Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Still bringing it onto the American foot soldier

And just over a week ago, eight young shepherds, all but one under 14 years of age, lit a fire for warmth on the snowy Afghan mountainside in Kapisa province, where they were helping support their families by grazing sheep. French troops saw the fire and acted on faulty information, and the boys were all killed in two successive NATO airstrikes. The usual denunciations from local authorities, and Western apologies, followed.
from Cold, Cold Hearts
British Air Commodore Mike Wigston told a news conference that there was no doubt that eight young men were killed in the bombing raid.
He expressed his condolences over the deaths, saying they were not targeted because they were necessarily Taliban or insurgents, but because they appeared a threat to Afghan and French troops operating in the area.
"These were young Afghans. They were adult sized, athletic, strong, walking perfectly in the valley. I have no doubt that they were carrying weapons," Wigston told reporters. [They were evidently out in the open, making no efforts to conceal themselves. Were the "weapons" pieces of firewood?]
It was "not the first time that children have been seen carrying weapons" and it was "not unusual for young males of this age to hold weapons".  [If it's common, why did they assume that they were a threat?]
He described the area in Kapisa as "dangerous" and a place of "enmity between the villages". [So, wouldn't this explain why they were carrying rifles, if they were?]
He disputed an account from Afghan investigators saying that local Afghan security forces did not back the operation, saying "there's no doubt that there was full cooperation of the Kapisa police."
At the time, Kapisa district police chief Abdul Hamid Erkin told AFP that seven children and a mentally-handicapped 20-year-old were killed.
Safi said the children had gathered to start a fire about 600 metres west of a village where troops were operating when "all of a sudden a plane dropped one bomb in first round and another bomb later".  [But they gathered "menacingly" in the open, with FIREWOOD! So, why only one bomber?  This was a job for an entire squadron of bombers!]
He said French commanders "claimed that the target was a group of Taliban facilitators, but we checked the area and there were no Taliban".  [Then the blame was passed onto some anonymous "informant."]
from Afghan teens were armed when bombed: NATO

Here's what I think:  The IED-planting season is upon us, and Britain and France are out to fan the flames of hatred for mainly American soldiers, who will now be dispatched on IED patrol to be blown up.