Our Journey to Smile

US raid ‘killed 140 Afghans’, each costing US$2000: Is US$2000 the value of one Afghan ‎life or one Afghan death?‎

Afghan price of life

Is US$2000 the value of one Afghan life or one Afghan death?

From humanity’s claims of equality, is it meaningful to differentiate between military and civilian deaths? Don’t soldiers and non-soldiers both want peace?

Why doesn’t our sadness and sorrow translate into anything practically humane or do security concerns over-ride all sorrows?

Security for whom? Internationals or Afghans?

If ‘an eye for an eye’ is the kind of justice that Mankind or Geneva approves, how many Afghan or Iraqi lives would compensate for the 6300 tragically lost on September 11th?

Al Jazeera, BBC and Yahoo News

An Afghan investigation has concluded that at least 140 civilians died in US air raids on villages in Farah province last week, the defence ministry has said.

The official announcement on Saturday came a day after the investigative team, headed by an Afghan army general, had presented their findings to Hamid Karzai, Afghanistan’s president.

The Afghan government has paid the relatives of victims the equivalent of about $2,000 for those who were killed and $1,000 for the wounded, the defence ministry said.

Karzai demanded the military halt its use of air raids after the incident, but so far the US military has only agreed to review its operations to try to reduce the risk to civilians.

On Saturday, the defence ministry quoted Karzai as saying: “No other news makes me as sad and sorrowful as incidents of civilian casualties during military operations.”

Such incidents have brought repeated condemnation from the Afghan government, which says they are turning people against Karzai’s administration and foreign forces operating in the country.

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.

President Barack Obama says he needs to see how fast Afghanistan can be stabilized and led toward a more democratic government before deciding whether more troops are needed.


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