Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Once again there are reports of U.S. air strikes killing innocent civilians and townspeople in Afghanistan.

Abdul Waheed Wafa and Mark McDonald report on today's web page of The New York Times the latest attack in which the victims were members of a wedding party.

"An airstrike by United States-led forces killed 40 civilians and wounded 28 others at a wedding party in Kandahar Province in southern Afghanistan, Afghan officials said Wednesday. The casualties included women and children, the officials said.

"The United States military and Afghan authorities were investigating the reports about the latest attack, the American military said in a statement, but it gave no confirmation of the strikes or any death toll.

"The reports of the strike, in a region that has become a renewed front line in the battle against the Taliban, showed the raw tensions between the United States and Afghanistan over the toll suffered by civilians in the war, and came just hours after the election of Barack Obama as the next American president."

I have longed call for an immediate halt to U.S. air strikes in Afghanistan. Dropping a bomb on a target inherently involves too much risk of killing people who are innocent civilians.

Furthermore, besides the loss of life, the U.S. demonizes itself in the eyes of all Afghanis every time it drops a bomb and kills innocents including women and children. If the U.S. has any goal of establishing Afghanistan as an ally against fundamentalist jihadism, it must stop this practice of using air power to achieve its political aims.

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