Afghanistan: Killing continues in the 'good war'

November 8, 2008

Abridged from http://asia-pacific-action.

"I believe war is the crime of our times", Blake Ivey, a specialist in the US Army, told's Sarah Lazare in an October 23 article posted on the site.

"Ivey, currently stationed in Fort Gordon, Georgia, is publicly refusing to deploy to Afghanistan", according to the article.

"The 21-year-old filed for conscientious objector status in July but was ordered to deploy while his application was being processed", according to the article.

He is facing harsh punishment but is determined not to go.

Ivey is just one of hundreds of US war resisters who are speaking out against the US-led war on Afghanistan, a war where another 60 civilians were killed in two air-strikes in the first week of November.

As many as 37 civilians, including 23 children, were killed in a US air-strike on November 3 that hit a wedding party in a village in Shah Wali Kot district of Kandahar province.

US-backed Afghan President Hamid Karzai was forced to protest the rising attacks on civilians in his message of congratulations to US president-elect Barack Obama.

Karzai called on the next US administration "to stop civilian casualties" in Afghanistan, according to a November 5 Washington Post article.

Another US air-strike in north-western Afghanistan in the early hours of November 6 left up to 30 civilians dead, according to officials in Badghis province.

"If we find that innocent people were killed in this incident, we apologize and express our sincere condolences to the families and the people of Afghanistan", Colonel Greg Julian, a spokesman for the US forces in Afghanistan, said in a statement.

After a US air-strike in August killed dozens of civilians in the western province of Herat, US defence secretary Robert Gates travelled to Kabul to apologise to the Afghan people.
Afghan and United Nations officials said that air-strike had killed 90 civilians.

The US military initially denied such a large number of civilians were killed, but when cell phone pictures were later provided to the US military showing dozens of bodies at the scene of the strike, the top US military commander in Afghanistan, General David McKiernan, asked US Central Command to review the initial investigation.

However, the civilian-killing US air-strikes have continued unabated and, over the last few months, have spilled over the border into Pakistan's tribal areas, sparking growing street protests in Pakistani and even a formal protest from the Pakistan government.

The US-based Human Rights Watch reported that civilians deaths from US-led occupation forces, air-strikes had nearly tripled between 2006 and 2007 and the Afghan Children's Protection Organization said in a September statement that of 700 civilians killed in the past six months in conflict, 40% were children and women.

The "good war", Obama? Don't think so.

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