Incalculable: The human cost of NATO’s war on Afghanistan

by Kathy Kelly
Published: Mar. 06, 2011 – Pulse Media

Recent polls suggest that while a majority of U.S. people disapprove of the war in Afghanistan, many on grounds of its horrible economic cost, only 3% took the war into account when voting in the 2010 midterm elections. The issue of the economy weighed heavily on voters, but the war and its cost, though clear to them and clearly related to the economy in their thinking, was a far less pressing concern.

U.S. people, if they do read or hear of it, may be shocked at the apparent unconcern of the crews of two U.S. helicopter gunships, which attacked and killed nine children on a mountainside in Afghanistan’s Kunar province, shooting them “one after another” this past Tuesday March 1st. (“The helicopters hovered over us, scanned us and we saw a green flash from the helicopters. Then they flew back high up, and in a second round they hovered over us and started shooting.” (NYT 3/2/11)).

Four of the boys were seven years old; three were eight, one was nine and the oldest was twelve. “The children were gathering wood under a tree in the mountains near a village in the district,” said Noorullah Noori, a member of the local development council in Manogai district. “I myself was involved in the burial,” Noori said. “Yesterday we buried them.” (AP, March 2, 2011) General Petraeus has acknowledged, and apologized for, the tragedy.

He has had many tragedies to apologize for just counting Kunar province alone. Last August 26th, in the Manogai district, Afghan authorities accused international forces of killing six children during an air assault on Taliban positions. Provincial police chief Khalilullah Ziayee said a group of children were collecting scrap metal on the mountain when NATO aircraft dropped bombs to disperse Taliban fighters attacking a nearby base. “In the bombardment six children, aged six to 12, were killed,” the police commander said. “Another child was injured.”

Bodies of children killed by US-Nato bombing

In the Bamiyan province of Afghanistan, Zekirullah, a young Afghan friend of mine, age 15, rises at 2:00 a.m. several mornings each week and rides his donkey for six hours through the pre-dawn to reach a mountainside where he can collect scrub brush and twigs which he loads on the donkey in baskets. Then he heads home and stacks the wood – on top of his family’s home – to be taken down later and burned for heat. They don’t have electrical appliances to heat the home, and even if they did the villagers only get electricity for two hours a day, generally between 1:00 a.m. – 3:00 a.m. Families rely on their children to collect fuel for heat during the harsh winters and for cooking year round. Young laborers, wanting to help their families survive, mean no harm to the United States. They’re not surging at us, or anywhere: they’re not insurgents. They’re not doing anything to threaten us. They are children, and children anywhere are like children everywhere: they’re children like our own.

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. They lie in pools of blood until family members realize, one by one, that their children are not late in returning home but in fact never will.

In October and again in December of 2010, our small delegation of Voices for Creative Nonviolence activists met with a large family living in a wretched refugee camp. They had fled their homes in the San Gin district of the Helmand Province after a drone attack killed a mother there and her five children. The woman’s husband showed us photos of his children’s bloodied corpses. His niece, Juma Gul, age 9, had survived the attack. She and I huddled next to each other inside a hut made of mud on a chilly December morning. Juma Gul’s father stooped in front of us and gently unzipped her jacket, showing me that his daughter’s arm had been amputated by shrapnel when the U.S. missile hit their home in San Gin.

Next to Juma Gul was her brother, whose leg had been mangled in the attack. He apparently has no access to adequate medical care and experiences constant pain. The pilot of the attacking drone, perhaps controlling it from as far away as Creech Air Force Base here in the United States, knows nothing of this family or of the pain that he or she helped inflict. Nor do the commanders, the people who set up the base, the people who pay for it with their taxes, and the people who persist in electing candidates intent on indefinitely prolonging the war.

But sometimes the war is like it was this past Tuesday March 1st. Sometimes the issue is right in front of us – as it was to those helicopter crews – it’s up close so there can be no mistake as to what we are doing. According to the election polls we see the cost of war, dimly, but, as with the helicopter crews, it doesn’t affect – or prevent – our decisions. Afterwards 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 1st, pay it.

Kathy Kelly (Kathy@vcnv.org) co-coordinates Voices for Creative Nonviolence (www.vcnv.org) and has worked closely with the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers (www.livewithoutwars.org)

Source: http://pulsemedia.org/2011/03/06/incalculable-the-human-cost-of-natos-war-on-afghanistan/#more-31346

 

Related:

DOCUMENTARY – Afghan Massacre: The Convoy of Death

Afghan killing and dying fields

America the Pacified: Atrocities in Afghanistan

Are US Forces Executing Kids in Afghanistan?

