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Today, It’s Three Children
Posted by Derrick Crowe on August 5th, 2009

BBC reports that U.S. forces piloting helicopters killed three children last night in the Arghandab district of Afghanistan. Enraged locals took the bodies to Kandahar to display them to local officials. (Warning: graphic photo.)

“What was the fault of my innocent children? They were not Taliban,” Mr Rahim said. “Did they come here to build our country or kill our innocent children?”

But keep in mind, this is all making you safer, America.

… The villagers shouted “Death to America! Death to infidels!” as they displayed the corpses in the back of a pickup truck.

AFP reports the boys killed in the strike were ages 10-13, along with a 25-year-old man.

There’s discontinuity between the descriptions of the strike: locals say the helicopters attacked a house, while the U.S. military claims they attacked “militants” in an open field. Stay tuned.

The New York Times is also on the story. One addendum to Dexter Filkins’ piece: while his closing paragraph is true,

As the Afghan war has intensified in recent months, more civilians have died. A United Nations report released last week said that 1013 civilians were killed in the first six months of 2009, compared with 818 in the same period last year. Insurgents were to blame for 59 percent of those deaths, the report said.

…it fails to point out that it’s not just the total number of civilians killed that increased during the months in question. Civilian casualties in general and casualties specifically caused by U.S. forces and their allies have steadily increased in each year for which we have systematically collected data, despite repeated escalations intended in part to reduce non-combatant deaths.

For more on the topic of non-combatant deaths, see Rethink Afghanistan’s section on civilian casualties.

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  1. [...] The Afghani war popped up into my blogging life a few times today. First, I saw this story from the Washington Independent about Russ Feingold being the lone Senator standing up against the effort to expand the war over there. Next, I saw in my e-mail inbox that Ambassador Richard Holbrooke and his team are going to speak at a Center for American Progress-sponsored (full disclosure, my employer) event about their strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan (I think I’ll skip that one). After that, I noticed a CNN poll that suggests the majority of Americans have turned against the Afghan war, with 3/4 of Democrats in opposition. Finally, I saw this story from Rethink Afghanistan that found that a US helicopter attack recently killed three children. [...]

  2. [...] The Afghani war popped up into my blogging life a few times today. First, I saw this story from the Washington Independent about Russ Feingold being the lone Senator standing up against the effort to expand the war over there. Next, I saw in my e-mail inbox that Ambassador Richard Holbrooke and his team are going to speak at a Center for American Progress-sponsored (full disclosure, my employer) event about their strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan (I think I’ll skip that one). After that, I noticed a CNN poll that suggests the majority of Americans have turned against the Afghan war, with 3/4 of Democrats in opposition. Finally, I saw this story from Rethink Afghanistan that found that a US helicopter attack recently killed three children. [...]

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