Monday, August 4, 2008

Lies, lies, lies, yeah

Are you a politician?
Or does lying just run in your family?
-Mary Stuart Masterson, Fried Green Tomatoes
Ambassador Lalani tells a whopper:
Canadian ambassador says Afghan civilian deaths decreasing

KABUL, Aug 1 (CP) — The accidental shooting deaths of two Afghan children by Canadian troops and threats of revenge from their father are unfortunate but such incidents are becoming increasingly rare, says Canada's outgoing ambassador to Afghanistan...

“If you look at the last three to six months, you will see that NATO forces have reviewed their procedures as they constantly do and you see that the issue has become less of an issue,” [Ambassador Arif] Lalani said in his heavily guarded office in the Canadian Embassy in Kabul... (link)
One doesn't have to refer to exotic sources to see that Lalani's statement is pure rubbish. See, for example, the UN's humanitarian news agency, IRIN:
Some 1,000 civilians killed since January - NGO body

KABUL, Aug 2 (IRIN) - Up to 1,000 civilians are among the 2,500 killed in armed conflict so far in 2008, a network of 100 national and international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) said.

The NGO network (Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief – ACBAR said in a statement: "There has been a surge in the number of civilian casualties caused by all sides [in the conflict], a spread of insecurity to previously stable areas, and increasing attacks on aid agencies and their staff." ... (link)
Readers will also recall that, contrary to Lalani's rosy claims, the Red Cross reported that in just five days in July some 250 civilians were killed by both sides of the conflict. And the UN reported on June 30 that civilian deaths for the first half of 2008 have risen 62% over 2007.

The press reports that Lalani is leaving his post to return to academia. We confidently predict future success in that profession for Mr. Lalani as articulating the consensus of those in power is, according to Henry Kissinger, the chief job of an intellectual.

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