CRAWFORD, Texas (AFP) – The United States expressed regret Sunday for any civilian deaths from US-led military operations in Afghanistan, without confirming reports of nearly 90 killed in one incident this week.
“We regret the loss of life among the innocent Afghanis who we are committed to protect,” White House spokesman Tony Fratto said as US President George W. Bush spent time on his Texas ranch.
He spoke afterfired two top Afghan army commanders after coalition air strikes he said killed more than 89 civilians in one of the deadliest such incidents since 2001.
“These reports are being investigated in Afghanistan and we’ll look for the results of that investigation,” Fratto said.
“Coalition forces take precautions to prevent the loss of civilians, unlike the Taliban and militants who target civilians and place civilians in harm’s way,” the spokesman said.
This kind of “I know you are but what am I?” response from the White House is absolutely unacceptable. “We’re not as bad as the Taliban” is not acceptable. We just killed about 50 children. Children. In one attack.
If the moral argument is not enough for you, then consider your own self-interest: these kinds of attacks manufacture terrorists.
The strikes have drawn angry reactions from locals, who demonstrated on Saturday, torching a police vehicle and brandishing banners reading “Death to America.”
A council of religious leaders for western Afghanistan demanded on Sunday the trial of those involved in the deaths and said it would call a demonstration in Herat on Tuesday.
“Once again the enemies of Islam have stained their hands with the blood of innocent people … we, the Muslim nation, will not accept their apologies this time,” it said in a statement.
The United States seems to be doing its best to implement al-Qaida’s vision for the world.
UPDATE: The Pentagon flat-out refuses to admit any wrongdoing:
“We continue at this point to believe that this was a legitimate strike against the,” said Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman.
This whitewash lacks any credibility. The Afghan government confirmed the massive civilian deaths, and now they’ve been backed up by the United Nations:
KABUL, Aug 26 (Reuters) – The United Nations said on Tuesday it had found convincing evidence that 90 Afghan civilians, most of them children, were killed in air strikes by U.S.-led coalition forces in western Afghanistan last week.
Look, I have a tip for the U.S. government. At this point, it is apparent that civilian casualties are not a determinant factor in the battle plan. You would have a lot more credibility if you’d just admit that you’re committed to killing anyone, anywhere, who remotely resembles a member of the Taliban or AQ. That way, you wouldn’t have to keep putting out bald-faced lies to cover up easily verifiable facts.