Thursday, May 20, 2010

Civilian Casualties Raise Afghan Ire at U.S.

I don't know who they think they are, frankly. When we firebombed Tokyo and Dresden, and nuked Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Huns and the Japs just surrendered. Now these goat herders hate America and support the Taliban because we're orphaning and killing their children? Pfft...

    Time Magazine -

    An Afghan boy stands over fresh graves at a family
    cemetery near Koshkaky village, in eastern
    Afghanistan's Nangarhar province, the scene of a deadly
    early morning raid by U.S. special forces

    Nazir Ahmad says he heard gunfire coming from a guardhouse in the early hours of Friday, May 14, outside the large adobe compound he shares with nine families. Thinking that thieves were trespassing, he and several men ran into the ink-black courtyard, where they were struck down by grenade explosions and gunfire. "They were shooting lasers," says Ahmad, 35, misidentifying bullets as the laser sights on his assailants' weapons. Shrapnel flew into his cheek and hit his 18-month-old daughter in the back. A neighboring family fared even worse: within seconds, a father and four sons lay dead.

    Local witnesses interviewed by TIME say the nighttime raid by U.S. forces killed eight residents of this sunbaked farming village in eastern Afghanistan. The U.S. military insists that the operation in Koshkaky, about nine miles (14 km) west of Jalalabad, targeted active insurgents in the area, including a Taliban subcommander who was killed. Two wounded fighters were seized, along with machine guns and "communications equipment," the military said in a statement without offering casualty figures. (Afghan police are conducting their own investigation.)

    But ordinary Afghans are more inclined to believe the worst. As word of the incident spread Friday morning, street protests erupted, as hundreds of people burned tires and threw stones to chants of "Death to America," "Long live the Taliban" and antigovernment slogans. When a crowd tried to storm the district police center, officers responded with gunfire that killed at least one protester.

Read all of it.