This website is no longer actively maintained
Some material and features may be unavailable

February 22, 2010
Civilian casualties continue to mar Afghanistan war effort

In Afghanistan, officials said that 27 people were killed last night in Uruzgan province, when NATO aircraft fired on what was believed to be a convoy of insurgents.

It turned out that the people were all civilians, including women and children. The Afghan government called it “unjustifiable,” and the top U.S. commander, General Stanley McChrystal, apologized.

Meanwhile, the offensive against the Taliban continues in the town of Marjah in Helmand province.

For more on the civilian toll in Afghanistan, Martin Savidge interviews Alex Thier, director for Afghanistan and Pakistan at the United States Institute of Peace.

James Bays of Al Jazeera English has more about the war’s impact on civilians.






Nobody has won a war in the history of mankind by killing civilians relentlessly for 9 consecutive years, and then appears in a press room to make apologies. And no country has won a war by telling occupied civilians “I am here to protect you from your own insurgents who fight my occupation,” and then send the airplanes in to
blast them to pieces – except the U.S.

The late Yugoslav president Slobbing Milosevic died in jail of the International Criminal Tribunal (ICT) in Hague, Netherlands for killing civilians during the break up of former Yigoslavia. Sudan’s president Omar Bashir has an arrest warrant for the killing of civilians by his army in Darfur. But the superpowers can kill with impunity. Who will dare to issue an arrest warrant for Barack Obama, Dmitry Medvedev, or Hu Jintao. And that is why the U.S. did not sign the protocols of the International Criminal Court (ICC), or the protocols of Civil and Political Rights – under the U.N. Human Rights Commission. We have reached that point of history that the army of one president can kill thousands of civilians, and he receives a Nobel Peace Prize for, while the army of another president can kill fewer and have a U.N. arrest warrant hanging over his head with all international police agencies.

The latest U.S. killing of 27 Afghan civilians continues a string of civilian killings that has been going on unabated for 9 continuous years in a row, and it is definitely a crime against humanity. And it is because the U.S. has killed more than 2.000 civilians in 2009 under “the assumption” that they were Taliban. And after all the assurances that protecting civilians is a priority of the U.S. forces in Afghanistan, and that the U.S. will stop killing civilians just on a “hunch” they might be Taliban, there is another massive killing of Afghan civilians again under the “assumption” that they were Taliban. And to make the killing absolutely inexcusable, accounts on the Google News page today report that the bombing of Afghan civilians was ordered by U.S. Special Forces! The U.S. Commander in Afghanistan, General McChrystal, was the Commander of the Special Forces – before his assignment to Afghanistan- and he knows better than anybody else how they operate. And when General McChrystal apologizes after the killing of the Afghan civilians, but fail to sack or court martial their commander who ordered the bombing on a hunch, that means only one thing: Afghan civilian lives have “no value” in the Afghan war, and the U.S. assurances that “protecting civilians is a high priority” is just a blunt and inexcusable lie to deceive the international community. Even the U.S. puppet president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, is furious about.

Is a false assumption in a war front a justification to kill civilians with impunity? Of course not , and that is the officially declared U.S. policy. But killing dozens, hundreds, or thousands of civilians on “assumption” is a shame for the U.S., and for president Obama himself. He said during his Nobel Peace prize: “War is a necessity.” But killing innocent civilians year-after-year on just an assumption that might be your enemies, sir, is not a necessity: it is just wanton killing, and a crime against humanity!
Nikos Retsos, retired professor


Everytime its the same thing: “innocent cililians”!
How do we know? The taliban dont wear uniforms! They dont “subscribe” to the geneva convention garbage that somehow there are “rules” to a war !
Give me a break!
That is war ! Women and children are used by these heathens again and again and the world buys into their lies !
Can you imagine if WW2 was fought this way where we had to worry about alleged “innocents’?


Liviong in a war zone has always been deadly to ones health. It is worst when the enemy mixes in with the civilians. One would ask why did they travel at night? It is a sign that the Taliban could have been mixed in with them. Women and children do not travel at nightif at all possible. Taliban families do.


This war is all about keeping the U.S.military/industrial complex busy and profitable and the death of civilians means nothing to those promoting these wars.Sadly,the American taxpayers’dollars are funding this killing!


I am totally disgusted by our presence in Afghanistan. In many areas the Taliban is viewed as protectors from a corrupt police force. Our killing of civilians by some guy sitting at a computer terminal in Nevada is beyond contempt. We should get and make reparations for the harm we’ve done.


You can’t just kill anyone in front of you, even in a war zone! The more NATO forces killed civilian the more they loose their credibility.


I have a big problem with them being all civilians and no insurgents. We have only the word of a few telling the world they were not insurgents. I think any on in a war zone is a insurgent even if they are wearing civilian clothing as that is what we are at war with over there. Our troops do not have a clue as to if they are insurgents or plain folks. After all the women, children and men walk in to any compound to blow themselves up just to kill one Military person. Frank Bowers.

Produced by Creative News Group LLC     ©2021 WNET.ORG     All rights reserved

Distributed by American Public Television