by: Qaribur Rahman Saeed.
NATO’s blind bombing would harm its presence
“There's no doubt that humanity has a history of going to war for stupid reasons, killing groups of people for silly ideals...” By Humans.
Most of the families in Uruzgan province in southern Afghanistan are set to morn and bury their kiths and kin, killed by NATO air strike while going to their villages on the way to Uruzgan.
According to initial reports NATO fired Sunday on a convoy of three vehicles killing at least 33 civilians, including four women and one child. The reports say 12 others were injured while they were on their way to Kandahar. NATO has confirmed that its planes fired on what it believed was a group of insurgents in southern Uruzgan province, but later discovered that women and children were killed and hurt.
The Afghan intellectuals as well as the common people and official authorities showed their concerns, condemned the killing and protested against US coalition forces. Furthermore, somehow all the News papers and internet sites are full of haters and extreme dislike to the existence of occupation forces as well as its installed Karzai government.
Afghan president Hamid Karzai, in his inaugurating speech to the parliament, on Saturday 20th Feb. warned the foreign forces about the killing of innocent civilians and told them to protect the civilian lives and avoid locals casualties. "We need to reach the point where there are no civilian casualties," Karzai has warned. "Our effort and our criticism will continue until we reach that goal." Which he has already lost.
Only one day after his speech, more than 33 funerals were sent to the villagers of the called province while the injured are being transferred to the nearest clinics. Nevertheless, the Marjah operation has also caused the killing of the innocent people, bombed by US led coalition. According to witness in the area, 12 people killed in one house, while the 13th member of the bereaved family is missing, the reason for bombing was simple “ there were Taliban fighters!?” After the search no Talib was found dead or alive, all the casualties were women and children, the witness added.
US led occupation forces policy of “first kill and than investigate” is seem to create problems for the alliance existence in a country which has a long history of fighting foreign occupation.
The newly bombing of three busses , carrying local people of the said province on 21st Feb. Is, according to an military expert , also under the same watchword of “ first kill and then investigate”. This tragedy was also happened, and the plane bombed the busses on suspicion for Taliban, however after the bombing investigation showed that they were innocent people, an eye witness told. The Afghan government, itself installed by the occupation forces has no power to deal with NATO’s blunder and to protect its citizens from disasters, they could only deliver a light and a humiliated protest to the US led coalition, the expert added. However, according to reports, in this specific event, before the protest was lodged by the government, the commander of the US led occupation forces expressed his own “sorry” to the president.
According to reports, NATO commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal said in his statement that: "We are extremely saddened by the tragic loss of innocent lives,” "I have made it clear to our forces that we are here to protect the Afghan people and inadvertently killing or injuring civilians undermines their trust and confidence in our mission. We will redouble our effort to regain that trust. However; the gaining of that claim is impossible for him.
Meanwhile, accepting apology by president Karzai will not cure the injuries of the bereaved people. Karzai himself lost his credibility to the Afghan nation as a whole. The reason is, according to the intellectuals, Mr. president doesn’t have any authority on the foreign occupation forces. The military analyst says, this is not the first time the US led coalition bombing the innocent people, but time and again it happened and there is no guarantee in the future at, that it will not happen.
With the will propagated and will organized operation in Marjah, a part of Nad Ali distract in Helmand province by US led coalition, it was believed that this huge operation could change the causes of the dismay and killing of the local residence to somehow relief and security. This operation, as at it said to be the first largest one in the nine years history of the occupation forces in Afghanistan, is aimed to disrupt the network of so-called terrorists and to prevent the locals from the cultivation of Opium, which is said to be the biggest sources of income for the opponents for the continuation of their subversive activities . However, the operation which started on 13th Feb. is still continued and it looks like; the international forces have been dragged inn in the quagmire of Marjah.
Meanwhile the Tribal elders in the southern Afghan province of Helmand want an immediate end to the US-led anti-Taliban offensive there,” citing Western troops' disregard for civilian lives as a reason.”
In a gathering in the center of Helmand, the elders expressed concerns for the lives of the inhabitants of the area and also about the way the operations itself has been handled so far.
Most of the residence have complained for the non availability of food and shelter to their children and ills. A house holder of the area quoted as saying that, the family male members are also not able to go out and find food and other necessities for the rest of the family. He said, since it is difficult for the occupation forces to differentiate among the real Taliban forces and the local people , mostly they fire on each and every person whom have the same cloths and turbans as the Taliban have. One person was saying, his brother while searching for his animal went out of his house and was fired upon and killed by the occupiers. The residents as well as the elders of the area warned that if help doesn't reach to the people of the region are going to face a catastrophe.
“Human rights groups have also voiced concern over the issue, saying people living on the front line of the major offensive are trapped in their homes with little access to food and medical facilities.
The locals have also complained that the prices of the everyday food has gone 7 to 8 fold up, and it is difficult for the people to save the life of their children. According to, the local Market the price of one kilo potatoes is 100 Afghani (apr.$2) while in Kandahar it is only 10 Afghani. And the price of the oil has gone up so high that It is out of reach of the people.
Most the political analysts predict that the Marjah operation would be continued for a long period as it is planned by the US led coalition. According to them, the US wants to engage its allied forces and bring some success in Helmand to convince the European nations for the continuation of their sympathies. They deceivably, compare Marjah with Fallujah of Iraq, where the US led forces succeeded to bring the opposition to the fold of election process, while Fallujah is a province and Marjah is a part of Nad Ali district of Helmand.
It is obvious that the Taliban and other opponents could leave their shelters temporarily, and they might chose to fight a guerrilla war fare, but there is no guarantee that they could not return back to the area as they did in the Nine years history.
The Taliban spokesman, Qari Ahmadi, says: they surrendered the foreign occupation forces in a Tactical fighting and that they lose their endurance.
At the same time the expansion of the war to neighboring provinces of Kandahar and Farah, will furthermore deteriorated the human rights situation of the people of the area. At the sometime, the governor of Kunduz province also threatened the opponents of an operation like Marjah. Which raises more concerns about the already distracted security situation in the country, as Kunduz was itself witness of killing more than 140 locals in a bombing ride by German forces most recently.
They saying of the wise people is always right, who say: in the war the real burning material is the innocent people living there, and not the opposing warring sides. The war is the power to destroy many innocent lives and do incalculable damage.
By: Qaribur Rahman Saeed
The author is Afghan politician and former Afghan diplomat.