Monday, April 20, 2009

Report: US Air Strikes in Iraq Kill Mostly Women, Children

Wondering whether or not Saddam Hussein would have done worse to them is irrelevant. He was a cruel despot. We expect this sort of thing of his kind, but we should demand better of those coming in the name of "peace".

In a report to be published in tomorrow’s issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers have concluded that air strikes by US-led coalition forces have killed mostly women and children. 39 percent were children, while 46 percent were women.

Interestingly enough, though the high-tech weaponry used by the invading forces killed a disproportionately large number of (presumably mostly non-combatant) women and children, it showed that among victims of suicide bombings only 12 percent were children.

The researchers used a database of 60,481 civilians violently killed during the first five years of the war, which was compiled by Iraq Body Count. They say that the shocking number of women and children killed are a function of using air strikes in urban combat settings, and the report may have policy implications elsewhere, where US air strikes seem to be killing large numbers of innocent civilians as well.


Friday, April 17, 2009

Family Massacred by Liberators

The state does at lease one thing well. Unfortunately it involves murder.

ALI DAYA, Afghanistan (AFP) – An Afghan army colonel whose wife and children died in a US-led raid demanded action against the troops responsible Friday as President Hamid Karzai condemned the killings.

The operation in the eastern province of Khost around midnight Wednesday killed the wife of Afghan National Army artillery commander Awal Khan, two of his children and a brother.

The troops, who had been hunting a militant linked to radical Islamist groups, also shot a pregnant woman and killed her unborn baby, which had almost come to term, Khan and a provincial health official said. The woman survived the shooting.

The mounting civilian death toll from military operations is one of the main sources of tension between Afghan authorities and the US and NATO-led forces in Afghanistan.

"The (international) coalition has to stop this cruelty and brutal action," a grieving Khan told AFP in the village of Ali Daya a few kilometres (miles) south of Khost.

Khan said he was flown home from his base in the eastern province of Ghazni in a military helicopter Thursday after being told of the deaths.

"I want the coalition leaders to expose those behind this and punish them," Khan said, adding that the Afghan government should resign if it could not protect its people.

Khan lost his schoolteacher wife, a 17-year-old daughter named Nadia, a 15-year-old son, Aimal, and his brother, who worked for a government department. Another daughter was wounded.

After the shooting, the pregnant wife of Khan's cousin, who lived next door, went outside her home and was shot five times in the abdomen, the army officer said.

She was taken to Khost provincial hospital, where the nine-month-old foetus was removed, he said.

"She survived but her child died. The child was hit by bullets," said Khost province health director Abdul Majeed.

Police said troops stood on the roofs of houses surrounding that of a militant suspect, and appeared to be intruders to neighbouring residents, who came out with weapons and opened fire.

The US-led military initially said four people killed by troops were "armed militants."
But a statement Thursday said investigations "suggest that the people killed and wounded were not enemy combatants as previously reported."

US military spokesman Colonel Greg Julian told AFP Friday it had become clear that the four were not associated with the targeted militant, who was arrested.

"It was an unfortunate set of circumstances where they may have thought they were being robbed or attacked and came out, and the forces may have thought they were associated with the targeted individual," he said.

"There will undoubtedly be some financial assistance and other types of assistance," he added.
In a statement expressing sadness about the incident, Karzai said he had ordered his interior and defence ministries, the intelligence service and local government to investigate and present their findings to him Saturday.

Karzai had "for several years repeatedly asked the international military forces (to) carry out their counter-terrorism operations in ways that do not cause civilian casualties," it said.

The Khost provincial council, meanwhile, stopped work to protest against the military action.
International humanitarian organisation CARE said in a statement that the slain schoolteacher had been working at a school that it supports.

"CARE strongly condemns the action and demands that international military forces operating in Afghanistan are held accountable for their actions and avoid all attacks on innocent civilians in the country," it said.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Video of British Police Beating Bystander at G20 Summit

This sort of thing happens everyday. Not shocking considering the attitude of state enforcers that citizens are to be treated with suspicion and contempt.