Afghans protest against NATO killing children

This video says about itself:

Afghans staged anti-US demonstration out outside the United States Embassy in Kabul, condemning the killing of civilians by foreign forces.

By Tom Mellen in Britain:

Rally rages at Nato butchery

Wednesday 02 March 2011

Hundreds of Afghan citizens rallied against the occupation of their country today in the wake of Nato air strikes that have killed around 74 civilians.

The enraged demonstrators in Asadabad, the capital of Kunar province, chanted slogans against the 150,000-strong Nato presence and Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s weak administration.

And they burned blankets that occupation forces had recently handed out as part of Nato’s “hearts and minds” campaign.

The rally was sparked by a Nato air raid on Tuesday on the province’s Manogai district that reportedly killed nine children between the ages of seven and nine who had been gathering wood.

Kunar provincial police chief Khalilullah Ziayee said Nato helicopter gunships had fired into the mountainous area following a guerilla attack on a Nato base in the Pech Valley area, mowing down the youngsters.

Nato has admitted that soldiers returned fire after two rockets were fired at the Pech base, wounding a local mercenary.

The Western military alliance is currently conducting an internal investigation into the incident.

Mr Karzai’s office issued a statement condemning Nato’s “merciless killing.

“Innocent children who were collecting firewood for their families during this cold winter were martyred. Is this the way to fight terrorism and bring stability in Afghanistan?

“I once again point out that Nato must focus on terrorist bases and havens.”

Mr Karzai appeared to be referring to alleged Taliban base areas in Pakistan’s semi-autonomous north-west.

“Afghan villages are not the bases and havens of terrorism,” he stressed.

Earlier this week an official delegation appointed by Mr Karzai determined that Western soldiers had killed 65 civilians in an air strike in Kunar’s Ghaziabad district on February 17, including scores of women and children.

Nato continues to maintain that the troops had “targeted and killed dozens of insurgents,” asserting that a subsequent internal investigation yielded no evidence that civilians had been killed.

US troops began pulling out of the Pech Valley on February 15 as part of what the Pentagon insists is a “realignment” of its forces.

Guerillas are believed to have killed over 100 US troops in or near the valley, which the US had until recently described as key to its counterinsurgency campaign in Afghanistan.

One US military official who declined to be named said: “We figured out that people in the Pech really aren’t anti-US or anti-anything – they just want to be left alone.

“Our presence is what’s destabilising this area.”

See also here.

Massive protests held against US role in Afghanistan: here.

Kathy Kelly, Truthout: “Sadly, more and more of us in America are getting used to the idea of child poverty – and even child labor – as our own economy sinks further under the burden of our latest nine years of war, of two billion dollars per week we spend creating poverty abroad that we can then emulate at home. Things are getting bad here, but in Afghanistan, children are bombed. Their bodies are casually dismembered and strewn by machines already lost in the horizon as the limbs settle… Afterward, we deplore the tragedy; we make a pretense of acknowledging the cost of war, but it is incalculable. We can’t hope to count it. We actually, finally, have to stop making people like the nine children who died on March 1 pay it”: here.

WASHINGTON: A top US commander has acknowledged that some rebel groups it helped give birth to in the fight against the Soviets in Afghanistan had joined Pakistani terrorist groups active in South Asia: here.

A Murder Rattles German Soldiers’ Faith in Afghan Allies: here.

Residents of razed Afghan village dispute US case for destruction: here.

Corruption and waste has cost the US government billions of reconstruction dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to an official study on wartime contracting released on Thursday: here.

USA: Poll: Majority Want U.S. Troops Out Of Afghanistan Within A Year: here.

The majority of American soldiers undergoing amputation for war wounds last fall lost more than one limb, according to data presented Tuesday to the Defense Health Board, a committee of experts that advises the Defense Department on medical matters: here.

7 thoughts on “Afghans protest against NATO killing children

  1. War stresses hit military families

    United States: Visits by family members of active-duty military personnel to mental health professionals have increased at a compound annual growth rate of 15 per cent since 2001, according to a recent Pentagon disclosure.

