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How Many Civilians Will Die Tomorrow?

From the CBC today:
NATO operations in Afghanistan's volatile south left dozens of Afghan civilians dead earlier this week, according to Afghan government officials and a village resident.

Bismallah Afghanmal, a provincial council member, told the Associated Press an estimated 80 to 85 civilians were killed in the operation, while Karim Jan, a villager, said 60 to 70 civilians died. Another government official, who declined to give his name, told the Associated Press that at least 60 civilians were killed.

Maj. Luke Knittig, a ISAF spokesman, said NATO forces used mortar and artillery backed by air support against militants who were trying to undermine efforts to stabilize the area for reconstruction.

Knittig said there were three clashes between insurgents and NATO forces west of Kandahar city, with troops using "precision strikes" against insurgents.

"Very sadly, civilians continue to get caught up in these engagements, with tragic results," he said.

Ah yes, very sad, very tragic, but not quite sad enough to stop doing it over and over and fucking over again.

What doesn't seem to be debatable is that some civilians were killed by NATO. This horrific report can be viewed a couple of ways:

We can view the report by Afghan officials as accurate and true. Between 60 and 90 civilians were slaughtered indiscriminately because they got in the way of the absurdly described "precision strikes" on areas which were obviously full of civilians. The question then is, what the hell are Canadian troops doing firing upon civilians? Has it now become an accepted practice to say 'well, our technology assures us that our strikes are precise, those pesky civilians just insist on getting in the way. What can we do? It's really all their own fault.' Does Stephen Harper really want to join the war crimes club? What's next, white phosphorous? Napalm? Mustard Gas?

We could also view it as a distortion from the warlord and former taliban controlled government in an effort to undermine NATO's efforts in the country, which would beg the question - why are we defending them? If this is a propaganda piece, why are Canadians killing civilians and being killed themselves to support a government that is obviously corrupt and doesn't want us there.

Either way you look at it, one has to conclude that the NATO prescence in Afghanistan is an exericise in imperial domination, with Canada acting as an enforcer.



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2:41 PM

Canada complains to White House about Republican ad
Wed Oct 25, 8:19 PM

By Alexander Panetta And Beth Gorham

OTTAWA (CP) - The Canadian government has lodged a complaint with the Bush administration over a Republican election ad that belittles Canada as a global freeloader.  

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