'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Free Fire Zone Afghanistan (Part 2) 

From yesterday's New York Times:

Amid a continuing flurry of reports about civilian casualties in Afghanistan, the leader of a tribal council in Farah Province said Saturday that 108 noncombatants had been killed Friday in a NATO airstrike.

The report was denied by a NATO spokesman and could not immediately be confirmed from other sources.

“NATO soldiers, along with the Afghan National Army and people from the national police, came to Shewan Village and told us they needed to search three or four houses,” the tribal chief, Hajji Khudai Rahm, said in a telephone interview. “As we talked, a firefight began and 20 houses were destroyed when the planes dropped bombs.

“We counted 108 bodies, including women and children,” he said. “Fourteen local policemen were among the dead. Right now, things are calm, but people are digging through the rubble to find more bodies.”

Also, Reuters reported that residents and officials in Kunar Province said 36 civilians had been killed in recent airstrikes, 11 of them on Thursday during a bombardment, and 25 more on Friday as they attended a funeral for the deceased.

Beyond the obvious humanitarian concerns that we should have about such atrocities, we must ask, how long before the blowback reaches the continental US?

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