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U.S. Bombing Has Killed More Afghan Civilians, Proportionally, Than  American Civilians Killed on September 11

December 2, 2001

Just in the last few days, Afghan villagers and anti-Taliban officials have reported scores, perhaps even hundreds of civilians killed by U.S. bombing.

These are not Taliban claims.  They are not Al Jazeera claims.  They are reports by the villagers who witnessed the bombing, and by officials allied with the U.S. against the Taliban.

Broadcasts from the villages show them to have been reduced to rubble.

U.S. denials of such deaths are simply not credible.

Even before this, the New York Times reported that at least several hundred civilians had been killed by U.S. airstrikes:

The cumulative accounts of Afghan refugees in Pakistan and internally displaced people in Afghanistan suggest that at least several hundred civilians, perhaps more, have been killed in Afghan cities and villages since the American bombing of Taliban and terrorist targets began nearly eight weeks ago.

The United States, which suffered about 4000 innocent civilians killed in the September 11 terrorist attacks, has at least 11 times the population of Afghanistan.  For Afghanistan, therefore, losing 363 people killed would be equivalent, proportionally, to the 4000 losses we suffered.

Therefore, since Afghanistan has already suffered far more than 363 innocent civilian deaths from U.S. air strikes on that country,  the U.S. has killed far more Afghans, proportionally, than the U.S. suffered killed at the hands of Osama bin Laden on September 11.

The U.S. did not have to inflict a WTC-level of civilian mass murder on Afghanistan.  We could have bombed from lower altitudes to significantly lessen the amount of misdirected targeting.  We could have avoided hitting from the air targets located right next to concentrations of civilians.

We didn't do so because of our unwillingness to put an American soldier in harm's way if we could avoid doing so by sacrificing Afghan civilians.

And make no mistake about it, that was the precise calculation being made.

By bombing from high altitude out of the range of Taliban anti-aircraft fire, we knew for an absolute certainty that a percentage of our bombs would go astray, and that a percentage of our targeting coordinates would be mistaken or erroneously entered.  We knew with 100% assurance that this course of military strategy would dramatically increase the number of babies, children, women and old men killed by our bombs and missiles.

But we chose this route because it would also mean no Americans would be harmed.

We criticize terrorists for hiding behind the skirts of civilians.  Isn't that what we, in effect, have done: sacrificing civilians to avoid harm to our military personnel?

Our armed forces are composed of volunteers who signed up to defend their country.  They voluntarily assumed the risk of death.  I believe they are all extremely brave men and women.  I believe most, if not all of them -- if given the choice -- would choose to fight and risk harm to themselves, rather than deliberately kill innocent Afghan civilians to protect themselves.

Our military leaders are to blame for this shameful military strategy, not the troops.

Our military leaders should be held accountable for their terrorist strategy of killing Afghan civilians to protect our troops.

But, as we all know, they won't be.

[UPDATE:  study shows over 3500 bombing deaths!]

This was a selection from The Daily Diatribe

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