Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Precision, what precision?

They call it 'precision' bombing, but it is killing so many civilians that the US and Nato risk losing the battle for hearts and minds in Afghanistan

Richard Norton-Taylor
guardian.co.uk, Monday September 08 2008

"Nato, the world's most powerful military alliance, and the US, the world's most powerful country, and not winning the battle against the Taliban and associated militias in Afghanistan. Indeed, they are in serious danger of losing the battle for hearts and minds of the local population, the key objective in any counter-insurgency campaign.

This was made clear today, if it wasn't already, by a Human Rights Watch report which showed that civilian deaths in Afghanistan from US and Nato airstrikes nearly tripled over the past year.

US and Nato air strikes killed 556 civilians between the start of 2006 and the end of this July, while 530 died in US Nato ground attacks. Despite changes in the rules of engagement, continuing US air strikes, such as the attack in July on a wedding party in Nangahar province which killed 47 Afghans, and the bombing in Azizabad in the western province of Herat last month......."

COMMENT: Nato and the US are not conducting a campaign for the "hearts and minds" of Afghans, neither is the US doing that in Iraq. Instead, the strategy being followed is simply suppression of resistance by large scale, mass state terror. The bombing of civilians is not accidental nor "regrettable;" it is intentional to break the population.

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