Saturday, August 23, 2008

About Those Hearts & Minds...

78 civilians are reported dead following joint operations by American and Afghan National Army commandos. As with any such news there are questions, denials and counter claims. American spokespeople tried to diminish and dismiss the claim.

Originally the coalition said the battle killed 30 militants, but U.S. coalition spokeswoman Rumi Nielson-Green said Saturday that five civilians — two women and three children connected to the militants — were among the dead.

"Obviously there's allegations and a disconnect here. The sooner we can get that cleared up and get it official, the better off we'll all be," said U.S. coalition spokesman 1st Lt. Nathan Perry. "We had people on the ground."

Given the American failure of credibility over the last few years of ill considered warfare, friendly fire casualties, torture and administration lies, I am somewhat more receptive to the claims of the folk cleaning up the mess.

Ghulam Azrat, 50, the director of the middle school in Azizabad, said he collected 60 bodies Friday morning after the bombing.

"We put the bodies in the main mosque," he told The Associated Press by phone, sometimes pausing to collect himself in between tears. "Most of these dead bodies were children and women. It took all morning to collect them."

Azrat said villagers on Saturday threw stones at Afghan soldiers who tried to give food and clothes to them. He said the soldiers fired into the crowd and wounded eight people, including one child critically wounded.

What a sad mess.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

... but I'm sure Neo came in his pants upon hearing the news....