Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Afghanistan President Demands US Cease Civilian Slaughtering Air Strikes

Afghanistan's president Karzai is finding it all but impossible to excuse the ongoing slaughter of civilians by American and NATO air strikes, supposedly targeting Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters.

Karzai has told Aghan media that he has taken his demands to cease the use of air strikes to President Bush himself.

More Afghani civilians have been killed by American/NATO air strikes in 2007, some 300 or more, than have been killed by Taliban or Al Qaeda terror attacks, and the horrific injuries suffered by survivors of the air strikes have become key news stories for Afghanistan's surging mainstream news shows and tabloids.

The argument raised by many Afghanis on talk back radio and in letters pages is a simple one : when Al Qaeda explode a bomb and kill civilians, it's called terror, so why isn't it terror when the Americans explode bombs and kill civilians?

President Karzai is clearly sick of having to answer such difficult questions, and his fury at the civilian slaughter from air strikes has grown only more intense as the civilian death toll mounts.

From the Times Of India :
Karzai told a television network that he had recently delivered the message privately to President George W Bush.

Asked if he was asking the American government to roll back the strikes, he replied, "Absolutely. Oh, yes, in clear words".

The United States and the Coalition Forces, he said, are not doing that (killing civilians) deliberately.

"The Afghan people understand that mistakes are made. But five years on, six years on, definitely, very clearly, they cannot comprehend as to why there is still a need for air power," Karzai explained.

A correspondent, who investigated at least one incident, said they were surprised to hear that while the "enemy" has killed hundreds of civilians the year, a similar number have been killed by American forces.

"With relatively few troops there, the US and NATO rely on air power. The number of civilians killed in air strikes has doubled," he reported.

But the telling example of increasing hatred against Americans because of rising civilian casualties came in a village in which nine members of a family were killed when the American warplanes were trying to target the head of the family suspected to be a Taliban supporters who was not in the structure destroyed.

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