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  1. #1
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    Afghan civilian casualties rise dramatically...

    ...according to a UN report.
    U.S. airstrikes, long controversial in Afghanistan because of the high incidence of civilian casualties associated with them, were the leading cause of civilian deaths by NATO forces, the report said. At least 162 civilians were killed in airstrikes and 120 were wounded during the 10-month period.

    On Thursday, NATO said it was investigating reports that one of its units had mistakenly killed two Afghans in northwestern Faryab province.

    The grim statistics come as U.S. military officials are claiming some success in their effort to halt the Taliban's momentum as the war enters its 10th year.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...122303521.html

    Yeah, I guess the war, a decade old, is going just swimmingly!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha & Omega
    ...according to a UN report.


    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...122303521.html

    Yeah, I guess the war, a decade old, is going just swimmingly!
    All casualties are up due to increased action. It's not all that unexpected to kill some civilians when you have to bomb a meeting of Taliban leadership in somebody's living room.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snakebit
    All casualties are up due to increased action. It's not all that unexpected to kill some civilians when you have to bomb a meeting of Taliban leadership in somebody's living room.
    The deliberate targeting of civilians is a war crime according to the Geneva Conventions.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha & Omega
    The deliberate targeting of civilians is a war crime according to the Geneva Conventions.
    Oops.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snakebit
    Oops.
    When is Nuremburg Trials II going to begin?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha & Omega
    When is Nuremburg Trials II going to begin?
    Trials? We don need no steenkin' trials. Get a ROPE.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha & Omega
    The deliberate targeting of civilians is a war crime according to the Geneva Conventions.

    So is using them as a shield.


    supervillain

  8. #8
    Iohannes fac totum
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    "The number of NATO troops killed this year also reached a new high, according to a tally kept by the Web site icasualties.org. At least 705 international troops were killed here this year, far more than the 521 killed in 2009, the previous record. "

    I wonder how many "civilians" were responsible for deaths of NATO troops?

  9. #9
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    I'll weep for the Afghanis when the populous rises up and throws out the Taliban. We cannot do it alone. Tough situation, but if they just turn blind eye and allow the Taliban to operate then there's some complicity.
    "Walmart ... Where else can you crush your business competition, and yet, serve and control the lumpenproletariat." Mr. Grumpy

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by spyderman
    I'll weep for the Afghanis when the populous rises up and throws out the Taliban. We cannot do it alone. Tough situation, but if they just turn blind eye and allow the Taliban to operate then there's some complicity.
    Except that the Taliban ARE Afghans. You cannot separate the two.

    The Soviet military agreed with your assessment. They spent a decade bombing the country from one end to the other, killing at least a million people.

    They still lost.

    Also by your logic, don't Americans as a whole also bear responsibility for the atrocities being committed in your names? Should Americans rise up and overthrow your government?

  11. #11
    Iohannes fac totum
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha & Omega
    Except that the Taliban ARE Afghans. You cannot separate the two.

    The Soviet military agreed with your assessment. They spent a decade bombing the country from one end to the other, killing at least a million people.

    They still lost.

    Also by your logic, don't Americans as a whole also bear responsibility for the atrocities being committed in your names? Should Americans rise up and overthrow your government?

    Nope.

  12. #12
    FTF
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    Quote Originally Posted by 88 rex
    Nope.
    Actually, his explanation of the Soviets time in Afghanistan, while extremely short, is for all intents and purposes, accurate.

    The afghans are not new to war, they aren't new to war against a super power, these people sent the Soviets packing, after enduring a soviet army that was not answerable to it's citizens. They committed atrocities trying to win that war that makes our war look like a day at a ski resort, and still lost. The Soviets got their ass kicked so hard it shook the stability of their nation, and came close to falling in on itself.

    What did the leader of the soviet military in Afghanistan have to say about their stay in Afghanistan?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boris Gromov
    I have more than once expressed my opinion about this. I believed and believe that the war was a huge and in many respects irreparable political mistake of the leadership of the Soviet Union at the time
    This man received the highest award one could receive in the soviet union for his time in Afghanistan. Also when they left, he was the last soviet soldier or officer out of Afghanistan. That's right the General left after all of his men left, you didn't see that in Vietnam. Our last man out was a Master Sargent, who sort of ironicly was killed when they flew a 747 in to the side of the pentagon.