    Assistant Secretary of Defence for Health Affairs Jonathan Woodson said the increase was due in large part to “the stresses of repeated deployments.”

    Alan Peterson, a retired air force psychologist who is now a professor at the University of Texas, said that the increased demand for therapy “reflects the effects of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.”


  2. Deadly air attack sparks Kabul rally

    Afghanistan: Hundreds rallied in Kabul today, chanting “Death to America” and “Death to the invaders” in the wake of a Nato air raid that killed nine children as they collected firewood in Kunar province.

    One banner carried by a veiled woman read: “Occupation = killing + destruction.”

    “We don’t want the invading forces,” chanted one demonstrator carrying posters of the dead children.


  3. By The Canadian Press,, Updated: March 8, 2011 8:45 PM

    Major who lost legs in IED bashes veteran benefits

    A major who lost both his legs in Afghanistan says the Harper government’s financial treatment of injured war veterans is an “abject betrayal” of a new generation of soldiers.

    Maj. Mark Campbell, who stepped on a bomb in June 2008 near a Canadian base west of Kandahar city, says the New Veteran’s Charter established in 2006 robs wounded soldiers of about 40 per cent of their income.

    “They made the announcements last fall … for the most seriously wounded,” he said Tuesday. “When you think seriously wounded, picture Mark Campbell in your mind,” said the major, pointing to where his legs used to be.

    “This is about as bad as it gets without being dead.”

    A study commissioned by the veterans ombudsman took aim at existing lump-sum payments, which can be up to $276,000 for the most severe injuries. It concluded that the one-time payments — a hallmark of the New Veteran’s Charter — short-changed low-income soldiers and the most severely disabled veterans.

    Injured soldiers are given a cash payout and a monthly income replacement cheque while they are in rehabilitation. The cheques stop when they move to a civilian job.

    It’s been suggested the monthly income replacement could be increased to help soldiers of the lowest rank. The replacement cheque amounts to 75 per cent of a soldier’s pre-injury salary.

    “This New Veteran’s Charter is a grotesque travesty. It is an abject betrayal by the government of Canada to our new generation of disabled and wounded veterans,” said Campbell, who was attending the opening of the Afghanistan exhibit at Calgary’s Museum of the Regiments.

    “What kind of deal is that? The people of Canada should be outraged.”

    Lump sum doesn’t stack up to pension: Campbell

    Campbell believes the new lump-sum payments and income replacement pale in comparison to the practice after the Second World War of granting lifetime pensions.

    He said the changes announced last fall are akin to putting patches on a leaky tire. The $250,000 he received wouldn’t be enough to pay for one day in his shoes, he suggested.

    “Why are we saying people who sacrificed limbs in the service of their country should be subjected to a 25 per cent reduction in their families’ means of living? It’s ridiculous,” he said.

    “I didn’t end up this way just so I could earn 25 per cent less than I did before I lost my legs.”

    The charter changes include a five-year plan with an additional $200 million for veterans who can’t ever go back to work because of their injuries. Those veterans will get an extra $1,000 each month for the rest of their lives. That amount will be on top of the 75 per cent of their salaries and a permanent monthly allowance of between $536 to $1,609.

    Younger soldiers benefit: Minister

    Veteran Affairs Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn said the changes protect younger soldiers who need assistance.

    “It is important to remember that before the New Veteran’s Charter was created, all Veterans Affairs Canada could offer a young veteran was a monthly disability pension and related health care. Most pensions were insufficient to provide an adequate income for seriously disabled veterans,” said Blackburn in an email to The Canadian Press.

    “I introduced legislative changes to address gaps in the New Veteran’s Charter and significantly improve financial support for injured Canadian Forces members and veterans. Bill C-55, along with other proposed changes, would ensure veterans with the most severe injuries receive a minimum of $58,000 a year,” he added.

