Our Journey to Smile

US to review Afghan air strikes : why did Afghan Kabul Uni students protest?‎

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Why doesn’t Afghanistan have a say in reviewing air strikes on its own land?

Has any country ever given enough room for Afghanistan to be an independent, ‘sovereign’ country?

What is the ‘higher platform of morality’ that Karzai mentioned in the fight against terrorism?

Why did Karzai tell America that ‘money can’t buy you love’?

Why did the protesting Kabul university students feel that America is the ‘biggest terrorist in the world’?

Why are there an increasing number of groups, both American and international, protesting against wars, wars, wars?

Why do the majority of human beings want peace but can’t have it?

Excerpts from BBC and Al Jazeera

Gen David Petraeus, head of US Central Command, said, “’We’re going to do a very thorough investigation.”

His comments came after Afghan President Hamid Karzai said US air strikes that kill civilians were damaging the fight against terrorism. Afghan President Hamid Karzai has called on the US to halt air strikes in his country, saying that air strikes were “not acceptable”.

“Civilian casualties, of course, is a very serious matter for the Afghan people, (it) also is a serious matter for our allies,” he said at a news conference. “It’s something that the Afghan people want to be addressed effectively and sooner.” “We demand an end to these operations… an end to air strikes,” Mr Karzai told CNN.

While in Washington to meet Obama, Karzai was reported by Al Jazeera on 06/05/09 to have said “This war against terrorism will succeed only if we fight it from a higher platform of morality,” Karzai said. “Money can’t buy you love, as you say it in America, no matter how much it is.”

Washington again expressed regret over recent civilian deaths, but refused to rule out such strikes in the future.

President Obama’s National Security Adviser, Gen James Jones, said the US would “redouble” efforts to limit civilian deaths, but added that it could not hamper its forces in Afghanistan by banning air strikes.

On Sunday, hundreds of university students in the Afghan capital, Kabul, protested against air strikes.

During the protest, students held up banners including one that called America “the biggest terrorist in the world”.

The protesters also called for those responsible for the air strikes in Farah to be put on trial.

“Our people are fed up with Taleban beheadings and suicide bombings. On the other hand, the massacre of civilians by the American forces is a crime that our people will never forget,” a statement quoted by AFP news agency said.

The US has replaced the commander of its forces in Afghanistan, David McKiernan, as it continues to send more troops to combat Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters.

Army Lieutenant-General Stanley McChrystal, a former commander of special operations forces, has been recommended as his replacement, Robert Gates, the US defence secretary, said on Monday.

“This is the right time to make the change,” Gates said. “Our mission there requires new thinking and new approaches from our military leaders.”

He said the decision was in the best interest of US national security and the success of the Afghanistan mission.

It was made after consulting the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, and the commander of the US Central Command, Gen David Petraeus.

The change also had the approval of President Barack Obama.

Gen McKiernan, who will also lose his role as head of the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf), recently described the situation in the country as a “stalemate”.



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