They hate us for our freedoms

For the second time in the last 3 days, NATO kills an Afghan child

Topics: Afghanistan,

(updated below – Update II – Update III [Mon.])

The New York Times reports today:

For the second time in three days, a night raid in eastern Afghanistan by NATO forces resulted in the death of a child, setting off protests on Saturday that turned violent and ended in the death of a second boy. . . .

“American forces did an operation and mistakenly killed a fourth-grade student; he had gone to sleep in his field and had a shotgun next to him,” [the district's governor, Abdul Khalid]. said. “People keep shotguns with them for hunting, not for any other purposes,” Mr. Khalid said.

The boy, [15], was the son of an Afghan National Army soldier . . . When morning came, an angry crowd gathered in Narra, the boy’s village, and more than 200 people marched with his body to the district center. Some of the men were armed and confronted the police, shouting anti-American slogans . . .

The police opened fire in an effort to push back the crowd to stop its advance to the district center. A 14-year-old boy was killed, and at least one other person was wounded, Mr. Khalid said. . . .

On Thursday, a night raid by international forces in Nangahar Province resulted in the death of a 12-year-old girl and her uncle, who was a member of the Afghan National Police.

There’s nothing much new to say here, but every now and then, it’s worth highlighting not only what we’re doing, but what the results are.  Just imagine the accumulated hatred from having things like this happen day after day, week after week, year after year, for a full decade now, with no end in sight — broadcast all over the region.  It’s literally impossible to convey in words the level of bloodthirsty fury and demands for vengeance that would arise if a foreign army were inside the U.S. killing innocent American children even a handful of times, let alone continuously for a full decade.  

It’s the perfect self-perpetuating cycle:  (1) They hate us and want to attack us because we’re over there; therefore, (2) we have to stay and proliferate ourselves because they hate us and want to attack us; (3) our staying and proliferating ourselves makes them hate us and want to attack us more; therefore, (4) we can never leave, because of how much they hate us and want to attack us.  The beauty of this War on Terror — and, as the last two weeks have demonstrated, War is the bipartisan consensus for what we are and should be doing to address Terrorism — is that it forever sustains its own ostensible cause.





UPDATE:  When President Obama explained to the nation (after the fact) why he committed the armed forces to Libya, he declared that the U.S. must not “stand idly by” in the face of violent assaults on unarmed civilians.  Today:

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Violence erupted on Israel’s borders with Syria, Lebanon and Gaza on Sunday, leaving at least eight dead and dozens wounded . . . Israeli troops shot at protesters in three separate locations to prevent crowds from crossing Israeli frontier lines in the deadliest such confrontation in years.

In other words, Israeli troops opened fire on unarmed protesters on three separate borders today (and other reports now suggest higher numbers of people shot).  The protesters were reportedly attempting to infiltrate Israeli territory in commemoration of the annual Palestinian protest of Israel, but by all accounts were unarmed, and some were shot at on their side of their border.  Will the U.S. stand “idly by” while this happens, or . . . issue a statement in ringing support of Israeli actions?  Sadly, there is no plausible third alternative, and that, too, may shed some light on “why they hate us.”

 

UPDATE II:  For a succinct exhibit of the actual meaning of Freedom when exploited to justify wars, see here.





UPDATE III [Mon.]:  If this newest report from Reuters today is confirmed, it will be the third time in four days that NATO has killed an Afghan child:

Foreign troops killed an Afghan child and wounded four others when responding to insurgent fire in volatile eastern Kunar province, the provincial Governor said on Monday, the third accidental killing of young civilians in less than a week. . . .

Fazlullah Wahidi, governor of Kunar, said a group of girls had been collecting firewood near an insurgent hideout and were struck when ISAF troops that had come under attack returned fire. A 10-year-old girl was killed, and four others wounded.

I wonder what would happen if a foreign army came to the U.S. and killed three American children in four days.  Why do they hate us?

Glenn Greenwald
Follow Glenn Greenwald on Twitter: @ggreenwald.

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