Monday, September 08, 2008

Report: US should stop bombing Afghan villages

link
So, I've captured a part of Salon.com's wire feed (Glenn Greenwald from Saturday was great, by the way) and reproduced it below.
Imagine that you're an associated press headline writer. What's the moral thing to do? I guess trying to stop the bombing of Afghanistan in the way you frame your headlines could help. I'm not sure why they stopped there, though. Why not, "US should focus more resources, leadership on disaster preparedness, response;" "US should cool it on erratically antagonizing neighbors;" "US should undo 120 years of mortgage enablement." What's funny here is that the AP -- and news outfits in general -- don't take that extra step and draw the obvious lesson from what's going on unless Human Rights Watch releases a report, reviewing what they published themselves, but adding a line like, 'and that should stop.'

Here's a bit from the story.

The U.S. and NATO militaries must stop carrying out airstrikes in densely populated Afghan villages unless intelligence is highly reliable, Human Rights Watch said in a report Monday that also urged military leaders to accept responsibility for civilian casualties as soon as possible.
...
Afghan and Western officials say Afghanistan's intelligence agency and the U.N. both have video of the aftermath of the airstrikes on Azizabad village showing dozens of dead women and children.

An Afghan government commission has said 90 civilians, including 60 children and 15 women, died, a finding that the U.N. backed in its own initial report.

In the report released Monday, New York-based Human Rights Watch said that at least 540 Afghan civilians have died in insurgency-related violence this year, including at least 367 killed by insurgents. The group said it used the most conservative estimates of civilian deaths and excluded the Azizabad incident.

An Associated Press tally of civilian deaths this year found that international forces have killed 160 civilians, while insurgent attacks have killed 540. That tally also excludes Azizabad.

Human Rights Watch said its investigation found that civilian casualties rarely occur during planned operations and airstrikes on Taliban targets, but that high numbers of civilian deaths happened in retaliatory strikes after troops were attacked.

1 comment:

malechem said...

And there's this. I'm not sure why there's all this well-deserved hatred of the press rising up. Maybe it was Al Gore's book.