This video is called You won’t see THIS on [Rupert Murdoch’s] FOX News: Starving Afghan Family Displaced by US Airstrike (Clip 2).
A woman mourning 19 of her dearest relatives
KABUL (NNI): Tears streaming down her face, the Afghan woman sat in a corner of a room with no roof and broken windows, mourning 19 of her closest and dearest relatives. “They were parts of my heart,” she said.
Six weeks after American warplanes bombed her village in Farah province, on Afghanistan’s remote western border, mistakenly killing dozens of innocent women and children, the terror of the moment when the bombs fell and the ground erupted, turning one mud-walled house after another into rubble, still lives in her mind. “I lost them all at a glance. Why am I still alive?” the 62-year-old woman asked.
The dead men, women and children, many of them her relatives, now lie in graves. The survivors still wonder why their families were wiped out by American airmen with whom they had no quarrel, The Sunday Times reported. The Americans have paid families $2,000 compensation for each of those killed and $1,000 for each person injured.
But the bombing in Farah on May 4, which caused the single highest civilian death toll of any incident this year, remains a significant political issue. It has weakened Afghans’ support for their government, for the presence of international forces and for the war against the Taliban. It has also raised tensions with President Hamid Karzai, who condemns foreign forces for the rise in civilian casualties, partly to bolster his own support in advance of August’s presidential elections. A United Nations investigation has found that 828 civilians were killed by Afghan or American-led forces last year, most in airstrikes. …
There is concern that 21,000 extra American troops will increase civilian casualties as fighting increases. Violence is already at its highest level since the Americans toppled the Taliban at the end of 2001. The Americans have investigated the Farah bombing but their preliminary findings provided no real answers beyond admitting that a bomber’s crew had violated procedures. In such cases there has always been a large discrepancy between estimates of the fatalities by Americans and those made by the UN and other agencies. The Americans rarely admit to making mistakes.
In Farah, Afghan officials said that as many as 140 civilians died, but the US military put the civilian toll at no more than 30, along with about 65 insurgents. Other international investigators believe that as many [as] 85 civilians died. Last year the Americans killed 90 civilians in a bombing raid on Azizabad. An investigation by Dispatches, to be broadcast on Channel 4 tomorrow, will show that the Americans carried out the raid on the basis of faulty intelligence provided by an Afghan to settle a score with a rival. He is now on death row. But the American military has still not admitted the truth.
The Farah airstrikes were more straightforward but no less disastrous. They happened during a day of heavy fighting between Taliban insurgents and Afghan forces supported by American marines. During the fighting several 500lb bombs were dropped. A lull ensued and villagers say many Taliban fighters withdrew. Many civilians fled, too, but some were still crammed into one compound. At 8pm a B1 bomber dropped a 2,000lb bomb on the compound, which American commanders suspected of sheltering Taliban but which contained mostly civilians. The bomber had to make an elongated approach, which meant the target should have been reassessed first. “Either their intelligence was so bad and they believed there were no civilians there, or they made a calculation that killing some civilians allowed them to get rid of Taliban fighters, too,” said Rachel Reid, a Human Rights Watch researcher.
Canada: Winnipeg Walk for Peace 2009: here.
Air traffic controllers ordered a cargo plane chartered by the US government and carrying munitions to Afghanistan to land at Mumbai airport after it violated Indian airspace, officials said on Saturday: here.