Published on Thursday, June 24, 2010 by CommonDreams.org
'Americans Don’t Flinch' – They Duck!
Yesterday, accepting General McChrystal’s resignation, President Obama said that McChrystal’s departure represented a change in personnel, not a change in policy. “Americans don’t flinch in the face of difficult truths or difficult tasks.” he stated, “We persist and we persevere.”
Yet, President Obama and the
While on the campaign trail and since taking office, President Obama has persistently emphasized his view that attacks against civilians are always criminal, unless the
In considering the security of Afghan civilians, it’s crucial to ask why, on May 12, 2009, General McChrystal was selected to replace General McKiernan as the top general in
We, ourselves, bear responsibility to examine disturbing patterns of misinformation regarding U.S./NATO attacks against Afghan civilians. In each of eleven incidents since April 9th, 2009,
Wikileaks is expected to release a video that establishes
Voices for Creative Nonviolence has maintained a list, assuredly only a partial list, of U.S./NATO attacks, since April 2009, which caused civilian deaths. Below is the entry describing the May 4, 2009 attack.
Date: May 4, 2009
Place: Farah Province near the town of Granai
Circumstances: Mainstream media reports estimate that between 86 and 140 people, mostly children,  died in a
Initial U.S./NATO response: The following chronology indicates multiple attempts on the part of US officials to avoid blame.
May 6, 2009—
May 6, 2009—According to The Guardian,  a spokesperson for
May 7, 2009—An Armed Service Press Service report  announces that a team is “investigating differing accounts of the events leading up to the casualties. Those accounts include allegations that the Taliban tossed grenades into homes to ‘frame’ Afghan and coalition forces.” U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates states that “the United States and coalition partners do everything we can to avoid civilian casualties.” He goes on to say that “While there have been civilian casualties caused by American and NATO troops, they have been accidental. When the Taliban cause casualties, they are on purpose.”
May 8, 2009—Pentagon spokesperson Col. Greg Julian insists  that earlier estimates of the death toll were “grossly exaggerated”.
May 10, 2009—In an interview with Mike Wallace , General David Petraeus suggests that the Taliban forced people “to remain in houses from which the Taliban was engaging us forces”.
May 15, 2009—Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Conway again blames the Taliban for civilian casualties. “We believe that there were families who were killed by the Taliban with grenades and rifle fire,” he said, “that were then paraded about and shown as casualties from the airstrike.” (http://www.militarytimes.com/
May 13, 2009—Referring to the May 4th raids in an Afghan press interview, Ambassador Karl W. Eikenberry admitted that “there were a number of civilians killed, a number of civilians wounded. We don’t know the exact amount. You are aware that our President of the
June 2, 2009— According to The New York Times  “A military investigation has concluded that American personnel made significant errors in carrying out some of the airstrikes in western Afghanistan on May 4 that killed dozens of Afghan civilians, according to a senior American military official.” (http://www.defense.gov/news/
With all due respect for Ambassador Eikenberry’s sincerity, and recognizing that condolences may have been relayed to
URL to article: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/06/24-5
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"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs