Kevin Doyle Blog

Writing and activism

the glove and the iron fist

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Does anyone believe this hand-wringing in respect to US atrocities in Western Afghanistan?

For the last few months there have been repeated massive bombardments in the area without any concern for the impact on the huge number of civilians caught up in the conflict.  A series of leaks from the latest US military report on this concedes as much stating that “dozens of civilians were killed in the air strikes in western Farah province” earlier last month.   Dozens?  It seems that the real number is more in the region of several hundred.  Note this: “In one case, a compound of buildings where suspected militants were massing was struck, even though it was in a densely populated area and there was no imminent threat, the New York Times said.” Indeed, a disregard for civilian casualties so that mission objective is achieved seems to be order of the day.

I drew attention to this in an earlier blog in February entitled The Obama Lie.  It seems that on the one hand Obama is keen and adept to present a caring image of his presidency.  But the reality for many ordinary citizens of this planet is much different: women, men and children have literally been bombed beyond recognition in what is a brutal and unrelenting assault in Western Afghanistan; that assault is all about securing US foreign policy into the future.

Few column inches are spared for the dead from these dreadful assaults by the US military machine.  Indeed we hear little about them and who they are; what they loved in life and who was near and dear to them.  Instead these hundreds of dead in Afghanistan are anonymous and will remain so it seems, discarded as mere numbers in the various reports which which casually allude to each atrocity as it happens.   Contrast that with, if you wish, the many column inches given to the awful killing of the traveller Edwin Dyer in Mali earlier this week.  The Guardian carried a good article about Mr Dyer – who he was and the fate that befell him.  It is a sorry, ugly story but in it we learn that Mr Dyer was ‘was well-respected in his community’.  A number of strongly worded condemnations of his murder also carried in the same article.  Such a report of course is important for his family and friends – granting them and the victim some respect in what is for them a tragic time.

But no such words and not even the names for the countless murdered by the US military machine.

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Written by kfdoyle

June 6, 2009 at 7:14 am

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