The US and NATO are denying a report out of Afghanistan that coalition forces are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of children, but the government of Afghanistan has confirmed that it believes the report is accurate.
The L.A. Times reported last April the claim of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that “110 children were killed and 68 were injured in 2011 in airstrikes conducted by pro-government forces, led by the United States, which furnishes air power for the Afghan government. Those figures represented a doubling of the child casualties from a year earlier.”
A more recent report by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child goes further to say it is “alarmed” by reports that hundreds of children have died in Afghanistan as a result of a “reported lack of precautionary measures and indiscriminate use of force.” The report also condemned the arrest and detention of children in that war.
The US denies the claims as unsubstantiated and claimed that most civilian deaths were a result of insurgents, but Aimal Faizi, a spokesman for the Afghan government said, “We agree with the UN report and confirm that innocent kids have been killed during coalition forces operations specifically US troops operations during the past ten years.”
It is always hard to tell who is telling the truth in situations like this, but I feel a duty as a human being to find out. The indifference of my country to issues like this is truly chilling to me. A recent poll shows that most Americans think it is okay for a President to kill those suspected of terrorism without any due process as long as they are not American.
I see the crowd in Washington and shudder at the cruelty of Democrats and Republicans alike when it comes to the lives of non-Americans. When I see the President cuddle with his two beautiful daughters, I try not to think about the fact that, if they had been born in Afghanistan, his foreign policy might have roasted them alive. I sometimes stay awake at night trying to figure out how to help Americans feel that the bombing of other people’s homes and children is as evil as if someone did it to us. So far, no luck. The violation of international law, the penetration of other nations boundaries and the death of civilians are seen as regrettable necessities of being the self appointed guardians of the world.