Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The war on civilians

"Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime." - E. Hemingway
On October 8th, NATO's ISAF force acknowledged that they "accidentally killed an Afghan child" in a nighttime raid against suspected insurgents in Logar province, which borders on Kabul. While reports of that incident were picked up widely, an incident which followed a couple days later was only reported in the Afghan press:
Coalition troops kill three, detain as many
By Rehmatullah Afghan

PUL-I-ALAM, Oct 10 (Pajhwok) - US-led coalition troops and Afghan intelligence operatives have killed two civilians and a militant in Pul-i-Alam, capital of central Logar province, a police chief said on Saturday.

The fatalities happened in Kaji village, where the combined force stormed into a house during a predawn swoop, provincial police chief, Brig. Gen. Ghulam Mustafa Mohseni said... (
The Afghan press again goes where others don't in reporting on the predictable fallout from three decades of war, which our efforts are seeking to continue:
66pc of Afghans suffering from mental health problems

KABUL, Oct 11 (Pajhwok) - Sixty-six percent of Afghans are suffering from stress disorders and mental problems, says the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) citing recent surveys conducted by national and international organisations...

A 2002 nationwide survey found high levels of depressive symptoms (59.1pc among males and 73.4pc among females), anxiety symptoms (59.3pc among females and 83.5pc among males) and post-traumatic stress disorder (32.1pc among males, 48,3pc among females)... (link)


Gerry said...

Dave, I thought that you may be interested in watching this Global TV news clip from their Oct.8,2009 news cast. It begins at the 14:00min mark of the news cast and it tells about a drug called Propranolol that is used by the military to supress traumatic experiences. Thank you for your work. Regards, Gerry


Dave Markland said...

Thank you very much for that. It is perhaps not surprising that the newscaster didn't mention the rather obvious potential for abuse of such a drug on the part of commanders. Imagine what might have happened in Nangar Khel if the commander, after he told the troops to "f-- up that village," issued them with such a drug.
Dave M