The Dead That Don’t Count

US Kills More Afghan Civilians

At least 20 people have been killed in a missile strike by coalition forces in Afghan’s eastern Nangarhar province.

Local people say that the group was a wedding party and that most of the dead were women and children.

Meanwhile Afghan President Hamid Karzai has ordered an investigation into a missile attack by US helicopters on Friday in which 15 people died.

Deh Bala district governor Hamisha Gul told AFP news agency that 22 people had been killed in the strike – 19 of them women and children – and several more wounded.
(Source: BBC News)

If you see any news on the telly about Iraq or Afghanistan (and that’s a pretty big ‘if’), it’ll be some footage of chaos and news of yet another car bombing. Like a lot of people, this might give you the feeling that the major cause of death in those countries is the favourite catchphrase of the US propaganda machine: “sectarian clashes.” If you ignore this:

These shocking statistics are made all the more horrific when we realize that among the 600,000 [now 1.2 million] or so victims of Iraqi war violence, the largest portion have been killed by the American military, not by carbombings or death squads, or violent criminals — or even all these groups combined.
(Source: AlterNet)

What you won’t see, night after night, day after day is the innocent civilians murdered by the ruthless forces of occupation. Nope. That’s not worth mentioning.

You see, if a carbomb kills ten people at a checkpoint, that’s news. It shows that these troublesome brown people need us to teach them how to live, to teach them about the wonders of democracy and Sky+.

However, if US bombs kill 15 people in Afghanistan on Friday and then another 22 people only two days later… well, that’s simply unfortunate. Never mind that 19 of those 22 were women and children. And that it was a wedding party.

Hey – why don’t we retroactively say they were insurgents? Perhaps plant some guns near the bodies of the children? That’s worked before!

Meanwhile, the forces of liberation keep slaughtering the people they came to liberate and we, the marvellous, civilised West, all turn a blind eye…

But enough of this – wasn’t there a tennis tournament on today? Oh, what jolly fun!