Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
Opinion Editorials, December 2008
Air Strikes Continue Killing Afghani Civilians Despite NATO Denials, Even Karzai Cannot Take it Anymore
By Hassan El-Najjar
ccun.org, January 23, 2009
The following is a news article edited by the Editor of ccun.org, particularly concerning the civilian deaths, which NATO forces and their supportive media have been trying to hide.
Like in almost most of the attacks by NATO forces before, Afghani civilians are killed by air strikes then NATO spokespersons claim that they were Taliban resistance fighters, who are usually referred to as militants, insurgents, or terrorists.
Even the puppet president, Karzai, couldn't take it anymore, and started to criticize NATO forces for killing Afghani civilians, which may lead to replacing him by another more quiet puppet.
It is very well known that Bush invited a Taliban delegation for negotiations in Texas, when he was a governor there. The negotiations were about the oil pipeline between the Caspian Sea and the Indian Ocean, through Afghanistan.
The negotiations failed and Bush invaded Afghanistan, using the September 11 attacks as an excuse.
Now, there's no Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan or anywhere, except allegations about Bin Laden in Western Pakistan.
There's no reason for the US to keep fighting in Afghanistan, from a US national-interests perspective. However, there's every reason to continue to do so for OIL, OIL, OIL.
The fact that the Obama administration is focusing on the war in Afghanistan means only a continuation of the Bush administration, which tightened the US control over the Iraqi oil industry.
It is sad to observe that all indications point to shedding a lot of blood in Afghanistan and Pakistan during the Obama term of office, like what Bush did in Palestine and Iraq during his term of office.
Many Americans, and many people around the world, thought Obama would bring real change in the American foreign policy, from war to peace and from hostility to cooperation.
So far, the only change has been in only where the blood is going to be shed!
I hope, wish, and pray that I'm wrong.
U.S.-Led Forces Kill 2 Taliban Commanders, Probe Afghan Deaths
By Michael Heath
Jan. 22 (Bloomberg) --
U.S.-led forces killed two Taliban commanders involved in organizing bomb attacks in Afghanistan, the American military said as it investigated reports that civilians were killed in the operation.
In Kapisa Province, 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of Kabul, US troops killed Mullah Patang, who conducted “roadside bombings,” the Pentagon Press Service said yesterday. Eighteen other Taliban fighters were allegedly killed in the operation.
The U.S. is probing claims by villagers in the Tagab Valley where the fighting occurred that 25 civilians were killed, said military spokesman Colonel Greg Julian, the BBC reported. In Kandahar, U.S.-led forces killed Mullah Abdul Rahim Akund, who coordinated and conducted bombings across the southern province, the military said.
Even the US-backed and installed Afghani President, Hamid Karzai, has repeatedly criticized the US-led NATO troops for civilian deaths during their attempt to defeat the Taliban resistance fighters who are defending their country against the NATO invasion, which aims at pacifying Afghanistan to be a safe place for the oil pipeline from the Caspian Sea to the Indian Ocean. In the eight months to August last year, 1,445 civilians were killed in Afghanistan, an increase of 39 percent on the same period in 2007, when 1,040 died, according to the United Nations.
‘Hard Earned Peace’
President Barack Obama, in his inaugural address two days ago, vowed to “forge a hard earned peace in Afghanistan.”
Obama and his Defense Secretary Robert Gates have backed a plan to send 20,000 or more American soldiers to confront the Taliban resistance movement in Afghanistan, where armed clashes last year rose to the highest level since the 2001 US invasion of the country.
Western officials blame Karzai for the drop in support for the fight against the Taliban, accusing him of failing to address corruption in his administration and tackle the opium trade.
Karzai last July denied allegations by former U.S. counter narcotics official Thomas Schweich that his government is reluctant to prosecute corrupt officials and drug lords for fear of losing political support.
The Afghan president, who faces an election this year, told the opening session of Parliament two days ago that the fight against the Taliban resistance movement couldn’t be won without popular support from Afghans and repeated his criticism of civilian deaths caused by U.S. and NATO-led forces, according to the BBC. His continuous criticism of US-NATO forces for killing Afghani civilians may lead to finally to replacing him by another puppet who does not criticize the invading forces.
