What is the real story in Afghanistan ?

On CBC news was a report by the NATO that there were too many innocent civilian deaths in Afghanistan in 2006. But now the military was taking steps to correct that error. They were talking to village leaders, trying to determine who is an enemy and who is not. Should they not have done this in the first place ?
The report went on to say that it was impossible to determine how many have died because conditions were not safe for the soldiers. If conditions were not safe for the soldiers, how about the civilians trying to live there. But certainly the number of people killed by the Taliban was much greater than those people killed by NATO forces.

Who was counting ? The amount of civilian deaths in Afghanistan numbered in the thousands after initial air strikes in 2002. But those air strikes have still been continuing, with the same discrimination for friend and foe that was demonstrated in 2002. I think the actual body count has been hidden amidst the rubble of air raids that I did not know were continuing.

Something has been wrong in Afghanistan for some time. The Taliban have increased their death count form 2006 compared to 2005 by 5 fold. Why is this ? Have they gained some measure of popular support ? I suspect that the civilian mortality by air-strike is a great deal higher than what has been reported in the Canadian media. This has likely played a role in the dissatisfaction and alienation of the local Afghanistan populace. The latest, low key announcement by NATO is likely some measure of PR and a demonstration that they understand the situation and are making the needed corrections.

But, I think they are learning the same mistakes over – you can not invade a country and keep killing its populace without at least some measure of hatred. That hatred has lent itself to tacit support of the Taliban. What is more disturbing is how blind we are in Canada to the real situation on the ground. Reading between the lines of this story, the questions of why was the Canadian media not informing us of the actual toll on Afghani civilians. Is this some misguided effort to “support the troops.” The only way that we can really support the troops is to ensure that they are being deployed in the correct manner and are not being wasted in an American led plan of domination that has no dialogue with the very people that it is purportedly trying to help. More frightening, is this a deliberate attempt to minimize or disguise the truth. This is a favorite propaganda tool of governments everywhere – it seems that Canada is no different.


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