Why Aren't U.S. Troops Already At
Work Clearing Unexploded Bombs From Afghan Villages?
December 16, 2001
It's bad enough that we have
bombed villages of impoverished Afghans who had nothing to do with Al Qaeda
and never did us any harm. What's worse is that after our
"accidental" strikes on these villages -- which killed hundreds, if not thousands
of Afghan civilians -- we seem to be doing nothing to assist those we have
so grievously harmed.
I'm not even talking here
about the obvious right thing to
do: provide emergency medical aid, long-term rehabilitative care, and
financial support for the men, women, children and families our bombs and
missiles have injured.
An even simpler, less
expensive action would be to ensure that further maimings and deaths
do not result from unexploded munitions from our recent airstrikes.
Specially trained U.S. troops should already be fanning out into the Afghan
countryside to villages
identified in numerous press reports as containing unexploded cluster bombs
and even larger munitions. The military must also investigate on its
own all the other areas it bombed to ascertain if there are any unexploded
bombs in those locations which must be removed.
Such work is not risk-free,
as shown by a recent incident
at the Kandahar airport in which three Marines were injured when a mine went
off as they worked to clear an area of mines, booby traps and unexploded
Still, George Bush never gets
tired of repeating that we are not at war with the Afghan people. If
that's really the case, let's remove the deadly remnants of our war from