“We don’t accept civilian casualties in our land in the war on terrorism,” the BBC cited him as telling about 300 lawmakers and guests. “We want change in military operations, we want effectiveness in the ‘war on terror.’”
Last Updated: January 21, 2009 19:21 EST
Here's yesterday's allegation that 28 Taliban fighters were killed, while in reality 25 of them were civilians as witnesses stated.
28 Taliban Fighters Killed by NATO Air Strikes in Afghanistan
In the past, many civilians were killed in NATO air strikes despite initial claims that they were fighters.
January 22, 2009
NATO-led coalition forces in Afghanistan said Thursday that at least 22 Taliban fighters were killed in an air-assisted ground offensive in the country's eastern province of Khost.
The alliance said in a statement that a large number of insurgents had attacked a NATO patrol in the Khost province, prompting the coalition forces to call for air support.
"ISAF service members from a nearby operating base assessed the scene, confirming a total of 22 (Taliban fighters) killed in the remote area," the statement said, adding that the incident took place in Babrak Tana district, near the Pakistani border.
Separately, the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan said in a statement on Thursday that its forces had killed six Taliban fighters in an operation in the southern province of Zabul.
"Coalition forces killed six armed Taliban (fighters) and detained one suspected militant during an operation to disrupt the Taliban's foreign fighter and roadside bomb network in Zabul province," the statement read.
Currently there are some 70,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan under the commands of the NATO and the United States, engaged in fighting the Taliban insurgents in the war-torn country.
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US: Coalition troops kill 6 Taliban in Afghanistan
Fisnik Abrashi, Associated Press Writer – Thu Jan 22, 2009
KABUL, Afghanistan –
U.S. coalition troops killed six Taliban fighters during a raid on them blamed for roadside bomb attacks in southern Afghanistan, a coalition statement said Thursday.
The troops were searching Wednesday for a Taliban commander involved in a roadside bombing network and the movement of foreign fighters in Zabul province, the statement said.
They clashed with suspected Taliban fighters at compounds in the Daychopan district of Zabul province after the militants refused to leave peacefully and fired at the troops, the statement said. Five fighters were killed in that clash.
Another fighters firing at the troops from behind large rocks was killed in an airstrike, the statement said.
The operation in southern Afghanistan comes at a time when security has deteriorated around the country.
In the last three years Taliban fighters have taken control over wider areas of territory, and continue to use roadside bombings in their campaign against Afghan and foreign troops.
The number of such attacks rose 33 percent in 2008 compared to a year before, according to NATO-led force here.
The U.S. has some 33,000 troops in the country, but President Barack Obama is expected to send up to 30,000 more forces this year, a majority of whom will be deployed to southern Afghanistan.
Troops kill around 30 insurgents in Afghanistan
Thu Jan 22, 2009, 8:28 am ET
KABUL (AFP) –
Afghan and international forces said Thursday they had killed around 30 Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, 22 of them in NATO air strikes after a patrol was attacked near the Pakistan border.
A large number of Taliban fighters attacked a NATO patrol in eastern Khost province on Wednesday, the alliance's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a statement.
"The ISAF patrol fired back in response and called in attack helicopters and close air support," it said.
"ISAF servicemembers from a nearby operating base assessed the scene, confirming a total of 22 Taliban fighters killed in the remote area," it said.
An ISAF official told AFP the attack had taken place in the province's Bak district.
The Afghan defence ministry said separately that police posts in neighbouring Tere Zayi district had come under attack late Wednesday, sparking heavy fighting that lasted into Thursday morning.
"Eight enemies were killed and another two wounded were left on the battlefield," it said.
It was not immediately clear if ISAF and the Afghan ministry were referring to the same incident.
The US-led coalition said separately that its forces had killed six Taliban fighters in an operation in the southern province of Zabul.
There are nearly 70,000 foreign troops under NATO and US command in Afghanistan fighting a Taliban resistance to foreign forces alongside Afghan forces.
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