2010 deadliest year for Afghan civilians

The Afghanistan Rights Monitor (ARM) said Feb. 2 that 2010 was the deadliest year for civilians in the country since the US-led invasion of 2001, with more than 2,400 non-combatants killed. Taliban and other insurgents were responsible for more than 60% of the dead, according to the report. "Almost everything related to the war surged in 2010," said the report, noting that the number of Afghan government and foreign forces surged to some 350,000, as the number of "security incidents" rose to more than 100 per week. Between January and December 2010, "at least 2,421 civilian Afghans were killed and over 3,270 were injured in conflict-related security incidents across Afghanistan," the report finds. By comparison, there were 2,332 civilian deaths as a result of the war in 2009.

At least 217 civilians were killed in US/NATO air-strikes, and 192 killed in shooting by these forces, the report finds. Tens of thousands of civilians were also forced to leave their homes by fighting. (AFP, Feb. 1)

Note that UN count found 2,412 civilian deaths as a result of the war in 2009.

See our last posts on Afghanistan and the civilian casualties.

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Gee, way to win hearts and minds, NATO

Nine boys, 9 to 15 years old, collecting firewood to heat their homes in the eastern Afghanistan mountains were killed by NATO helicopter gunners who mistook them for insurgents, according to a statement issued March 2 by NATO, which apologized for the mistake. News of the attack enraged Afghans and led to an anti-US demonstration in the village of Nanglam, Kunar province, where the boys were from. (NYT, March 2)

USA killing poor children gathering firewood for their families

According to Kathy Kelly, reporting from Afghanistan for KPFA radio on March 4th, 2011, the nine boys were aged 7 to 12. Eight of the nine were under 10 years old.
How they could be mistaken for adult soldiers is anybody's guess...

But when you (the United States and its coalition of the willing, or NATO) have adolescents, trained to be killers, who grew up with violent video games and testosterone-dramatic ego-reinforcements in boot camp, what's a few light-blips of human-simulacra video graphics on your screen for but to eliminate with free fire?

Helicopter gunships are such fun to fly in, zipping about wasting innocents with impunity. Gosh, won't the pilots and gunners be proud one day rocking their grand-kids on their knees and recounting fondly how they were such heroes for freedom...

Technofatalism is the arrogant, Nature-violating idolatry with which we shall destroy our species.

Technofatalism and jihadism

I disagree with nothing you say, but, as the above account indicates, the Taliban and other insurgents were responsible for more than 60% of the civilian dead in Afghanistan last year. If technofatalism is a cultural pathology, so is jihadism.

NATO kills more Afghan civilians

A NATO-led operation in eastern Afghanistan's Kunar province killed three civilians, including two women and a child, on April 19, provincial authorities said. The International Security Assistance Force has also confirmed the deaths. "The security forces returned fire, killing the insurgent and what turned out to be two women he was hiding behind," an ISAF statement said. (Press TV, Iran, AFP, April 21)