Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Hamid Karzai, the Cypher in Green Robe
Headline in The Washington Post:
U.N. Finds Airstrike Killed 90 Afghans
Most of Fatalities In U.S.-Led Attack Said to Be Children
From Harold Pinter's Nobel Prize (Literature, 2005) acceptance speech:
"Who was the dead body?
Who was the father or daughter or brother
Or uncle or sister or mother or son
Of the dead and abandoned body?"
By Candace Rondeaux and Karen DeYoung
Washington Post Foreign Service
Wednesday, August 27, 2008; A01
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Aug. 26 -- United Nations officials in Afghanistan said Tuesday that there was "convincing evidence" at least 90 civilians -- two-thirds of them children -- were killed in a U.S.-led airstrike last week that caused the Afghan government to call for a review of U.S. and NATO military operations in the country.
Kai Eide, the top U.N. official in Afghanistan, said local officials and residents in the western province of Herat corroborated reports that 60 children and 30 adults had been killed in an Aug. 21 military operation led by U.S. Special Operations forces and the Afghan army.
In a statement, Eide called the incident a "matter of grave concern to the United Nations" and said he had "repeatedly made clear that the safety and welfare of civilians must be considered above all else during the planning and conduct of all military operations."
U.S. forces in Afghanistan have increased their reliance on air power since last year, causing a corresponding increase in civilian deaths. The Herat assault appears to have caused the largest civilian loss of life attributed to U.S. forces since the war began in late 2001.
See: Death Came to Zarghun Shah, East of Kabul