    Campbell said it’s not too late for the federal government to make changes.

    “I would like to see immediately a reversion to the old Pension Act right off the bat. Junk the New Veteran’s Charter. It’s crap.

    “As far as I’m concerned, the enhanced benefits that come with the new charter [are] all window-dressing. Show me the … money and, more importantly, show my former subordinates, who are missing arms and legs the … money.”


  4. Civilians ‘among 35 dead’ in US strike in Pakistan

    AFP March 18, 2011, 3:01 am

    MIRANSHAH, Pakistan (AFP) – Civilians and police were among 35 people killed when US missiles ploughed into a militant training compound in Pakistan’s Taliban and Al Qaeda-hit northwest on Thursday, officials said.

    It was the most lethal drone strike to hit the lawless region since August 2008 when the covert campaign escalated in the areas bordering Afghanistan, and the seventh such attack in nine days.

    The governor of northwestern Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, where the drone struck, condemned the killings.

    “I strongly condemn this drone attack. A tribal jirga (council) was targeted in which several tribal elders and tribal policemen were martyred,” said Syed Masood Kausar, the federal representative of the troubled province.

    Although the drones operate with the tacit consent of Islamabad, Kausar said the government “will not tolerate such attacks”.

    “These attacks are against the sovereignty of Pakistan,” he added.

    Two security officials in Peshawar said that 35 people, mostly militants, were killed when four missiles hit a house in Datta Khel town, 40 kilometres (25 miles) west of Miranshah, the main town in tribal North Waziristan.

    Two intelligence officials in Miranshah confirmed the toll.

    “We have reports of a few civilian casualties, but most of those killed were local militants,” one Miranshah official said.

    “There were some civilians present inside the training centre. We were told that they came here to seek Taliban help to solve some of their disputes,” a second intelligence official told AFP.

    US drones have frequently targeted Datta Khel, known as a stronghold of the Taliban commander and Al-Qaeda linked warlord Hafiz Gul Bahadar, and the Peshawar official said the militants hit were members of the Pakistani Taliban.

    On Wednesday another strike in Datta Khel killed five militants, according to officials who speak only on condition of anonymity.

    The drone strikes enflame anti-US feeling, which is running particularly high after authorities released a CIA contractor on Wednesday who had been held on suspicion of murder.

    Missile attacks doubled in the area last year as the campaign was stepped up, with more than 100 drone strikes killing over 670 people in 2010 compared with 45 strikes that killed 420 in 2009, according to an AFP tally.

    Most have been concentrated in North Waziristan, the most notorious Afghan Taliban and Al-Qaeda bastion in Pakistan, where the United States wants the Pakistan military to launch a ground offensive as soon as possible.

    Pakistan says its troops are too overstretched to launch such an assault.

    Thursday’s attack came as small anti-US protests were held in various cities after a Pakistani court acquitted and freed Raymond Davis, a CIA contractor being held over the lethal shooting of two men in Lahore in January.

    The spy case had badly hit shaky ties between Washington and Islamabad, as US authorities insisted Davis had diplomatic immunity from prosecution over the deaths and pressed for his release.

    $2 million in blood money was finally paid to end the row, fixing a diplomatic rift but causing further resentment among the Pakistani public, who already see the covert US drone campaign as a breach of national sovereignty.

    The United States does not confirm drone attacks, but its military and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operating in Afghanistan are the only forces that deploy them in the region.

    US officials say the missile strikes have severely weakened Al-Qaeda’s leadership and killed high-value targets including the former Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud.

    The United States says that Pakistan-based militants are helping to escalate the war in Afghanistan, putting up a deadly fight against 140,000 US-led NATO troops there and seeking to bring down the Western-backed government in Kabul.


  5. Pingback: NATO expansion, anti-Semitism, Ukraine and Russia | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  6. Pingback: NATO airstrike, at least 11 Afghan civilians dead | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  7. Pingback: NATO kills Afghan civilians again | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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