    As for his final line, Americans are responsible for their military, as a whole.

  13. #13
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    Originally posted by Alpha & Omega
    The deliberate targeting of civilians is a war crime according to the Geneva Conventions.
    How about strapping a bomb to yourself, running into a crowd and blowing yourself up? Is that any kind of crime?
    They are not deliberately targeting innocent civilians. It is a fact of war that mistakes are made and bad things happen. I seriously doubt that the Taliban hangs signs outside the houses where they meet saying "Taliban meeting today 11-2. Lunch and hukahs will be provided. Bring your own Hash".

    And no, your basic Americans citizens are not responsible for their military.

  14. #14
    FTF
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    Quote Originally Posted by exracer



    And no, your basic Americans citizens are not responsible for their military.
    How exactly are we not responsible for our military? One of the original tenants of the american system was, and continues to be, civilian oversight in to military matters, that's right, not one military decision is beyond civilian eyes. The american people elect these civilians to watch over our military. Hence landing, a certain amount of responsibly of military actions on the citizens shoulders. If you want to argue percentages of responsibly, thats an opinion, however the fact of civilian oversight, and the people who appoint that oversight, is really indisputable.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by exracer
    And no, your basic Americans citizens are not responsible for their military.

    We're 100% responsible for our military.

    The assumption that's being made is that the military is acting against our wishes. It isn't. The invasion of Afghanistan was a full-on act of vengeance. We haven't yet exacted the full blood payment we desire. Don't know when that debt will be declared paid.


    supervillain

  16. #16
    Iohannes fac totum
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    Quote Originally Posted by FTF
    Actually, his explanation of the Soviets time in Afghanistan, while extremely short, is for all intents and purposes, accurate.

    The afghans are not new to war, they aren't new to war against a super power, these people sent the Soviets packing, after enduring a soviet army that was not answerable to it's citizens. They committed atrocities trying to win that war that makes our war look like a day at a ski resort, and still lost. The Soviets got their ass kicked so hard it shook the stability of their nation, and came close to falling in on itself.

    What did the leader of the soviet military in Afghanistan have to say about their stay in Afghanistan?


    This man received the highest award one could receive in the soviet union for his time in Afghanistan. Also when they left, he was the last soviet soldier or officer out of Afghanistan. That's right the General left after all of his men left, you didn't see that in Vietnam. Our last man out was a Master Sargent, who sort of ironicly was killed when they flew a 747 in to the side of the pentagon.

    As for his final line, Americans are responsible for their military, as a whole.
    I should have quoted his last sentence since that was more specific to what I was answering. I do not think we should overthrow our government.

    Regarding Afghan history, I'm pretty aware of what happened, and I'm sure you're pretty aware that the Afghani's alone did not kick the Soviet's butts.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by 88_rex
    I should have quoted his last sentence since that was more specific to what I was answering. I do not think we should overthrow our government.

    Regarding Afghan history, I'm pretty aware of what happened, and I'm sure you're pretty aware that the Afghani's alone did not kick the Soviet's butts.
    They got the guns from us, their willingness to withstand the (soviet) horrors of war, their ability to take losses, millions of them, and keep fighting, that's all them, that's a lot of what wins wars. Their training, some of that came from us, but they none the less, still have most of the guns, and training we gave them. I know a Army Intelligence Analyst very well, their main concern is that most of the people in the military have NO respect for the afghan fighters and their abilities, even as our death rate increases. The Afghan fighters believe they are fighting for their country, just as they believed they were fighting for their country when the soviets were there. In fact, as I'm sure you know, Mr. Bin Laden fought in the Mujahideen. These people were armed, and it's believed but not 100% fact, that they were trained by the CIA, to kill soviets, you think they just forgot all that? That they aren't using those same tactics against us? When we went in, it was of much dispute how many Stinger missile systems they had left.

