Sunday, 19 April 2009
Following repeated calls by President Hamid Karzai for explanations of civilian deaths, US Gen. David McKiernan said international forces do make mistakes — "and for that I apologize" — but that U.S. and NATO forces are working hard to minimize civilian deaths during operations. Karzai on Saturday 18th April asked McKiernan to explain allegations of six civilian deaths in two incidents. It was the second time in three days Karzai brought up the topic with McKiernan. On Thursday, the U.S. general was summoned to the presidential palace to explain other allegations of civilian deaths.
McKiernan, during a news conference Sunday alongside the Afghan defense minister, was asked repeatedly about civilian casualties by Afghan media, underscoring how deeply the topic reverberates here. McKiernan noted that international forces investigate all allegations of civilian deaths and pay compensation for wrongful deaths.
"Apologies are not sufficient, so we do try to compensate families and communities where we've made mistakes.
Karzai has long complained about civilian deaths caused by international forces. Last year, McKiernan implemented 'new rules' intended to cut down on the deaths of innocent Afghans, but they still occur almost daily especially in nighttime raids.
Karzai's office said three civilians were killed by international forces in Helmand province on Friday. The NATO-led force said three people were killed when its forces fired on a vehicle from which a man who was "posing a threat" was exiting. Two people inside the vehicle were also killed, it said.
Karzai's office also said three civilians, including a woman, were killed in Logar province on Saturday.
Monday, 13 April 2009
US air strikes in Afghanistan's eastern Kunar province overnight killed six civilians, including a woman and two children, and wounded 17 others, media reports said.
"We were asleep and all of a sudden the roof collapsed. I don't remember anything. I got to know here that my father, my mother, my brother and my younger sister were all killed and I am wounded," said a 14 year-old boy quoted by Iran's state news network Press TV.
A US military spokesman in the capital Kabul said he had no information about the strike which came only a week after US-led troops killed four civilians including a newborn baby during an operation in the eastern province of Khost.
NATO's International Security Assistance Force confirmed there were clashes in the area but did not provide any further details.
Thursday, 9 April 2009
ALI DAYA, Afghanistan, April 9 (Reuters) - The Afghan Army officer father of a seven-day-old boy said on Thursday his infant son died in an overnight raid by Afghan and U.S. forces, with the U.S. saying it was investigating the claim.
A female school teacher was also killed and the child's mother wounded, the father said, during the raid in Ali Daya village in Khost province, where Taliban fighters are active.
The U.S. military said in a statement it was aware of allegations the raid had caused "non-combatant casualties" and was investigating.
"We take the safety of Afghan citizens very seriously and we will immediately investigate to get to the bottom of this," Colonel Greg Julian, spokesman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan, said in a statement.
AW says : If they take their safety so seriously how come they continue to kill them almost daily?
Janat Gul, the boy's father, told Reuters he was not at home when the raid happened and was not sure how his newborn child died. His son did not have any bullet wounds but he had died during the raid, Gul said. The boy's mother was in hospital and could not be reached for comment. Photographs showed the boy's body with trickles of blood from his nostrils and white dust on his forehead.
Earlier, U.S. forces released a statement saying they had killed four militants, including two women. Gul said four adults died, but none were militants, and one of the women was a schoolteacher. Violence in Afghanistan has reached its highest level since the U.S.-led invasion despite a growing number of foreign troops and has spread from the south and east to the outskirts of the capital, Kabul.
Sunday, 5 April 2009
Friday, 3 April 2009
NATO is 60 today and is widely regarded as useless. It should be disbanded for the following reasons:
* NATO States collectively spend 70% of the estimated $1.473 global annual military budget in contravention of years of international commitments to reallocate military expenses.
* NATO has condoned the possession of nuclear weapons by "friendly states', but has been willing to entertain strikes on the nuclear facilities of "NATO designed rogue states" and risk the release of radiation.
* NATO, through its engaging in numerous military interventions and occupations such as Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan, has contributed to and condoned, rather than prevented the scourge of war in defiance of the principal objective of the Charter of the United Nations
* NATO has not abandoned the option of a "first use of nuclear weapons policy" has failed to act on its undertaking under the General Assembly resolution entitled the Condemnation of Nuclear War A/RES/38/75, 1983 "to condemn the formulation, propounding, dissemination and propaganda of political and military doctrines and concepts intended to provide 'legitimacy' for the first use of nuclear weapons and in general to justify the 'admissibility' of unleashing nuclear war (2 Condemnation of Nuclear War General Assembly Resolution A/RES/38/75, 1983
* NATO has been using depleted uranium [the effect of which in part is similar to that of a nuclear weapon] has failed to act on its undertaking to deem "that the use of nuclear weapons would be a violation of the Charter of the United Nations and a crime against humanity, ( resolutions 1653 (XVI) of 24 November 1961, 33/71 B of 14 December 1978, 34/83 G of 11 December 1979, 35/152 D of 12 December 1980 and 36/92 I of 9 December 1981,
* NATO through using Depleted Uranium, which could be deemed to have the effect of a nuclear weapon, has disregarded the decision of the International Court of Justice that the use or the threat to use nuclear weapons is contrary to International humanitarian law (World Court Project, 1996)
* NATO has violated the Geneva protocols on prohibited weapons
* NATO has undermined the United Nations through contributing to the failure (i) to discharge obligations under International Conventions, Treaties, and Covenants, (ii) to act through Commitments made under conference action plans and (iii) to fulfill expectations created through General Assembly Resolutions
* NATO has condoned the misinterpretation of Article 51- self defence- in the Charter of the United Nations in its support for the invasion of a sovereign state, and has used the pretext of "human security" and "humanitarian intervention" and "preemptive/preventive" aggression to justify the invasion and occupation of other states;
* NATO has continually ignored Chapter VI- Peaceful Resolution of Disputes, of the Charter of the United Nations, and the provision in Chapter VI to take disputes to the International Court of Justice;