent of what the US is doing, namely killing fellow Afghans who work for or collaborate with the enemy (obviously the US kills Afghans working for the taliban), and doing roadside or suicide bombings that target US forces or the Afghan Army or police. Of course, the Taliban kill many many civilians in the course of the these bombings, (because they think its worth it to kill a bunch of civilians in order to kill a few US soldiers) and that is totally unacceptable, just as it is when US forces kill innocent people when trying to target the taliban.

    In reality, its not the “good” US vs. the “bad” taliban, rather its innocent afghan civilians getting stuck between two armed groups (US/NATO/Afghan government forces on the one hand, the taliban on the other) and neither of these armed groups gives a shit about the civilians they kill, unless not doing so happens to suit their interests at the time.

    Based on my experience living in iraq, that was my feeling about that conflict as well: civilians stuck between many armed groups and suffering at the hands of all of them, the US military, Al Qaeda, Mahdi Army, Badr Brigades, Iraqi Police commandoes etc.).

    I have never heard any US army spokesperson/general in Afghanistan say that killing civilians is inherently wrong, only that doing so too often or killing too many might hurt US efforts to win the war, because it would cause more and more afghans to turn against them. That’s not based on concern for innocent people, its based on tactical considerations.

    As far as the bound and gagged thing, my reading of the article was that the women were not really gagged, but rather that the US military CLAIMED they had found a house full of women who had been bound, gagged, and murdered by the taliban, in an attempt to blame the killings on the taliban, when in fact it was US/Afgan forces who did the killing. So the US military lied to cover their ass until independant journalists showed what really happened.

    There have been many instances like this, where the US military claims they have killed a bunch of taliban militants, then it turns out they are civilians, or kill people but blame it on the taliban. The US military did this regularly in Iraq as well.

    So, just like any claims by the taliban should be taken with a grain of salt, so should any claims by pentagon spokespersons, because both sides lie.

    On a side note, for an article written by a Taliban spokesperson responding to the UN report citing the 55% to 39% ratio mentioned above, see this link:

    http://www.theunjustmedia.com/Afghanistan/Statements/Jan10/Response%20of
    %20the%20Islamic%20Emirate%20of%20Afghanistan%20to%20UN%20Report%20on%20
    Civilian%20Casualties.htm

  15. SUNNofaB.C.Rich says:

    good response, fairly reasonable. But if it’s all 6’s to you in terms of the way the fight is carried out then why isn’t it portrayed that way on this site? Anyways when did you live in Iraq?

    and here’s that link on the 3 to 1 ratio for the 2nd time in this thread.

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/12/29/afghanistan.deaths/index.html

  16. sunnofabrich,

    Thanks for the CNN link, sorry I overlooked it in your earlier comment.

    In your view, how is the Afghanistan war portrayed on this site? If you give me your impression I can try to clear up any misunderstandings. I haven’t had the time to write up anything giving a real comprehensive view of the conflict (guess i really should) but have just been posting articles real quick when I see something disturbing.

    I was in Baghad for the summer of 05′ and Kurdistan in the fall/winter of 06. I think I recall from an earlier comment that you were in Iraq with the military? where at? If so, glad you made it out. Not really a very fun place to be.

  17. SUNNofaB.C.Rich says:

    one sided, that’s the impression I get…

    I was in Taji 2004-2005 and Balad from 2006-2007 as a UH-60 crewchief, flew up to Kurdistan a lot both times…

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