Did you know that "civilian casualties in Afghanistan were posing a strategic challenge to U.S. battlefield success?" That's what Secretary of Defense Robert Gates told reporters earlier this week, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. In fact, he's worried that civilian deaths might make ordinary Afghans turn against the coalition and shift their support to the Taliban!
Seems to me many of us have been saying that for the last seven years, that the war would create more opposition to the U.S., more terrorists, homegrown and otherwise, although we've been fortunate not to have another Iraq/Afghan war-related attack on U.S. soil since the war began. But do you notice that Gates is worried about the Taliban? I thought it was Al Qaeda who was responsible for 9/11.
The latest apology (but not the latest civilian death) came earlier this month when NATO admitted that a night raid had led to the death of two men and three women.
NATO said its troops had entered the house on Feb. 12 in Gardez district of Paktia province, believing an insurgent was inside. They killed the two men because they carried weapons, although later learned they were not insurgents.Why are we still at war? What the hell is the matter with the so-called Left? Why does Obama get a pass when responsibility for every civilian death before the election was laid at the feet of George Bush?
"We now understand that the men killed were only trying to protect their families," Brigadier General Eric Tremblay, spokesman for NATO-led forces, said in the statement. The three women were killed during the shooting, NATO said.
NATO had earlier said its troops had found the women already killed, bound and gagged, but later acknowledged that this was untrue. Troops who visited the scene had made the mistake after seeing the bodies bound in preparation for burial, it said Reuters.
Photo from Times Online.