    It's the same reason the Vietnamese kicked our ass, (or was that the soviets?), and the British, and the French- twice.
    Last edited by FTF; 12-26-2010 at 03:33 PM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha & Omega
    Except that the Taliban ARE Afghans. You cannot separate the two.

    The Soviet military agreed with your assessment. They spent a decade bombing the country from one end to the other, killing at least a million people.

    They still lost.

    Also by your logic, don't Americans as a whole also bear responsibility for the atrocities being committed in your names? Should Americans rise up and overthrow your government?

    The Soviets lost cause we supported the Mujahadine and gave them billions of dollars and Stinger missiles.

    If one doesn't separate the Afghanis from the Taliban then they are one, and the civilians deserve what they get. I don't see it that way. After years of civil war and strife, the Taliban rose to power and implemented Sharia law. This was in part due to our leaving them in a vacuum after we helped the Afghanis defeat the Soviets in the 80s.
    "Walmart ... Where else can you crush your business competition, and yet, serve and control the lumpenproletariat." Mr. Grumpy

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  19. #19
    Iohannes fac totum
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    Quote Originally Posted by FTF
    They got the guns from us, their willingness to withstand the (soviet) horrors of war, their ability to take losses, millions of them, and keep fighting, that's all them, that's a lot of what wins wars. Their training, some of that came from us, but they none the less, still have most of the guns, and training we gave them. I know a Army Intelligence Analyst very well, their main concern is that most of the people in the military have NO respect for the afghan fighters and their abilities, even as our death rate increases. The Afghan fighters believe they are fighting for their country, just as they believed they were fighting for their country when the soviets were there. In fact, as I'm sure you know, Mr. Bin Laden fought in the Mujahideen. These people were armed, and it's believed but not 100% fact, that they were trained by the CIA, to kill soviets, you think they just forgot all that? That they aren't using those same tactics against us? When we went in, it was of much dispute how many Stinger missile systems they had left.

    It's the same reason the Vietnamese kicked our ass, (or was that the soviets?), and the British, and the French- twice.

    When the US eventually pulls out, tell me again who's country they are fighting for when they return to their regularly scheduled tribal warfare. Also, your buddy should be more than able to tell you whether or not the CIA trained these people (and they did indeed) to fight the soviets.

  20. #20
    FTF
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    Quote Originally Posted by 88 rex
    When the US eventually pulls out, tell me again who's country they are fighting for when they return to their regularly scheduled tribal warfare.
    Yea, they probably will, like Iraq will. Nothing new there, but right now they all have a reason to work together, we really are fostering a sense of cooperation at the moment. And it is their country, just as much as the US is our country.

    Quote Originally Posted by 88 rex
    Also, your buddy should be more than able to tell you whether or not the CIA trained these people (and they did indeed) to fight the soviets.
    I think they did, but there are people on both sides of that argument. Some say that it wasn't possible because the ISI, wouldn't allow any Americans in Afghanistan, others think that wasn't true. I just threw it out there that it may not have happened, simply because that may be the case. Obviously it's the popular viewpoint, but until someone else goes all PFC Manning on us and releases those documents, or they are declassified, we'll never know 100%. As for my buddy, it's not Manning, so they don't leak such things.

    We spent anywhere from 3 million-20 Billion helping the afghans, they lost about 1.5 million people. In 1979 there were about 15.5 million people in Afghanistan, so the soviets killed 9% of the people there. We would see a similar population decrease with about 31 million dead.
    Last edited by FTF; 12-26-2010 at 07:27 PM.

