Who is killing Afghan civilians?

Originally published 6/26/07:

This sort of thing is irksome.  The US is killing civilians left and right in Afghanistan as is the Taliban, but of course our civilian deaths are accidents while we are trying to get the real bad guys and the bad guys are to blame for hiding in civilian areas.  I always thought that if there was a bad gang we were trying to apprehend in the USA, say in Seattle, if we bombed a whole neighborhood and killed everyone there, that the public wouldn’t be convinced if the cops said that the innocent civilian deaths are regrettable, but it is the fault of the bad gang since they hid among civilians.

I saw a news report the other day which said that Afghan civilians are being killed at a much higher rate by the Taliban than by US and other foreign troops.  It is nice to see a few days later that the UN came out with counts that showed the deaths caused by both sides to be roughly equal, with an AP estimate that shows the US to be in the lead in killing civilians.

WASHINGTON (AP) – Despite rising civilian deaths in Afghanistan’s counter-terror war – and rising criticism – a U.S. general suggested Tuesday that coalition commanders do not need to change the way they operate.

“We think the procedures that we have in place are good,” Brig. Gen. Joseph Votel told a Pentagon press conference. “They work, they help us minimize the effects” on civilians, he said.

A count by the United Nations and an umbrella organization of Afghan and international aid groups shows that in the first five months of this year, the number of civilians killed by international forces was roughly equal to the number killed by insurgents. An Associated Press count for 2007 based on figures from Afghan and international officials found that while militants killed 178 civilians in attacks through June 23, Western forces killed 203.

Speaking by videoconference from Bagram, Votel said the assertion that coalition forces are killing more civilians is “absolutely not true,” and that those deaths caused by insurgent forces are “significantly greater.”



2 Responses to “Who is killing Afghan civilians?”

  1. 1 L July 26, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    US, Canadian and British war criminals make it. This war – illegal invasion is one big crime against humanity and it must be ended immedietely not in 2011.

  2. 2 theradicalmormon July 26, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    Agreed L. Stop both wars yesterday.

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