politics, hypocrisy and meanness in public affairs, alligators, anti-empire-ism, occasional personal stuff

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Our finest, operating with the highest honor

U.S. Admits Role in February Killing of Afghan Women

KABUL, Afghanistan — After initially denying involvement or any cover-up in the deaths of three Afghan women during a badly bungled American Special Operations assault in February, the American-led military command in Kabul admitted late on Sunday that its forces had, in fact, killed the women during the nighttime raid.
The admission immediately raised questions about what really happened during the Feb. 12 operation — and what falsehoods followed — including a new report that Special Operations forces dug bullets out of the bodies of the women to hide the true nature of their deaths.
A NATO official also said Sunday in an interview that an Afghan-led team of investigators had found signs of evidence tampering at the scene, including the removal of bullets from walls near where the women were killed.
The disclosure could not come at a worse moment for the American military: NATO officials are struggling to contain fallout from a series of tirades against the foreign military presence by the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, who has also railed against the killing of civilians by Western forces.

NATO military officials had already admitted killing two innocent civilians — a district prosecutor and local police chief — during the raid, on a home near Gardez in southeastern Afghanistan. The two men were shot to death when they came out of their home, armed with Kalashnikov rifles, to investigate.
Three women also died that night at the same home: One was a pregnant mother of 10 and another was a pregnant mother of six. NATO military officials had suggested that the women were actually stabbed to death — or had died by some other means — hours before the raid, an explanation that implied that family members or others at the home might have killed them.
I don't know how to respond to this, except with disgust, outrage and the feeling of impotence. This is what happens when we send people to do an impossible job in an environment alien to us, with an incompetent, corrupt so-called partner.  I minimize - is there even a moral justification for being in Afghanistan, at all, even if it were not to do an impossible job in an alien environment with a disreputable and incompetent partner?


  • At 11:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Where was this report published? Oppel is a NYT contributor, but I could not find this story there . . .

  • At 11:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Sorry, ignore my question, I've found it now in the Sunday Times.

    This is completely revolting. How could anyone believe that anything, anything at all positive, can come out of American Military occupation of Afghanistan? Unless of course you count further enrichment of the contractors supplying the military as a "positive".

  • At 3:34 PM, Blogger ricksahm said…

    I appreciate you writing but am curious who you are. The post says, "Anonymous."

  • At 5:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Unfortunately I must remain Anonymous. But I am grateful to see that you are a decent guy, and that you do occasionally read the comments on your blog.

    BTW, you are also lucky to be a fan of a MLB team that you can be reasonably sure won't break your heart. Not a Cardinal fan myself, but agreed about Pujols -- HOF numbers, doing it without steroids or so it seems, and another genuinely decent person from all we read of him.

  • At 9:23 PM, Blogger ricksahm said…

    Well, that is mysterious - I might be awake all night, wondering!~

    We have been very fortunate that Albert plays for us. By all accounts, he is as good as he seems. He married his wife - as Kurt Warner did his - when she already had a disabled child. He does real work in doing good in the Dominican Republic. He is the ultimate team player, and never, ever takes off a play in the field or takes himself out of a game. First base is the 4th position he has played in the Bigs, so you can imagine his work ethic - getting himself to Gold Glove status at a position he'd never played before pro ball. He has led the league in runs scored 4-5 years; for a slugger, that is unusual.


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