  21. #21
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    Originally posted by FTF
    How exactly are we not responsible for our military? One of the original tenants of the american system was, and continues to be, civilian oversight in to military matters, that's right, not one military decision is beyond civilian eyes. The american people elect these civilians to watch over our military. Hence landing, a certain amount of responsibly of military actions on the citizens shoulders. If you want to argue percentages of responsibly, thats an opinion, however the fact of civilian oversight, and the people who appoint that oversight, is really indisputable.
    You have answered your own question. In a broad sense you can say Americans are responsible for our military. As a democratic republic we elect civilian officials who then over see the military. Other officials are appointed but the individual citizen is then removed. I don't know about you but I haven't been briefed on any ops being run in Afghanistan. I don't know why. They have my phone number. The only thing the individual can do is make his opinion known to his elected representative. It is up to the government to decide whether or not it is in national best interest to withdraw or work with unreliable allies, corrupt Afghan officials, faulty intelligence, distrust among the different tribes and stay. If some guy out in the field tells an Apache driver to put a Hellfire through Mohamed's front door and it's the wrong decision; I am not going to have someone sit there and say that in some small way I am responsible.

  22. #22
    FTF
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    Quote Originally Posted by exracer

    You have answered your own question. In a broad sense you can say Americans are responsible for our military. As a democratic republic we elect civilian officials who then over see the military. Other officials are appointed but the individual citizen is then removed. I don't know about you but I haven't been briefed on any ops being run in Afghanistan. I don't know why. They have my phone number. The only thing the individual can do is make his opinion known to his elected representative. It is up to the government to decide whether or not it is in national best interest to withdraw or work with unreliable allies, corrupt Afghan officials, faulty intelligence, distrust among the different tribes and stay. If some guy out in the field tells an Apache driver to put a Hellfire through Mohamed's front door and it's the wrong decision; I am not going to have someone sit there and say that in some small way I am responsible.
    So no one is responsible for the actions of their elected officials, even the ones that voted to send us there, or for anything at all? What if we reelect the people that made those decisions, are the people who know they made those choices, and said, yes please to more of it, are they responsible?

    Of course the individual citizen is removed, frankly I don't think most of the people than run our government are qualified, let alone Joe the Plumber. I guess it's good that Joe "talked to God about that and He was like, 'No.'" about his 2010 election bid for the house.

    Personal responsibility, Americans, we lack it.

    Here's congressman Shimkus's argument against global warming:



    That's it folks! We can't ruin the earth, it's impossible, we certainly aren't responsible for any so called damage, the big G has our back.

  23. #23
    Iohannes fac totum
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    Quote Originally Posted by FTF
    Yea, they probably will, like Iraq will. Nothing new there, but right now they all have a reason to work together, we really are fostering a sense of cooperation at the moment. And it is their country, just as much as the US is our country.



    Then I guess our goal of bringing a country together is working.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by spyderman
    The Soviets lost cause we supported the Mujahadine and gave them billions of dollars and Stinger missiles.

    If one doesn't separate the Afghanis from the Taliban then they are one, and the civilians deserve what they get. I don't see it that way. After years of civil war and strife, the Taliban rose to power and implemented Sharia law. This was in part due to our leaving them in a vacuum after we helped the Afghanis defeat the Soviets in the 80s.

    Yep. And the Soviets weren't all that concerned about civilian casualties or in winning hearts and minds. Had we not supplied the resistance, there'd have been many more civilians killed.

    What is maddening is the goodwill we lost when we the Afghans were no longer important to us. Had we turned the missiles into schools and aid after the war the world would be very different today. We can thank the PNAC crowd, again, for that.


    supervillain

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by KenB
    Yep. And the Soviets weren't all that concerned about civilian casualties or in winning hearts and minds. Had we not supplied the resistance, there'd have been many more civilians killed.

    What is maddening is the goodwill we lost when we the Afghans were no longer important to us. Had we turned the missiles into schools and aid after the war the world would be very different today. We can thank the PNAC crowd, again, for that.
    That is a theme we hear a lot regarding our abandoning Afghanistan after the Soviets left. We weren't there in force then, no boots on the ground and there was one hell of a civil war to see who would control the country or areas thereof. It was still the same splintered, tribal, blood feud ruled backwater. The Taliban wasn't an elected option, they took power and maintained it by force of arms and cruel retribution. We can't back off now and send them money to build schools and roads and expect better results and I don't think we could have done so post Soviets either. It's a pile of rocks with no roads and it is still ruled by a tribal feudal system and it will most likely be the same when we leave. The mountain regions of Pakistan are the same and the Pakistani government has little control there today and they have nukes.

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