Afghanistan War: A Saga of Lopsided Death and Destruction

Afghan Civilians Handcuffed And Killed By US Occupation Forces: Report

Afghanistan massacre on eve of Obama’s surge

It’s Time to Leave Afghanistan

How many Afghans will die in Obama’s war?

The Audacity of Ethnic Cleansing: Obama’s plan for Afghanistan

Depleted Uranium: The Dead Babies in Iraq and Afghanistan Are No Joke

A troop surge can only magnify the crime against Afghanistan

Victims’ families tell their stories following Nato airstrike in Afghanistan

Afghanistan’s neglected casualties of war

AFGHANISTAN: Landmine deaths, injuries torment villagers

Calculating Life for a Dying Empire

Mercenaries and assassins: The real face of Obama’s “good war”

Afghanistan: Eight Years and Counting

US/NATO death squads killing indiscriminately in Afghanistan

US troops executing prisoners in Afghanistan (Video)


9 Comments on “Incalculable: The human cost of NATO’s war on Afghanistan”

  1. David Mitchell says:

    Well these young Americians are quite brain dead, killing is just a game to them and they have been trained well by other brain dead people who love war. Their automated actions are what the NWO want for complete world power.
    If their brains worked they would understand that they will one day also be just shit beneath the boots of the NWO.

  2. Annie Ladysmith says:

    Do you think that it comes natural to men with weapons to kill unarmed civilians? Or, do you think that it is probably a difficult emotional barrier to get past if you come from the civilized world, and first you are ordered to kill unarmed journalists with cameras, then crazy old men, then women that you just raped, lastely little terrorfied children??? O! I think it takes a bit of training and perhaps some frontal lobe interference to get soldiers to kill for sport. Unless you are born a psychopath, such as Obama, there are many barriers to take down to make men rabid killers, not saying it can’t be done, but what we are seeing is a CALCULATED and STRUCTURED program to make a terrifying force of constructed psychopathic killers. Yes, they are learning to kill children in the ME but soon they will be killing children in the US and Europe, where ever the new Hitler is opposed, he will go after the children to break all resistance. That is why “Rachel will weep” and why “he will not heed women”. He will not give an ear to the pleas of the mothers for their children, is another way to say this message from Daniel. O! Wake up, this thing is coming to the whole world, get off your high horses, it is coming to us all. Don’t think you will be saved from hearing the cries, it is the history, and it is coming again. If you voted for Hitler 2 you are very close to being damned forever, it will take a lot to get free of that monkey-Mau-Mau spell, very strong black magic, seek help before it is too late.

  3. […] Incalculable: The human cost of NATO’s war on Afghanistan […]

  4. […] Incalculable: The human cost of NATO’s war on Afghanistan […]

  5. […] time President Karzai tried to question what has now become an international war a different way.Karzai recently witnessed the killing of nine children in Kunar province as well as the publication of tragic images of death […]

  6. […] time President Karzai tried to question what has now become an international war a different way.Karzai recently witnessed the killing of nine children in Kunar province as well as the publication of tragic images of […]

  7. coastx says:

    It’s worse than this. The Middle East has been a distraction for 3G’s occult rendition project in the US. What they have done, thorough the use of Middle East terrorist patsies, is staged legislation directed at legalizing occult rendition. Weird as that may sound, what this means is these sociopaths have staged making it legal to kidnap and transport victims across international borders for rape, torture and sacrifice in the UK and Rome. That’s it.

    Effective April 26, Schwarzenegger, Soros and Obama were implicated in the occult rendition abductions of Brittanee Drexel, Megan Maxwell and Holly Bobo, what fallout was their notorious virtual reality scandals involving Bin Laden, Schwarzenegger’s alleged illegitimate son and Soros’ Strauss-Khan. These monsters are involved in high crimes, and their promoters are attempting to salvage them at all costs, including suppression and assassination of witnesses. Get busy figuring this out, because if Ted Turner has his way all three will walk right back into your future with Obama having successfully forced healthcare reform down your throat will all of it’s riders effectively circumventing the Bill of Rights, Schwarzenegger in the White House 2016-24, and Soros in control of the justice system. That’s only good for Britain where this mess is coming from in the first place. If successful, She will have repatriated the US by 2036. You are going to have to push this into the media, because anything owned and operated by Ted Turner is going to censor it.

    This is why we are fighting in the Middle East. It’s a distraction while Britain establishes the Whitechapel protocol in Tennessee on a model called the metatron. They have four victims and need eight more, which is a project four more years in the making. The war is keeping people too busy to care while their children are being abducted from their own neighborhoods for plot point sacrifices. The NWO is an occult human sacrifice entity. Reality, and people ARE NOT figuring this out.

  8. […] Incalculable: The human cost of NATO’s war on Afghanistan […]


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