6 thoughts on “Afghan Malalai Joya on US bombs

  1. May 15, 10:22 AM EDT

    Rights group: US procedures fail Afghan civilians

    Associated Press Writers

    KABUL — Human Rights Watch accused the U.S. military of not doing enough to reduce civilian casualties during battles in Afghanistan and called Friday for “fundamental changes” to prevent civilian deaths like those during an airstrike this month.

    Two international troops, meanwhile, were killed in fighting with insurgents in the east Friday. NATO forces said the service members were attacked while on patrol, but did not provide other details or their nationalities.

    In the south, a provincial official said 22 Taliban militants, including three regional commanders, were killed in overnight fighting.

    New York-based Human Rights Watch said its independent investigation into a May 4-5 clash that killed scores of people, including many women and children, found that measures put in place by the U.S. military to safeguard civilians were “inadequate.”

    Afghans blame U.S. airstrikes for the deaths and destruction in two villages in western Farah province. American officials say the Taliban held villagers hostage during the fight.

    It is unclear exactly how many people died in the fighting in Bala Baluk district. The Afghan government has paid out compensation to families for 140 dead, based on a list gathered from villagers. The U.S. military has said that figure is exaggerated, but has not given its own estimate.

    If the Afghan toll is correct, it would be the largest case of civilian deaths since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion to oust the Taliban.

    Villagers told Human Rights Watch they first came under attack from Taliban fighters who were demanding a share of their poppy income, but it was during the bombings that most of the civilians were killed.

    The group reiterated its condemnation of Taliban practices of using civilians as human shields and deploying its fighters in populated areas, but said its interviews did not suggest residents were used as human shields in Bala Baluk.

    Villagers told researchers for the watchdog group the firefight between Taliban and Afghan and U.S. forces had ended before the evening bombing began. The U.S. has said militants were still firing in the villages when it dropped bombs on the site in the evening.

    “Even if some Taliban remained in the village, dropping a dozen bombs into a residential area doesn’t seem to make much sense,” Brad Adams, the group’s Asia director, said in a statement.

    “The U.S. needs to answer some basic questions about the sources and quality of information it requires before authorizing these kinds of devastating bombing runs,” Adams said.

    U.S. military guidelines issued following a previous battle that resulted in large-scale civilian deaths charges commanders taking fire from an Afghan house to “satisfy themselves that every effort has been made to confirm that the Afghan facility does not shelter innocent civilians.”

    Human Rights Watch noted that international troops have also been told to consider pulling out of firefights in areas with large numbers of civilians.

    On Thursday, a band of Taliban fighters attacked two police checkpoints in Helmand province’s Nawzad district, taking control of the stations and forcing the officers to flee, said Dawood Ahmadi, a spokesman for the provincial governor.

    The police launched a counterattack with the help of an airstrike, killing 22 insurgents. Three men who acted as Taliban chiefs in Nawzad and surrounding districts were among the dead, Ahmadi said. He said no Afghan forces died in the fighting.

    Also Friday, a U.S. Predator drone crashed in the east for unspecified reasons. The drone was not shot down and the cause of the crash was being investigated, the U.S. said in a statement.

    Associated Press writer Noor Khan contributed to this report from Kandahar, Afghanistan

    On the ‘Net:





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  3. Why Pakistan’s military helped Talibanise Swat

    By Farooq Sulehria
    May 17, 2009 — The mass exodus from Swat is making headlines globally.
    Over a million have been displaced. This is the worst humanitarian
    crisis since the Rwanda tragedy in 1990s. The explanation offered is
    that this is necessary to flush the Taliban out of Swat’s lush, green
    valley in Pakistan’s north. This military operation, launched in order
    to stabilise the US occupation of Afghanistan and its so-called “war on
    terror”, is hardly mentioned in the corporate media. On the contrary,
    major US newspapers have been invoking the fear that Pakistan’s nuclear
    weapons might fall into the hands of the Taliban. Is this a story
    planted by the CIA?

    * Read more http://links.org.au/node/1052


  4. Joya spoke of being expelled from the Afghan parliament and threatened with rape for speaking out against the country’s warlords. While she is forced to live a life under daily threats, the true criminals and warlords continue to sit in parliament. She uses her voice to denounce the laws that provide impunity for those in government who rule with disregard for public interest and thrive on corruption. Her commitment to the people of Afghanistan and her anger at being silenced was palpable.



  5. Pingback: Detroit car workers against war in Syria | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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